Who was Nelly Murray?

1938 letter
View letter full size.

We’re working on submitting permits to DOB for the renovation, and they want records showing the historical use of the house as a three family building. The first thing we noticed is that I’m the first non-Irish person listed on any record having to do with the house ever!

More importantly, we came across a letter from what became the DOB from 1939, stating that the house was used as a three family and the bungalow as a two family as far back as 1928. The house was built in 1920– we thought it was a one family for longer. Guess not.

I wonder: who was Nelly Murray?

Holland – 125 Beach 91st Street
May 26, 1939

A classification of the above building as a class A Multiple Dwelling was denied on the ground that the Department of Buildings’ plan #4382/33 stated that the premises was occupied as a two family dwelling. The owner, Mrs. Nelly Murray, called at this office on May 22nd and stated that the building in question has been occupied as a three family dwelling since 1927 and that the Department of Building Plan mentioned above referred to 125-A Beach 91st St., a two story building adjoined at the rear.

On May 26th, 1938, Mrs. Murray submitted from the Queens Borough Gas and Electric Co. a letter, which tends to substantiate her statement to the effect that the Department of Building Plan #4382/33 referred to 125-A Beach 91st st. Furthermore, the record in the division of Housing showed that the building was occupied by three families as far back as 1928. Because at that time an illegal conversion violation was pending.

In view of this, the owner of the building is unquestionably legally entitled to have the building classified as a three family heretofore converted Class A multiple dwelling and I hereby direct.

George Berryman
Acting Chief Inspector – Queens