Robbins,86, a builder who helped realize the...

I. D.

July 05, 1996

I. D. Robbins,86, a builder who helped realize the American dream of homeownership for thousands of lower-income New Yorkers, died Tuesday. The newspaper columnist-turned-civil-reformer applied the high-volume techniques used by the Levitt family in the suburbs in the 1940s to New York's inner-city neighborhoods. His most famous project was the Nehemiah housing plan. Built in Brooklyn's Brownsville section in 1982, the homes were named for the Old Testament prophet sent by the king of Persia to Jerusalem in 420 B.C. to help rebuild the city after Babylonian captivity. "High density will never give you a neighborhood," Mr. Robbins once said, criticizing the government-subsidized housing projects that were magnets for crime. "Single-family is the way to go, because families take pride in their homes."

The Rev. Thomas Kirkland Thompson,81, an expert on church finances and fund raising, died June 28 at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, Fla. He was a former resident of White Plains, N.Y., and Tulsa, Okla., who retired to Sarasota last year. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, his family said. Mr. Thompson served the National Council of Churches in New York as executive director of its Department of Stewardship and Benevolence from 1951 to 1965.

Pub Date: 7/05/96

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