WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES MARCH 8, 2018 19
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: THE WAY IT WAS
Glendale school site has roots as a
popular saloon and hotel
BY THE OLD TIMER
It’s hard for many Glendale residents
to imagine, but the site of
what is today Redeemer Lutheran
School was once one of the neighborhood’s
most popular drinking
Hofmann House Hotel opened in 1902
at the corner of Cooper Avenue and Lafayette
Street (present-day 69th Place).
It was operated by Sebastian Hofmann
and his wife, Lena, who were Brooklyn
residents. They purchased the site,
which was previously farmland, for the
tidy sum of $2,195 and erected the hotel
there over the course of a year.
Sebastian Hofmann had a wooden
leg, but it did not hamper his ability to
run the hotel and saloon. He primarily
catered to Long Island farmers bringing
their produce to the Wallabout
Market in Brooklyn.
The hotel had a large saloon located
adjacent to Cooper Avenue. Sebastian
Hofmann had placed a large watering
trough there for the customers’ horses
to get a drink as their owners sought
their own refreshment.
Behind the saloon was a large dance
hall with a bar in the rear. Behind the
building was a small picnic area; hotel
rooms were on the upper fl oor of the
In 1902, Hofmann House Hotel had
a party line telephone installed, one of
the fi rst of its kind in Glendale.
Sebastian and Lena Hofmann had
two sons, George and Charles. In
later years, George would operate a
service station across the street from
Hofmann House on the southwest
Students outside Redeemer Lutheran School in Glendale back in September 2017.
corner of Lafayette Street and Cooper
Avenue. Charles, meanwhile, helped
his father run the hotel and saloon.
On May 5, 1917, the Home Defense
League of the 285th Precinct in
Glendale held a ball at the Hofmann
House, just a month aft er the United
States entered World War I. The Home
Defense League was trained to replace
standard police in the event of an
Hofmann House did well despite
the war, but National Prohibition
— which took eff ect in 1919 — hit the
In 1927, Edward Hofmann was listed
as operating the service station. Four
years later, George Hofmann, who
owned the service station, also operated
the local Hudson-Essex car dealership,
and had a showroom nearby.
Tragedy, however, struck the
Hofmann family on Sept. 8, 1934.
Charles Hofmann, his wife, Sara, and
their 6-year-old son, Charles J., died on
board the luxury liner Morro Castle,
which caught fi re and burned off the
coast of Asbury Park, NJ. The ship had
been moving through a storm when
the fi re broke out; a distress signal
went out at 2:50 a.m.
The crew was only able to launch six of
the ship’s 12 lifeboats, but of the lifeboats
launched, several of them wound up being
damaged in the rough surf. Charles,
Sara and Charles Hoffman Jr. were
among the 248 fatalities; 170 passengers
and 149 crew members survived.
Hofmann Hall, meanwhile, continued
on and remained a popular spot
for functions in Glendale. St. Pancras
Church held picnics there and a number
of local baseball teams held bunco,
card parties and dances at the hall.
Maria Hofmann was listed as the
proprietor in 1946. In April of that
year, she threw a party for 300 in celebration
of her engagement to Charles
But in 1959, the Evangelical Lutheran
Church of the Redeemer, whose
church is located on Cooper Avenue
and 69th Street, bought Hofmann
Hall and converted the premises
to Redeemer Lutheran School. It
Photo via Facebook/Redeemer Lutheran School
originally had fi ve classrooms and a
Subsequently, in 1970, the church
built an addition with four more classrooms
as well as offi ces and auxiliary
facilities. Part of the original Hofmann
Hall building was renovated for use
as a lunchroom, a library and an
Today, Redeemer Lutheran School
continues to educate children from
nursery through eighth grade,
boasting a successful universal
pre-kindergarten program and a lively
school community built on faith and
Source: Ridgewood Times, July 19, 1984
* * *
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Photo courtesy of Queens Library Digital Archives
This 1923 photo shows the exterior of the Hofmann House Hotel on
Cooper Avenue in Glendale.
Students at Redeemer Lutheran School.