People Who Lived in My Building

The other day I couldn’t focus on anything so I just starting googling my street address. Among the people I came across who lived in my building were: a soviet spy, a movie actress, a holocaust survivor and a jilted lover.

Lydia Altschuler. From the FBI’s website: “Another tantalizing set of clues to Soviet intelligence emerged in the ALTO Case, where the Bureau intercepted coded messages passed from Soviet agents in Mexico to a mail drop in the United States run by a Lydia Altschuler for whom the case was named … the Bureau learned that these messages concerned Soviet attempts to free Trotsky’s assassin.”

The mail drop was my building!! I couldn’t find a picture of Lydia Altschuler, or anything about her later life. I’m guessing she changed her name.

Lynne Carver. This is Lynne playing the wife of Scrooge’s nephew in the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol, the one with Reginald Owen. Her career kinda stalled in the 1940’s and she moved to New York. Sadly, she died on August 12, 1955, a month before her 39th birthday. So young. Her husband at the time was William J. Mullhaney, so he must have lived here too, but I haven’t found much out about him yet. He was a former stage director who worked for Pitney-Bowes.

Lynne Carver in A Christmas Carol

Max Krolik. From the New York Times obituary. “Max Krolik, an assistant professor of at St. John’s University, Jamaica, Queens, died Sunday after a short illness at his home … He was 42 years old.” Another one who died too young! He died on February 7, 1971. He’d published some papers on graph theory, but he was working on his doctorate and was still at the beginning of his career.

Update: A former student of Max Krolik’s, Dr. Robert O. Stanton, wrote a lovely tribute to him. It’s quite moving even if you didn’t know him!

When I googled his name to learn more about him I found this picture of him and his sister Rosa at the Chateau de la Hille on the website for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“Both were brought to the USA in 1941 through the efforts of Mme. Lilly Felddegen as part of a group of 100 children rescued by the US Committee on European Children, chaired by Marshall Field.” The complete story is here.

Rosa and Max Krolik

Finally, I found this short piece in the September 5, 1895 New York Times. I haven’t learned anything about Alberte Danes or Ferdinand Schueter/Sehueter yet, but that’s going to take a trip to the library, I think. The next time I’m there I’ll look them up. I’d really like to learn just which apartment each of these people lived in.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

13 thoughts on “People Who Lived in My Building

  1. That is so fascinating. You’re a real pro at this, aren’t you? I assume you know that the Reginald Owen version of Christmas Carol had Gene Lockhart as Bob Cratchett, and his daughter, June Lockhart as his daughter. She’s very recognizable in the film.
    I imagine if you did the same historical check to many buildings in the village you’d find a lot of fascinating stories.

  2. Well, no one needs to me a pro anymore now that there’s Google. And I did know about Gene and June, maybe because you pointed this out at Christmas? But it’s a very fun fact, yes!

  3. Thank you for posting that link! Yeah, I saw that, fascinating!! It would be so cool to learn that she lived in my apartment. Or if anyone of these people did.

  4. That was beautiful and made me choke up even though I never met him! Thank you for coming here and posting that link. I’m going to add it to my post, because not everyone reads the comments.

  5. Max Krolik was my uncle, and his sister Rosa is my mother. I stumbled upon your post when I googled their names so that I could bring up that picture to show someone. After all he had been through, it is so sad that Max’s life ended so suddenly and so young. And yes, Dr. Stanton’s tribute was lovely.

  6. It is so sad. I’m glad your mother lived longer. It’s haunting to look into all the lives that have come and gone in the space I now occupy.

  7. Happy to say my mom is still with us, as is her and Max’s brother, who still lives in NYC.

  8. Hi, Stacy –
    Yes, both my mom and uncle are doing OK, keeping constant tabs on each other and counting the days until they can see one another in person again.

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