Amy Muentz

Glamorous pioneer in a tough industry

Long-time media professional Amy Muentz moved into Belnord apartment 708 in Hall 4 on Oct. 1, 1940, when her son Alan was three. Her son Michael was born in 1943. In 1948, Amy, her husband Lou, Alan, Michael, and her mother, Selma Steinbrink Wetzlar, moved into apartment 206. Lou passed away in 1952. Michael now lives in Hall 5.  

Reminiscing about the Belnord’s glory days, she told The New York Times that in 1940 “the staff used to include full-time carpenters, electricians and laundry room attendants.”  In 1980, she said, “we are down to about a dozen people for this huge place.” The staff reductions were followed by a leaky roof, crumbling plaster and broken elevators, added the Times.

She was a founding member of the Belnord Landmark Conservancy, having been one of the original organizers of the predecessor organization, the Belnord Tenants Association. She subsequently served as the secretary of the BLC for many years.

From Michael Muentz: “My Mom broke the glass ceiling before that cliché was even a thought in a PR writer’s imagination. Along with her three male business partners in June 1956, she produced the first Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) telethon starring Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis. Broadcast from Carnegie Hall for 16 hours, the telethon was assisted for all those hours by Sammy Davis Jr. and James Garner of Maverick.

In 1957, after Martin & Lewis broke up, she co-produced the first solo Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA telethon. And the rest was history. A few years later that same quartet of my mom and her three male business partners produced the first MS telethon, hosted by Martha Raye, from the New York Coliseum.”

Sun City It’s Not

Sun City It’s Not

The century-old Belnord, a blocksize Renaissance Revival landmark on West 86th

John McClure

John McClure

A producer and engineer who helped shape celebrated classical recordings