Guide to the Fritz Nathan (1891-1960)Collection,
AR 1443 / MF 533

Processed by Frank Mecklenburg, reprocessed by Ron Axelrod and Dana Ledger

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© February 2004. Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Dana Ledger as InMagic/ DB Textworks file. 1999. Electronic finding aid converted to EAD 1.0 by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. June 2002. Description is in English.
February 2004. Finding aid was converted to EAD 2002. April 2005. Access points were added. January 2006. Entities removed from EAD finding aid. October 2006. Finding aid was edited and donor restrictions were added by Lea Osborne.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Nathan, Fritz, 1891-1960
Title: Fritz Nathan Collection
Abstract: This collection is comprised of papers belonging to the German architect Fritz Nathan, who emigrated to the United States via Holland in 1940. Nathan designed synagogues, department stores, and houses, among other types of buildings. The collection consists mainly of blueprints and architectural plans, but also includes documents, photographs, negatives, sketches, and drawings. The documents are primarily correspondence, and focus on Fritz Nathan's work, but also contain a large amount of information on restitution for the Nathan family. In addition, the collection contains some papers on Fritz Nathan's family members: Lucie, Otto, and Doris Nathan.
Languages: The collection is in English and German.
Quantity: 21 feet
Accession number: AR 1443
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Fritz Nathan was born in Bingen [am Rhein], in the Rhineland, in 1891. He was a graduate of the Institute of Technology of Munich and Darmstadt, and became one of the leading Jewish architects in Germany during the pre-Hitler era. He began working as an architect in 1914, and served in World War I. Nathan emigrated to Holland in 1938, and came to the United States in 1940, where he continued his architectural career.

Among his earlier achievements in Germany, where he became an independent architect in 1922, were the monument in honor of Jewish soldiers at the Weissensee cemetery, the new Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt, the first skyscraper in Mannheim, and a department store in Frankfurt. During his career, he built institutional and business buildings as well as private homes. His architectural work displayed the impact of the modern style popular at that time. In the United States, Nathan was perhaps best known for the Jewish temples he designed, such as the Jewish Community Center in White Plains and the temple of the Congregation Mishkan Israel in New Haven. In addition, he designed many industrial and private buildings, both in Germany and the United States. He died in New York City on November 3, 1960. He was survived by his brother, economist Otto Nathan, wife Lucie Nathan, and daughter Doris Nathan, an architect who began working with her father shortly before his death.

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Scope and Content Note

The Fritz Nathan Collection consists of 25 linear feet of architectural drawings, drafts, and designs, along with photos and correspondence concerning his business projects as well as private papers and files concerning his restitution case against Germany after World War II. Several of his major projects are documented from early charcoal designs through blue prints to photos of the building in various stages of construction and finally pictures of the finished structure. He kept published articles and accounts of his work from professional journals to clippings in dailies.

The majority of documents in this collection are related to the architectural work of Fritz Nathan. These papers include numerous plans and blueprints, sketches and drawings, photographs, and correspondence concerning his architectural projects. Plans are located in Series III: Architectural Material. Correspondence concerning much of Nathan's work in the United States is located in Series I: Fritz Nathan.

Papers focusing on other members of the Nathan family can be found in Series I, II, and IV. Series I has documents concerning Doris Nathan's study of Fritz Nathan from 1999-2000 and the communism charges brought against Fritz Nathan's brother Otto Nathan in the 1950s. Series II: Lucie Nathan contains the papers of Fritz Nathan's wife, including correspondence, bills, and a notebook of interiors. Series IV: Restitution Material holds papers of all four Nathan family members, although the majority belong to Fritz Nathan, and focuses on their claim against the German government.

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The collection is comprised of four series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions

Donor holds literary property rights, permission for reproduction required. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

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Access points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page


This collection is microfilmed: "Fritz Nathan Collection (Microfilm)" [MF 533 (reels 1-49)].

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Fritz Nathan Collection; AR 1443; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

This collection was first processed by Frank Mecklenburg in the 1980s, and was reprocessed in 1992/ 1993 by Ron Axelrod and in 1999 by Dana Ledger.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.


Series I: Fritz Nathan, 1919-2000

This series is in English and German.
2 linear feet (Boxes 1-4)

This series is divided into six sections: General,Architectural Licenses and Certificates, Other Material, Correspondence, Dedication Books, and Articles.

Scope and Content:

Series I consists primarily of Fritz Nathan's personal papers and contains documents, plans and specifications, photographs, and clippings. A large amount of the documents in this series is business correspondence concerning architectural projects. Prominent topics in this series are Nathan's work with the Congregation B'nai Jacob and Congregation Mishkan Israel of Connecticut, the Sons of Israel on Long Island, the Hartz Mountain Corporation, and the Hunter Douglas Corporation. There are also many papers which focus on his work for various Jewish Community Centers and congregations.

Of interest in this series are Doris Nathan's papers concerning her study of Fritz Nathan, and material on the communism charges brought against Otto Nathan in the 1950s. Also included are articles and clippings by and about Fritz Nathan and his work as well as on general architectural work.

A) General

11Inventories1981, 1998, 2000
12Doris Nathan1999-2000

B) Architectural Licenses and Certificates

13Architectural Licenses and References1953-1957
14Licenses for New York, Connecticut, Texas, Washington, D.C.1957-1959
15Correspondence from Lawyers about Connecticut License1957-1958
16Architect Examining Board, Connecticut1957-1960
17New York (early work)1950

C) Other Material

18Otto Nathan Material (Communism charges)1957-1961
19Eduard Strauss Material191-, 1946-1952
110Leo Baeck Institute Material1959-1960

D) Correspondence

111Associated Metals1951-1955
112Bernath and Co.1938-1950
113Bernath and Company (includes photographs)1949
114Congregation Habonim, Specifications1952
1 15Congregation Temple DeHirsch, Seattle, Washington1955-1957
116Cutting Room Appliances Corp.1950-1951
117Cutting Room Appliance Corp.1952-1956
118Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut 1957-1962
119Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut 1959
120Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut 1957
1 21Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut1958
122Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut1959
123Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut1960 January-May
124Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Conn.1960 June-December
21Mishkan Israel, Hamden, Conn. - Specifications1958-1959
22Mishkan Israel1955-1958
2 3Mishkan Israel1959
24Mishkan Israel 1959-1960 May
25Mishkan Israel 1960 June-1963 March
26Sons of Israel, Woodmere, Long Island1946-1948
27Sons of Israel1949, 1959-1960
28Sons of Israel1949 January-March
29Sons of Israel1949 June-December
210Sons of Israel1947-1950
211Sons of Israel1952-1958
212Hartz Mountain Products, Buildings, New York (includes blueprints)1944-1946
213Hartz Mountain Corp., New York1946-1947
214Hartz Mountain Corp., New York1949-1952
215Hartz Mountain Corp., Chicago1952-1955
216Hartz Mountain Corp., Chicago1952-1955
217Hartz Mountain Products1952-1955
218Hartz Mountain Products Corp., New York1956-1958
31Hunter Douglas Corp., 150 Broadway, New York1946-1948
32Hunter Douglas New Offices, 150 Broadway (floor plans)1947
33Hunter Douglas1947-1948
34Hunter Douglas, New Hyde Park (project description)1948
35Hunter Douglas, Riverside, Calififornia 1947-1949
36Hunter Douglas, 150 Broadway 1949-1950
37Hunter Douglas, New Hyde Park, Westchester1948-1952
38Hunter Douglas, Riverside, Calififornia (photographs)1936, 1945-1951
39Hunter Douglas, Union Decorating Company1950
310Hunter Douglas, New Hyde Park 1949-1951
311Hunter Douglas, 150 Broadway1952
312Hunter Douglas, Sydney, Australia1952-1953
313Hunter Douglas, New Hyde Park1951-1956
314Jewish Community Center, White Plains, New York1953
315Jewish Community Center, White Plains1954
316Jewish Community Center, White Plains1956
317Jewish Community Center, White Plains (budget and meetings)1955-1956
318Jewish Community Center, White Plains1957-1958
319Jewish Community Center, White Plains (memorials)1955-1956
320Jewish Community Center, White Plains (dedication)1956-1959
321Jewish Community Center, White Plains (periodicals)1943, 1957-1960
322Jewish Community Center, New Haven, Connecticut1958-1959
323Jewish Community Center, New Haven, Connecticut1960
41Congregation Mishkan Israel, New Haven, Connecticut-David Levy 1956-1960
42Miscellaneous Publicity1949-1960
43Sonnenberg Residence1945-1954
44Job Records1942-1965
45Eugene Schoen and Son1946-1954
46United Jewish Center, Danbury, Connecticutundated
47United Jewish Center, Danbury, Connecticut1951-1955
48Congregation Sons of Israel, Woodmere, Long Island1951-1953

E) Dedication Books

49Congregation B'nai Jacob, Woodbridge, Connecticut1961
410Congregation Beth Hillel, Washington Heights, New York1948
4 11Temple Mishkan Israel, Hamden, Connecticut1960
4 12Jewish Community Center, White Plains, New York1957
413Congregation Habonim, New York1949

F) Articles

414Articles in Periodicals1929-1933
415Posthumous Articles about Nathan1960-1963
416General Architectectural Articles1950-1960
417Articles by Nathan in Periodicals 1929-1931
418Articles about Nathan in Periodicals 1930-1936, 1959
419Congregation Mishkan Israel (fund-raising bulletin)1956
420Work in America1930-1960
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Series II: Lucie Nathan, 1953-1971

This series is in English and German.
0.5 linear feet
Scope and Content:

Series II contains the papers of Fritz Nathan's wife, Lucie Nathan. Included are tax information, interiors records, and correspondence. Of interest may be the material on a trip to Italy and Israel taken in 1965, and a notebook of interiors.

51Architects' Panel - Union of Hebrew Congregationsundated
53Office of Fritz Nathan - Public Relationsundated
54Journal1953 April-1957 July
55Italy and Israel Trip 1965
57Estate1970 December
58Mishkan Israel (marked private)undated
510Bills Paid, Personal1971
512Estate1971 January
513Irving Trust Company, II1970 January 1
514Bache and Co.1969-1971
515Lucie Nathan's Accident1964
516Bills Paid, Personal1970
517Bills for Customers Paid1970
5 18Gertrud Kurth 1970
519 Cunynghame1970
520Bills for Customers Paid1969
5 21List of Customers Paid 1967-1968
522Notebook of Interiors by Lucie Nathan 1961
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Series III: Architectural Material, 1914-1959

This series is in English and German.
17.5 linear feet

This series is divided into three sections: Photographs, Photostats, and Negatives, Plans and Blueprints, and Oversized Plans and Blueprints.

Scope and Content:

Series III is composed of records pertaining to Fritz Nathan's architectural work. Included are numerous plans and blueprints of his work in Germany and the United States. Most plans are of buildings, including synagogues, Jewish centers, schools, factories, stores, residences, office buildings, hospitals, and old-age homes. There are also plans for cemeteries and memorials, and a few plans and sketches of furniture. Other types of material encountered in this series includes photographs, correspondence, negatives (including glass negatives), and sketches and drawings.

A) Photographs, Photostats, and Negatives

61Hauptsynagoge, Frankfurt 1927
62Miscellaneous Building Construction1927-1929
63Miscellaneous Photos1950s
64DEBEWA (Deutsche Beamten Warenversicherung), Mannheim 1927
65Wronker Department Store and Cemetery Building1928-1929
66Kew Garden Jewish Center (drawings and blueprint)1942
67Jewish Centers (photos of drawings) 1930-1932
68Altersheim, Mannheim1929-1930
69Cemetery Memorials1918-1935
610Bloch House, Rotterdam 1927
611Frankfurt am Main1928-1932
612Cemetery III, Frankfurt1932
613Cemetery IV, Frankfurt1928-1929
614Clippings and Publications1929-1954
615Aschaffenburg, Frankfurt (with negatives)c. 1920s
616Hirsch House, Cronstettenstrasse1930s
617Zigarrenfabrik Hochherr, Heidelberg 1928-1929
6 18May House, Frankfurt 1930s
619Jewish Community Center, Frankfurt 1922-1929
620Department Stores, Hanau1927-1928
621DEBEWA Construction, Mannheim1928-1929
622 Kaufhaus Wronker, Frankfurt1930s
623Wronker (department store), Frankfurt1930s
624Rothschild'sches Krankenhaus, Frankfurt1930s
625 Rothschild'sches Krankenhaus, Frankfurt 1930s
626Frankfurt am Main1930s
71Gesellchäftshausgruppe Samt und Seide, DEBEWA Terra AG, Wronker Department Store, Office Building "Herz," University, School of Education, Kassel, and Residences1923-1939
174Hochherr Factory, Heidelberg, Jewish Altersheim, Mannheim, Jewish Cemetery, Frankfurt, Unidentified German Buildings1920s-1950s
181Glass and Celluloid Negatives (for list of glass negatives in wooden boxes, see old inventory in box 1, folder 2)1920s-1940s

B) Plans and Blueprints

72Plans of Various Homes undated
73House of Jules Roos, Amsterdam undated
74House and Store of Fourrures Jenny (Hertz, Luxemburg)undated
75Samt und Seide, Mannheim undated
76Rothschild'sches Krankenhaus, Haus Dr. Mainzer (Frankfurt am Main), Competition for St. Ingbert Hospitalundated
81Dr. Mainzer's House, Franfurt am Mainundated
82Competition for St. Ingbert Hospitalundated
83Israelitischen Cemetery, Frankfurt am Main undated
84Israelitisches Altersheim, Mannheimundated
85Haus Geschwister Gutmann, Stuttgartundated
91Haus Blankenstein-Bloch, Rotterdamundated
92Neubau Villa Hirsch, Frankfurt am Main, Cronstettenstrasse 14, Part 1undated
93Neubau Villa Hirsch, Part 2undated
9 4Haus F. Cohn, Fürstenbergerstrasse 45undated
95Dr. Samuel, Haus Bechardt, Mozartplatz 22undated
101Fruchthof, Houselbrückeundated
102Opeltürm undated
103Fabrikenanlagen (9), Garagen (3)undated
104Haus L. Mayer, Aschaffenburgundated
105Jewish Cemetery, Frankfurt am Main, Part 1undated
106Jewish Cemetery, Part 2undated
107Neue Mainzerstrasse 58undated
108 Homes and Offices, (interior designs)undated
111Büro Regierungs Baumeister Nathanundated
112Beifus Seilerstrasse 10undated
11 3Umbau Friedrichstrasse 14undated
114Umbau Bendlerstrasse 8, Berlinundated
115Israelitische Gemeinde Friedhof, Frankfurt am Mainundated
116Neubau Terra A.G. (DEBEWA), Mannheimundated
117 DEBEWA (includes correspondence)undated
121Israelitisches Altersheim, Mannheim, Part 1 undated
122Israelitisches Altersheim, Part 2undated
123Aufzüge, Rolltreppenundated
124Plans for Various Apartment Buildingsundated
131Kew Gardens Jewish Community Center, Queens, New Yorkundated
132 Congregation Habonim, Manhattan, New Yorkundated
133Official Plans for Habonim undated
134Plans for Synagogues undated
135Plans for Cemeteriesundated
136Bruemlik-Nobel Haus, Liebfrauenstrasseundated
137 Teppichhaus Brumlik undated
138Various Plansundated
141Israelitischen Friedhof, Stuttgartundated
142Wohnung Dr. Hahn-Hess undated
143Haus Otto Mayer, Bingenundated
144Various Plans and Sketchesundated
145Wohnhaus E. Schiffmann, Bingenundated
146Various Plansundated
147Haus Rechtanwalt Stern, Bingenundated
148Various Plans undated
149Plans for Schoolsundated
1410Plans for Clubhäuserundated
151Miethäuser (list in file)undated
152Buildings in America undated
153Various Plansundated
154 Synagogues (American), Part 1undated
161 Synagogues (American), Part 2undated
162Jewish War Veterans of USA, Washington D.C. undated
164Photographs: Herz, Luxemburg, Menorah (with letter from Judy Brown), Jewish Centers (Long Island, New Haven) with Accompanying Pamphletsundated
165Jewish Cemetery, Frankfurtundated
166Altersheim, Mannheim undated
171Hochherr Zigarrenfabrik, Heidelbergundated
172Design Prints, United Jewish Center, Danbury, Connecticutundated
17 3Various Plansundated

C) Oversized Plans and Photographs

191Architecture School Thesis Project1914
192Plans for Mishkan Israel Synagogue, New York1950s
201Mishkan Israel (tube 3 of 3)1950s
202New Haven Health Club (tube 2 of 3)1940s
231Various Plans1920s-1950s
232Hauptsynagoge Frankfurt1920s-1950s
233Sketch for Office Entrance, Copy of Article (sale of Gauguin work)1920s-1950s
234Sketches for Furniture and Interiors1920s-1950s
235Farmhouse and Barn, Family Herzberg, Luray, Virginia1920s-1950s
236Jewish Center and Synagogue, Zurich1920s-1950s
237Synagogue, Frankfurt1920s-1950s
238Jewish Cemetery, Frankfurt1920s-1950s
239Haus Bloch-Flankenstein, Rotterdam1920s-1950s
2310Haus Cohn, Fürstenbergerstrasse1920s-1950s
2311Various Houses, Frankfurt1920s-1950s
2312Jewish Center, Frankfurt1920s-1950s
2313Various Plans1920s-1950s
2314Various Plans1920s-1950s
2316Drawing of Erbbegräbnisanlage um das Ehrenfeld, Jewish Cemetery, Weissensee1920s-1950s
2317Photostatic Prints of Ceremony for Neue Synagoge, Bingen1920s-1950s
241Various Drawing and Photographs, Part 11920s-1950s
251Various Drawing and Photographs, Part 21920s-1950s
271American Synagogues and Jewish Centers1950s
281White Plains Synagogue, Part 11940s-1950s
291White Plains Synagogue, Part 21940s-1950s
301White Plains Synagogue, Part 31940s-1950s
311White Plains Synagogue, Part 41940s-1950s
321White Plains Synagogue, Part 51940s-1950s
331White Plains Synagogue, Part 61940s-1950s
332Hartz Mountain Corporation, Chicago1940s-1950s
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Series IV: Restitution Material,  1920-1979

This series is in English and German.
1 linear foot (Boxes 26-26B)
Scope and Content:

This series contains the restitution material of the Nathan family, and includes papers concerning the restitution of Fritz, Lucie, Otto, and Doris Nathan. It has papers dealing with the Berlin property, the suit agains the Land of Hesse, and insurance claims. Most of the material in this series is correspondence, especially between Nathan family members and lawyers. Other types of papers include official documents, such as certificates and passports and financial papers. Some National Socialist era papers are included here as well.

261Nathan v. Selle and Lesser, Lietzenburgerstrasse 121920s-1970s
262Documents and Correspondence (includes Berlin Bank and lawyers)1960s
263Correspondence with Hermann Simon 1960s
264 Correspondence between Fritz Nathan and Ernst Bresch-Selle/ Lesser Affair1950s
26 5Correspondence between Fritz Nathan and Lawyers Simon and Landsberger1950s
266Otto's File (correspondence)1920s-1970s
267Otto's Files(forms and payments)1920s-1970s
268Otto's Files (correspondence with lawyers)1920s-1970s
269Restitution Material Duplicates1920s-1970s
2610Financial Papers1920s-1970s
2611Correspondence 1920s-1970s
2612Correspondence and Papers (payments in case against Land of Hesse)1920s-1970s
2613 Insurance Claims in Wiesbaden1920s-1970s
2614Fritz Nathan Papers, Part 11930s, 1950s-1960s
2615Fritz Nathan Papers, Part 21930s, 1950s
2616Fritz Nathan Papers, Part 31939
2617Fritz Nathan Papers, Part 41938-1940, 1950s
26B4Correspondence (Alfred Silton, Paul Hirsch) 1920s-1970s
26B5Correspondence and Financial Records1920s-1970s
26B6Correspondence and Papers of Doris and Lucie Nathan1920s-1970s
26B7Correspondence and Papers of Doris Nathan1920s-1970s
26B8Correspondence and Financial Records1920s-1970s
26B9Correspondence and Financial Records1920s-1970s
26B10Correspondence and Financial Records1920s-1970s
26B11Correspondence and Papers, (including from Moritz Mayer, Ernst Peltzer)1920s-1970s
26B12Correspondence and Papers of Doris and Lucie Nathan1920s-1970s
26B13Correspondence and Papers 1920s-1970s
26B14Correspondence and Papers1920s-1970s
26B15Correspondence and Papers (United States Government and Newspaper Clippings)1920s-1970s
26B16Correspondence and Bank Records (Fritz Nathan)1920s-1970s
26B17Correspondence and Papers1920s-1970s
26B18Personal Papers (original and copies)1920s-1970s
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