Shipping Receiving
Donovan Bros., 50 E. 19th St. (2010)

Donovan Bro's.
Cor 79th St. & Park Ave NY

The Donovan Brothers were Daniel J. Donovan (1863-1901) and James J. Donovan (1868-1926). They were native New Yorkers, and their business was located at 101 E. 79th St. from 1890 to 1908 and then at 175 E. 79th St. from 1909 to 1918.

The City Record, 17 Feb., 1894, pg. 581, records their award of contracts for work on the Reception Hospital, as follows, "Daniel J. Donovan and Jas. J. Donovan, composing the firm of Donovan Bros. / Plumbing and gas-fitting of Reception Hospital at the foot of East Sixteenth street, and of boiler-house, 676 feet east of Avenue C and north of East Sixteenth street / cost $3,490.00 / payments to Dec 31, 1893 $775.25."

Their description in History of Architecture and the Building Trades of Greater New York, Volume 1, New York, The Union History Company, 1899, read, "Donovan Brothers belong to that practical class of plumbers whose work is a credit to their craft. The firm is composed of Daniel D. and James J. Donovan, both men of good eduction, who began business January 1, 1890. Their work is of a general character, but is especially noteworthy in apartment houses and flats. Superior work done by them can be seen in the new American Lithographic Building, at the corner of Nineteenth street and Fourth avenue, the new house of the Good Shepherd, at Peekskill, New York, Jefferson Building, 119-121 West Twenty-third street and running to 110-114 West Twenty-fourth street, Reception Hospital, at the foot of East Sixteenth street, loft buildings, private residences, etc."

Another Donovan Bros. contract was this one reported in The City Record, 20 Sept. 1900, pg. 5666, "Daniel J. Donovan and James J. Donovan, composing the firm of Donovan Bros. / For the alterations of plumbing work of Hook and Ladder Company 22, at No. 766 Amsterdam avenue, in the Borough of Manhattan New York City." In 1956 the New York Times, 29 April 1956, pg. 81, described the move of this fire house to a new combined fire/police facility on West 100th Street. The former Hook and Ladder 22 is now (2015) the Brusco Building at 766 Amsterdam Avenue.

Daniel Donovan's death was announced in The Metal Worker, 26 January 1901, page 51, "Daniel J. Donovan, of Donovan Bros., Seventy-ninth street and Park avenue, New York, died Wednesday of acute Bright's disease. His funeral took place from St. Ignatius church, Eighty-fourth street and Park avenue, Saturday, at 10 a. m. Mr. Donovan was one of the old members of the association."

In the mid-1910s James J. Donovan became involved in real estate under the firm name James J. Donovan, Inc. He had as a partner on the real estate side Frederick Walter Lorch (1874-1957). Frederick W. Lorch was born 24 August 1874 in Saratoga Springs, NY. He appears in census reports living in the Bronx in 1910, and registered for the World War I draft in 1918 when he said his occupation was "Real Estate & Insurance / In business for myself, 529 Cortlandt Ave., Bronx, NY." James J. Donovan, Inc., was located at 529 Cortlandt Ave. at this time. His death notice in the New York Times, 4 Feb. 1957, pg. 19, read, "Pelham, N. Y., Feb. 3 - Frederick W. Lorch, a retired real estate broker, died yesterday in New Rochelle Hospital after a stroke. His age was 83. Mr. Lorch, who lived here at 541 Third Avenue, had maintained a brokerage firm in the Bronx for many years until his retirement in 1932. He was born in New York. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Laura Brechter Lorch; a son, Paul; a daughter, Mrs. Joseph L. Auer; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren."

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