Block 20 – W2
67-53 78th Street
Weissman's House (Bromberg - Goldstein - Klinger - Weinstock - Gelb - Oltchick - Osofsky - Mestel - Kloper - Perlman - Wellershaus)

According to NYC Property Records, this 2-story, 4-family building was built in 1930.  It should be noted, however, that according to the NYC Department of Buildings, a “New Building Permit” was issued in 1924.  This building was located immediately next to the Candy Store and was one of many on the block. As far as I know, each of the houses between the Candy Store and Drug Store had 4 apartments (2 up & 2 down) and all apartments – except for the downstairs front apartment – were two-bedroom. The downstairs front apartment was smaller, because they needed room for the hallway leading to the stairway and the rear ground-floor apartment.

The original owner of this building is not yet known.

Note: I would like to point out that the 1930 census report lists this property as 67-63; however,  that is clearly an error. It was “listed” after 67-51 and before 67-57 (the next address).  Additionally, there is an entry for 67-63 where that property was actually located.  Moreover, I personally knew the building and it’s occupants very well.

According to the 1930 census (41-125 – Page 19), one of the apartments was occupied by Samuel Bromberg (age 29) & his wife, Shirley (age 24) and their daughter, Harriet (age 1). Sam and Shirley were born in Russia. Sam emigrated to the United States in 1904 and Shirley in 1909.

Another apartment was occupied by Nathan Goldstein (age 40) & his wife, Ida (age 44) and their children, Sadie (age 17), Georgie (age 15) and Sarrie (age 11). Nathan and Ida were born in Russia. Nathan emigrated to the Untied States in 1912 and Ida in 1909.

Another apartment was occupied by Max Klinger (age 28) & his wife, Annie Klinger (age 26) and their children, Seymour (age 6) and Shirley (age 3). Max and Annie were born in Russia and emigrated to the United States in 1920. Max’s occupation was shown as a “painter” in a shop.

The last apartment was occupied by Toby  (?) Weinstock (age 55), who had been widowed, and her children, Ruth (age 23) and Sam (age 22). They had all been born in Poland and emigrated to the United States in 1921.

According to the 1940 census report (ED 41-351 – Page 24), enhanced by my personal knowledge of the building, the upstairs front apartment was occupied by my uncle, William Gelb (age 26) & his wife, Lillian Weiss Gelb, my aunt (age 26) and Lillian’s mother, Rachel Weiss, my grandmother (age 53). My grandmother, Rachel, had been born in Hungary. I, too, was living with them for about a year from approximately September 1939 until approximately September 1940. Their children (my cousins) Sherry & Roberta were born while they were living there. My aunt, Lillian Gelb, continued living there until approximately 2005, when she required hospitalization and then moved into an assisted care facility.

Living in the upstairs rear apartment, were my uncle’s brother, Charles Gelb (age 35) & his wife, Lillian (age 32) and their daughters Anita (age 11) and Rhoda (age 8).One of the downstairs apartments was occupied by Nathan Osofsky (age 32) & his wife, Miriam (age 27). Nathan and Miriam had been born in Poland.

The other downstairs apartment was occupied by William Oltchick (age 36) & his wife, Anna (age 35) and their son, Merril (age 6), and Anna’s father, Joe Wiseman (age 68), from (at least) 1935. They were joined by their daughter, Frances, who was born while they were living there. Both William Oltchick and Joseph Wiseman had been born in Russia. Anna had been born in England.

The owners (Sam Weissman, his wife and their daughter Renee) lived in the downstairs back, from sometime after 1940.  When their son, Ben, returned from WWII, he, too, lived with them in the downstairs rear apartment.

Rose Mestel - 1951 Left Fill Nathan Mestel and his wife, Rose and their daughter Gloria lived in the downstairs front, from sometime in the very early 1940’s through 1951 or 1952. This photo of Rose Mestel was taken in the summer of 1951

 

Through the years, other tenants in the building included the following families:

Upstairs back: Benjamin (the owners’ son) and his wife, Florence Michael Weissman lived there from some time in the 1950’s.  Their son Michael Louis Weissman, shown in this picture, was born there in 1955 and the family continued living there until 1960.  Ben is distinguished as a WW II Honoree Left Fill Michael Louis Weissman - young

 

Herbert Kloper - June 1953 Left Fill In later years, the upstairs back apartment was occupied by Leo & Fay Levine Kloper and their two sons, Kenneth & Herbert Kloper.Here’s a picture of Herb – taken in June 1953.

 

Downstairs back: Frank & Selma Lichtman Perlman and their children Robin & Randy and, at another time, Joe & Pat (?) and their children Joseph and a younger brother, et. al.

Sherry Wellershaus - December 1955 Left Fill Downstairs front: Joseph & Phyllis Dubin Wellershaus and their daughter “Little Sherry” lived there from 1952, for a few years. I became very close to the family and baby-sat for them. The reason for referring to their daughter as “Little Sherry” is that my cousin – who lived upstairs – was also named Sherry.This picture of “Little Sherry” was taken in December 1955. You can “click-the-pic” for a little more detailed information and a larger version of the same picture.

 

Somewhere along the way, the owners realized that they could convert a portion of the cellar into an apartment and reap the rewards of extra rent. Most of the buildings on the block ultimately took advantage of that realization.

Based on Property Transaction Records, we know that the building was still owned by a member of the Weissman family until February 1967 when it was sold to Michael Gicz and Amalia Gicz.  In September 1997, the property was deeded to Adam J. Gicz and Felix J. Gicz and in June 1999, it was sold to Carol Faello and James Faello.  In June 2012, the property was deeded to 67-53 78th Street, LLC.

 To see this house in the 1980’s, just click here.

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