Hugo Kafka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hugo Kafka
Born 1843
Died 1915
New Rochelle, New York, United States
Nationality USA, Austria-Hungary
Known for Architect

Hugo Kafka, AIA, (1843–1915)[1] was a Czech-American architect and founding associate of the predecessor firm of Alfred B. Mullett & Sons, as well as William Schickel & Company; he ran his own firm, Hugo Kafka in the early twentieth century, later renamed Hugo Kafka & Sons.


Kafka was born in 1843 in Austria-Hungary, "graduated from the Polytechnikum in Zurich, Switzerland studying under Gottfried Semper. He came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1874 to work with Hermann Schwartzmann, architect-in-chief for the buildings of the Centennial Exposition, and practiced in New York City from 1877 to 1903." He became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1876 and a founding associate of the predecessor firm of Alfred B. Mullett & Sons, with Alfred B. Mullett and William G. Steinmetz in 1882. In 1885 along with J. William Schickel (1850–1907) and Isaac E. Ditmars (1850–1934), he was a founding associate of William Scheckel & Company, which later became Scheckel & Ditmars. He died April 28, 1913 in New Rochelle, New York.[2] Working for himself in the twentieth century, his firm's address was at 99 Nassau Street; the firm's name was Hugo Kafka, and Hugo Kafka & Sons after 1905 at 34 W 26th Street.[3]

One of his finest house designs is the Leonard and Annie Wiederer House (1887–1888), 387 St. Paul's Avenue (formerly Mud Lane), Staten Island, a three-story 4,500-square-foot (420 m2) Queen Anne-style mansion of 24-room, including eight bedrooms, two kitchens and six fireplaces, each of a different design.[4] It was built by the German-born beer baron named George Bechtel as a bridal gift to his daughter Annie on her marriage to Leonard Wiederer.[5]

He died April 28, 1915, aged 70, at his home at 49 Washington Avenue, New Rochelle, New York.[1]


  • Leonard and Annie Wiederer House (1887–1888), 387 St. Paul's Avenue, Staten Island
  • 153-155 43rd Street (1903), a 12-story brick and stone hotel, built for the estate of Ogden Goelet for $210,000[3]
  • 100 W Amsterdam Avenue and 176th Street (1905), four five-story brick and stone tenements built for Winslow Realty Co. for $160,000.[3]
  • Mill[6]
  • "The Summersby" (1894), 342-344 West 56th Street, 7-story brick and limestone flats

See also[edit]

Schickel & Ditmars


  1. ^ a b ObituariesNY Times. April 30, 1915.
  2. ^ Hugo Kafka at the archINFORM database.
  3. ^ a b c [1]|Office for Metropolitan History, "Manhattan NB Database 1900-1986," 5 Feb 2010
  4. ^ Travels of St. Paul's Avenue, Staten Island
  5. ^ Rosenblum, Constance. "HABITATS: For a Family, Elaborate Elbow Room." New York Times June 26, 2009.
  6. ^ Gray, Christopher (August 6, 1989). "STREETSCAPES: The Loth Silk Factory; A Ghost Coming to Life In Washington Heights". The New York Times.