Share The Project
An Historic Endeavor
Nearly 100 years ago, La Nacional – Spanish Benevolent Society made an appeal for help. The Society needed to raise funds to renovate a newly-purchased building on West 14th street. Many of the boats carrying immigrants and goods from Spain were docked on the nearby ports and the Society recognized the need to provide services for this newly burgeoning neighborhood of Spaniards.
The President of the Society at that time was Jose Camprubí who founded La Prensa, (today the largest and oldest Spanish –language newspaper in the USA). In 1920, he used the newspaper to call for a “spirit of solidarity and cooperation” within the community to renovate our new home, promising that “open will be our doors to all.”
Today, as the Society embarks on another truly historic endeavor, we again make an urgent appeal to the community.
Creating a Community Restaurant
After several decades of renting out our restaurant space on the ground floor, the Society is excited to announce that we are designing a community restaurant and gathering place. Our non-profit will be teaming up with some of the top culinary institutes in Spain – sponsoring the visas of the country’s best young chefs to create in our kitchen. The Society will provide each chef with an apartment in our brownstone to draw inspiration from La Nacional’s past and establish a culinary epicenter in New York City for Spanish food.
The renovation will transform the space – providing for a stylish and contemporary makeover with a nod to the history and tradition of the society. When we open in November, we will offer diners quality food, reasonable prices and a neighborhood atmosphere for all to enjoy.
The Restaurant at La Nacional will be the catalyst for significant cultural and community programming that reflects the Society’s mission. This includes free or low-cost apartments upstairs for artists-in-residence and opening our event space on the parlor floor to community events, cultural pursuits and charitable causes.
We Need Your Support
But adhering to the benevolent mission of La Nacional is not always compatible with the bottom line. The renovation of the restaurant extends far beyond the Society’s savings. This is where you can help. This is YOUR Society. It is a non-profit run by the community, for the benefit of the community. You donation is an investment in that community.
We want to reward our backers. For just $100 you will be invited to opening night – when the dream becomes reality. Enjoy the first dishes created by our young new chef as he/she embarks on their culinary career. The more you donate, the more we want to give back: Have your generosity memorialized forever on our 200-year old walls as we etch your family or company name on an individual brick. Enjoy a private tasting menu at the chefs table. You can also secure our spacious event space upstairs for a fully-catered and serviced party or event of your choice.
La Nacional is run mostly by volunteers – people who deeply believe in the mission of the Society. Their tireless dedication drives this endeavor. Additionally, our architectural and design teams, construction crew, accountants and other professionals are all working at a fraction of their normal rate. All of us pledge to be good stewards of your donations.
More Than A Donation
Finally, we remind you that this Society exists at the service of our community. We have spent 150 years as the cultural, charitable and spiritual center for the Spanish-speaking community. It has never been clearer that we fail to preserve our heritage at our own peril. Now more than ever, we understand the importance of celebrating who we are and creating common spaces where the wine pours, bread is broken and conversation flows freely and easily.
And like Camprubí wrote in 1920 “Our society will always know how to express its gratitude, multiplied one hundredfold, for that which you bestow on us, for your generosity. We do not ask you for alms, rather we ask you for that which shall belong to you.”
|Antonio Sanchez Camacho||$100.00|
|J Tyson Bennett||$207.88|
|Randi and Syd Williams||$104.09|
|Carlos Contreras Elvira||Private|
|Luis Carlos de La Lombana||$500.00|
|Conchita Gonzalez De Castejon||$104.09|
|Soraya Padrao & Ignacio Garcia-Bustelo||Private|
|AENY Spanish Artists in New York||$150|
|Tom and Linda Platt||$100|
|Pluma Poética Del Arte||$150|
|John de Soto||$100|
|Tabula RaSa NYC Theater||$200|