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Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday's Photo: Grandma Lived at The Webster in NYC

My grandmother - Edith Giddens, center, with friend Marge on the left and Cleo Hauser on the right.
This photo was taken on the rooftop patio at The Webster.
Cleo Hauser was the subject of a post last week. To see another rooftop photo
and to learn more about Cleo, click here

The Webster Apartments for Women
419 West 34th Street
My grandmother, Edith Giddens lived at The Webster Apartments for Women in New York City from 1929 to about 1931. She must have really enjoyed living there as I remember her talking about The Webster as if it were an exclusive club. 

Charles and Josiah Webster, brothers and partners in the Macy company, saw the need of affordable apartments for unmarried working women in New York City. Charles died in 1916 and left much of his fortune to establish the apartments. Josiah was the first president of The Webster and when he died, most of his estate was willed to The Webster. 

The Webster Apartments for Women to be established.
Click here to enlarge and read the complete article from 1916.

The Webster Apartments for Women opened on November 15, 1923. The estimated cost to build the apartments was $538,000. At the time of the opening, women paid between $8.50 and $12.00 weekly for a small room and two meals a day. Grandma told my mother that there was a radio room and rooms to take beaus. There were baths on each floor, laundry rooms, a library, sewing room, and the rooftop patio. 

Miss Lillian Randall was the manager of The Webster when Grandma was living there. Read the following article about Miss Randall and learn much about The Webster in the 1920s. 

The Webster Apartments for Women - where Edith Giddens lived in NYC 1928 - 1931
Click here to enlarge and read the complete article from 1925.

The Webster Apartments for Women continues to provide rooms and meals for working women. Visit to see photos and read about the current guidelines. The Webster Apartments Facebook Page posts weekly menus and more. 


© 2015


"$500,000 left for Women in Stores." 26 Mar 1916, Page 10 - The Sun at N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jul. 2015. <>.

" - 1930 United States Federal Census." - 1930 United States Federal Census. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jul. 2015. <>

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

"It Just Couldn't Be Done - But She Did It; Miss Randall Tells How Her Plan Worked." 6 Sep 1925, Page 83 - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle at N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jul. 2015. <>. 

"Thirteen-Story Hotel to Cost $538,000 for Working Women." 13 Jan 1920, Page 21 - New-York Tribune at N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jul. 2015. <>.

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