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A brief history about the founding of the Kolping Society of New York.

Click here to learn more about the Catholic Kolping Society (PDF).


Kolping New York started in the lower hall of the Church of St. Mary Magdalen, East 17th Street on October 14, 1888 with 20 visionary and dedicated men. Theobald Dengler, a Kolping member in Germany, with the aid of Karl Loerwald, who was born in New York, had gathered friends for this event. The latter was well acquainted with the Kolping work because his father had known Father Kolping personally. The pastor of St. Mary Magdalen, a former tailor, offered his school hall to the group, whereupon the first meeting was planned and foundations of the society in New York were laid.

In January 1892 the Franciscan Church on West 31st Street was completed and the young society was able to use its basement for meetings. At this time the first piece of furniture was acquired - the large table which today still stands in the reading room of the Kolping House.

The first Kolping House in downtown New York was purchased on May 30, 1894.

Growth of the society by leaps and bounds and changes in the residential patters of the city created the need for a larger Kolping House. The first one was sold and the lot on 88th Street was bought. The new house, designed by architect Karl Otto, was erected and officially opened on May 27, 1914. Its 88 private and 8 public rooms crowned the work of the first generation of Kolping in New York.

In 1941, the society purchased a 24 acre estate at Greenwich, Connecticut as a summerhome and place of recreation for our members. It was found not to be entirely suitable for the purposes of the society and in 1950 was profitably sold. The society then acquired its present 50 acre summerhome at Montrose, New York known as Kolping-on- Hudson. It has numerous buildings, a nice shore front on the Hudson River and three lakes. The main residence, American colonial in architecture, is a dignified old red brick structure overlooking the Hudson.

In the autumn of 1980 in the true spirit of Father Kolping's program of providing reasonable, clean and decent surroundings for young people away from home, New York Kolping purchased the Susan B. Devin Residence in Bronx. This was done with the idea of extending our program and endeavors into new areas such as providing housing for women as well as men and for senior citizens seeking a more secure atmosphere. This handsome building, in addition to very nice private rooms, features an elegant dining room and lounge and a stunning and inspirational modern chapel including beautiful stained-glass windows. Concurrent with our work of providing housing and promoting strong and unified family life, we hope to spread knowledge of Kolping ideals and attract new membership from a different area of the city.

The Kolping House, a residence for students, interns, and visitors to NYC, is located at 165 East 88th Street, New York, New York 10128-2241. For information about rates and room availability, call 212-369-6647 or email residence@kolpingny.org.

The Kolping-on-Concourse facility is a residence for men and women. It is located at 2916 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10458. For information about rates and room availability, call 718-733-6119 or email kolpingconcourse@yahoo.com.

The Praeses of the New York Kolping Society is Father Richard Bretone, the President is Gerhard Schmitt and the National Board Member is John Reitter.

Click here to learn more about the Catholic Kolping Society (PDF).


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