Saturday, November 5, 2022

Richter home for sale in New York

Forbes reports that the former home of Bruno Richter in New York is on the market. Why is this of interest to Houdini fans? Well, the name Richter should ring a bell, but I'll let Forbes tell you:

A row of Renaissance Revival townhouses stretching from one to 25 East 92nd Street was the stylish new address in 1890 Manhattan. Number 17 was purchased by Bruno Richter for $34,000 (just over $1 million in 2022 dollars.) Born in Germany in 1849, Richter was the head of the neckwear manufacturing firm H. Richter & Sons, founded by his father. Two years before he purchased the house, Bruno Richter hired an Austrian immigrant, Erich Weiss, as an assistant lining cutter in his factory. The young man entertained his co-workers at lunch with his magic tricks. He would later change his professional name to Harry Houdini.

The Richter family lived in the house until 1924. Though it has seen renovation, the building has always remained a single-family home. It is now for sale, offered by Brian K. Lewis of Compass Realty for $17,500,000.

Looks like it pays to get into the tie making business! Kudos to Forbes or whoever it was that made the Houdini connection here.

While Ehrich left his job at Richter's in 1891 to pursue a life in magic, he maintained his dues in the tie cutter union well into adulthood. Did he maintain a relationship with the Richters as well? Could he have visited this house? Tack on an extra mil just in case.

Below are some links related to Houdini's tie-cutter days.



  1. Oh that's interesting. The real estate there appreciated considerably since the 1890s. Was Harry Austrian or Austro-Hungarian?

    1. I would have just said Hungarian. Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Houdini's day so you can kinda justify calling him Austrian. I've seen newspaper articles from 1890s that identify him as Austrian. But then again I've seen some that identify him as being Australian! (Basically the same place, right? :p) But, yeah, it really should read Hungarian.

    2. Agreed it should read Hungarian, but it's a minor flub considering the Houdini connection the writers discovered while preparing this article.

    3. It's an odd flub to make in this day and age, and it makes me wonder if they are looking at some old document from Richter's itself that may indeed identify him as Austrian.

    4. You should contact Forbes about this article. They might be generous with this article and point you in the right direction. There could be gold nuggets for your Chronology. The Richter papers might have important Erich Weiss dates.