When I lived on East 5th Street in the 1960s, the roof of this building at 212 East 6th Street was directly beneath my rear window. At that time there was some kind of meat packing or food processing business in the building. It was noisy with machinery during week days, then silent at night and on weekends. At an earlier date it was the home of Wm. Rosenbaum & Bro., plumbing supplies, who have left their inscription on the facade.
The website http://www.metrohistory.com/ indicates that 212-214 East 6th Street was built in 1924 as a two-story brick store and storage building at a cost of $25,000, and that the owner was William Rosenbaum, 245 2nd Street. William Rosenbaum & Bro., Plumbing Supplies, was listed in New York city directories in 1905 at 245 East 2nd St., and they moved in 1924 to 212 East 6th St. They were in business here until 1940.
The proprietors were William Rosenbaum (1879/80-?) and Charles Rosenbaum (1886-1965). Both were born in Austria-Hungary and immigrated to the U. S. in 1888. They were sons of Joseph Rosenbaum (1845-?), and were recorded in the 1900 U. S. Census living at 300 2nd St. with their father, his wife, Eva, and two siblings. William was 21 years old, born February, 1879, and Charles was 13, born February, 1887. William Rosenbaum's birth date is called into question by a passport application he filed in 1921, where he said that he was born 28 November 1880. For some reason this application was not routinely accepted, and attached to it was an account of William Rosenbaum's life written by an employee of the passport office, as follows, "Applicant is forty years of age; was born in Mararnoras Sieget, Roumania, Austro-Hungary; when about eight years of age, he came to the United States with with his mother, his father having preceded them by one year. Has always lived in New York; attended Public School No. 34 on Green Street and also the Public School on Sheriff Street. For four years he was employed in Krautman's Shoe Factory, and for the past seventeen years has conducted a Pumber's Supply business at 245 - 2d Street. He was included in the Draft. In 1917, he obtained a passport, but did not use it. It was his intention at the time to visit Europe, but finally decided not to go." (The birthplace referred to is probably what is now called Sighet, a city in Maramures County, near the Iza River, in northwestern Romania, on the border with Ukraine.)
The Rosenbaums lived at 300 East 2nd St. for many years. They were still there at the time of the 1925 New York State Census, when Joseph Rosenbaum was 76 years old and William Rosenbaum, age 40, a business man. 300 East 2nd Street is the location of a foundry mark for Lindsay, Graff & Mecquier. It is no. 11 in the list on the Lindsay, Graff & Mecquier page.
Copyright © 2015 Walter Grutchfield