MIDDENDORF & ROHR’S, Meatpacking

Despite the rigors of over a century’s worth of wind, rain and storms, the painted sign identifying Middendorf & Rohrs Grocers is still identifiable at #1 Little West 12th Street. The building has an oddly slanted shape as it fronts on both Gansevoort and Little West 12th, which intersect here. There also seems to be a palimpsest effect here with other ghosts of words, especially on the right side.

The basic no-nonsense brick building was constructed in 1887, while M&R, who built #3 Little West 12th in 1918 (seen on the left side) operated a wholesale grocery in the building from 1883 to 1964, with the Rohr nephews, the oldest of whom lived until 1965, carrying on the business after the deaths of the original owners, Henry Middendorf and Herman Rohrs.


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6 Responses to MIDDENDORF & ROHR’S, Meatpacking

  1. Old Skool says:

    Would you call that a chamfered corner?

    • A chamfer corner is usually cut at 45 degrees (I believe). The photo may be a bit deceiving, but the corner angle seems to be favoured to the front of the building. It is definitely a nice building architecturally, though.

  2. M.F. Sibley says:

    My mother-in-law’s grandfather, John H. Rohrs, was the brother of Herman Rohrs. We have two original photos taken in the 19th century of the grocery store – one outside the store and one inside the store. The brothers had several grocery stores in the New York City area and held offices in various grocer’s organizations. They originally emigrated from Germany in the mid-19th century and are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

  3. Mary Beth Cheval says:

    My grandfather was Edward Rohrs, son of Herman Rohrs. He was supposed to have been born in Wilstedt, Germany on 4/7/1852.

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