Creator of Central Park Boathouse Adeline Moses Loeb dies
Adeline Moses Loeb, formidable fundraiser and philanthropist, passed away just a few months before the opening of The Loeb Boathouse in New York City’s Central Park.
Born on February 11, 1876, in Montgomery, AL, Adeline enjoyed a comfortable life until her father’s business failed in the early 1890s. Unable to afford the trolley fare, Adeline walked long miles to give piano lessons in order to help support her family.
Astute and determined, she also found work as a typist. While visiting the boarding house run by her two aunts in St. Louis, MO, she met Carl M. Loeb, an up-and-coming executive in a German industrial conglomerate. They were married in 1896. Because of the wealth Carl acquired, first as the president of American Metals Company and later on the New York Stock Exchange, the couple was able to become generous philanthropists.
During World War I, Adeline was active in the Red Cross, teaching volunteers to prepare medical and relief supplies and assisting displaced persons. A fine seamstress, she enjoyed sewing for the blind and served on the board for the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind. She also supported the Women’s Division of the Federation for Jewish Philanthropies.
An increase in activity on the lake in Central Park created a need for a boathouse. Carl and Adeline Loeb donated $305,000 to construct what is now known as The Loeb Boathouse. Adeline died just months before the dedication of her final gift to the city she loved. It opened in March of 1954. Almost 60 years later, The Loeb Boathouse endures as a source of pleasure for anyone who lives in or visits New York City.
An American Experience: Adeline Moses Loeb and Her Early American Jewish Ancestors, by Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr., can be read in its entirety at adelinemosesloeb.com.