Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Witthaus Home... Sort Of

I had a whirlwind trip to New York City this past weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday. After getting in late on Friday with my husband, spending the day and evening with my mom on Saturday, my hubby and I had a little bit of time before our flight back home on Sunday to explore. So I decided the best way to spend this time was to track down the apartment building that his great grandmother, Minnie Bertha Witthaus, was born in on 5 April 1897. It was also the address listed for both her parents when they married. They would be Reinhold Witthaus and Bertha Schanbacher.

After having our fill of breakfast, off we went to 422 East 11th Street. I was excited. We were about to view the ancestral birthplace and living quarters of my husband's kin!! We crossed over 1st Avenue going towards Avenue A. The even building numbers were on the south side of the street. I started counting down the numbers and finally we arrived at 422.....

The building is no longer there. It's a community garden now sandwiched in between building numbers 420 and 424. Classic. I don't know what happened to the building, but it could have been any number of things, like fire, demolition, or maybe it collapsed. The buildings 420 and below looked fairly new. Building 424 looked old, but on the other side were newer structures.

Although I was disappointed, my husband was still excited which lifted my spirits. My mother in law was also thrilled. So I guess not all was lost.


  1. You might have some luck looking in the NYC Municipal Archives photo collection they have available online for free (http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/gallery/home.shtml).