About the Locations in Jorgensen's Finding Max - Stuyvesant Town
Stuyvesant Town, named after Peter Stuyvesant, the last director-general of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, is a collection of apartment buildings sprawling from 14th to 23rd Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C. Combined with its sister development immediately to the north, Peter Cooper Village, the residential buildings total 110 and contain 11,250 apartments.
The complex was funded by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that asserted that soldiers returning home from World War II should have priority over other applicants for residency in the buildings. However, they also stated that no African-Americans should be granted access to any of the apartments in the complex. Metropolitan Life’s then-president insisted that “Negros and whites don’t mix.”
Professor Lee Lorch petitioned to allow African-Americans access to the complex but was rebuffed at every turn. When he decided to take a position out of town and sublet his apartment, he sublet to an African-American family. As a result of pressure Metropolitan Life, he was fired from his new position.
Some years later, the company finally allowed a few black families to occupy apartments in the complex, but to this day the apartments remain largely occupied by whites.