Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rediscovering the Daniel Rosenbloom House on Hawthorne Street

Rediscovering the Daniel Rosenbloom House on Hawthorne Street
by Samuel D. Gruber

Researching recent walking tours in the Westcott neighborhood has allowed me to look more closely at many streets and houses. I continue to be surprised at what turns up.  One such house is located at the northeast corner of Columbus Ave. and Hawthorne Street.  It seems modest now, but a Post-Standard newspaper story about its erection by Daniel Rosenbloom (with photo) from May 1901 shows that the house was exceptional.  It was a "well appointed Gothic structure." It is not clear whether Rosenbloom built this house for himself (he was a well-to-do civic-minded bachelor who lived on 704 East Jefferson according to the city directories of the time).  Most likely he was building to sell - as he apparently did with the Stickley House, erected a few lots down.

Syracuse, NY. Daniel Rosenbloom house at 201 Hawthorne St. illustrated in the Post-Standard, May 19, 1901.
Syracuse, NY. Daniel Rosenbloom house at 201 Hawthorne St.  Photo: Samuel D. Gruber (April 2012)

The article from May 19, 1901 reads:

Well Appointed Gothic Structure Just Completed in Columbus Avenue.

Daniel Rosenbloom has just completed at Columbus avenue and Hawthorne street a well appointed one family residence. The house was erected from plans prepared by Architects Wellington W. Taber and F. C. Draper. The style of the house is Gothic, with a foundation of split field stone. The first story is clapboarded and the second shingled. The first floor is done in oak and the second story enameled in soft tints, and the side walls and ceiling on both floors are painted in effective and harmonious colorings. The grounds surrounding the house have been prettily laid out. Mr. Rosenbloom will build this summer another handsome and costly house, to be occupied by Isaac Rosenbloom. It is believed it will be located near Forman Park.

The house is still very similar to its original appearance - except that the Gothic arched porch on the Hawthorne facade is now filled in, and a new small covered entrance has been erected on the Columbus Avenue side.  The exposed walls of the foundation are laid up in fancy stonework into which are set several small windows with Gothic-style pointed arches.  A smaller house is close by to the east.  This appears to have already been standing.  The east wall of the Rosenbloom house is brick - probably built as fire protection since the 203 Hawthorne was only a few feet away.

The article tells us that the architects were Wellington W. Taber and F. C. Draper.  Taber also designed the Queen Anne style house just down the street bought by Gustav Stickley from Rosenbloom in 1900, when still under construction. To date, his most recognized building in Syracuse is the classical Psi Upsilon Fraternity prominently located on the Syracuse University Campus.  A fuller examination of Taber's career awaits a determined researcher.  Presumably Rosenbloom and Taber were building both houses simultaneously as part of the development of this "Rosenbloom Tract."  As I will write in another post, developer James W. Pennock and architect Archimedes Russell were developing in these same years the Pennock Tract - now Allen Street - in a similar way.  There are at least three near-contemporary houses on the Columbus Ave., formerly the Rosenbloom Tract, but I'm still looking
 for details about their construction.

Rosenbloom and neighboring house. The blue house (203 Hawthorne) immediately to the east seems to have been already constructed, so Rosenbloom and Taber built their east wall of brick - presumably for fire protection.
Note the Gothic arches of the basement level.
House seen from the northwest, with Columbus Ave. facade.

Syracuse, NY. Rosenbloom's Dept Store (from postcard)
Daniel Rosenbloom was a member of one of Syracuse's most prominent Jewish families.  B. G. Rudolph provides information about the Rosenblooms in From a Minyan to a Community: the History of the Jews of Syracuse (Syracuse Univ. Press, 1970).  Daniel Rosenbloom was born in 1851 to what would become one of Syracuse's most prominent Jewish families.  He was one of eight children of Solomon (1822-1896) and Hannah (1827-1884) Rosenbloom who had settled in Syracuse in 1847, emigrating to America from Altenheim, Bavaria.  Solomon was trained as a shoemaker, but like many German-Jewish immigrants of his generation but began as a peddler to raise capital to start his own business.  He opened a shoe store in the Bastable Building, and his sons Marcus (1849-1919), Daniel, and Simon (1853-1923) joined the business, renamed S. Rosenbloom & Sons. Solomon essentially removed himself from the business to devote time to Jewish community concerns.  His sons were very successful, developing one of the largest department stores in Syracuse with branch stores in Utica, Oswego, Auburn and as far away as Providence, Rhode Island and Akron, Ohio.

Syracuse, NY. Rosenbloom Shul
While his sons rose to become leading Syracuse citizens, Solomon especially immersed himself in the local Jewish community.  He was founder and financial pillar of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, founded in 1864 by the more traditional faction of Temple Society of Concord when that synagogue (Syracuse's first) adopted Reform practice beginning in 1861.  In 1887 Solomon funded the erection of a new building for Adath Jeshurun on Orange Street (now McBride) between Madison and Harrison Street, which was commonly referred to as "Rosenbloom's Shul."  He and his sons supported the observant congregation for sixty years, until it merged back with Temple Concord in 1925, which the surviving Rosenbloom family members rejoined.  Solomon also founded a cemetery at West Colvin and Jamesville Rd., still known as the Rosenbloom Cemetery.  He and most members of his family are buried there.

Daniel was the most civic-minded of Solomon's seven sons.  He was known as a businessman, philanthropist and was involved in local politics.  He was served on the board of the public library, was a member of the Board of Education (the first Jew to hold this office) and served as president for four years.  Daniel was offered the Democratic nomination for mayor, which he declined due t his poor health.   Daniel died in the summer of 1905.  According to an Post-Standard article of August 28, 1905,  "Death was due to diabetes, for which Mr. Rosenbloom sought every known remedy and medical advice. He went to Carlsbad, Germany, three times, consulted with one of the most illustrious medical authorities in Berlin and with the now famous Dr. Osier of Baltimore, who recently left for Oxford, England, but secured no relief."

Syracuse, NY 126 Victoria Place.

Rosenbloom's and Taber's choice to build a "well appointed Gothic structure" was somewhat unusual in 1901.  After the mid-19th century (see Gothic Cottage) the Gothic style was rare in American residential architecture, and at the turn of century is was more commonly used for churches. There are only a few houses in the Westcott neighborhood with any Gothic details at all.  126 Victoria Place, probably built in the mid-1890s, is an American four-Square house with a classical porch.  There are, however, two small Gothic windows centrally set in the main facade.

Syracuse, NY 470 Allen Street. Photo: S. Gruber 2012
Syracuse, NY 470 Allen Street. Gaggin & Gaggin, architects (1905).  Photo: S. Gruber 2012
On nearby Allen Street, two houses developed by James W. Pennock and built ca. 1905, at least one of which (#420) was designed by local architects Gaggin & Gaggin, show a much tamer type of pointed arch on their porches.  Other than these nearly flat pointed arches, nothing else suggests the Gothic style.  I'll write about these and other houses on Allen Street in a later post.

N.b. All photos by Samuel D. Gruber except "Rosenbloom Shul" (originally B. G. Rudolph, From a Minyan to a Community (1970), originally Onondaga Historical Association).

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting article. Thank you. I just posted some trade cards from S. Rosenbloom & Sons and provided a link to this post for readers who want to know more.