view all images ( of 11 shown)

Male, US, born 1868-06-22

Associated with the firms network

Breitung and Buchinger, Architects; Breitung and Jewett, Architects; Breitung, C. Alfred, Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Draftsman, Wilson and Edwards, Architects, Columbia, SC, 1897. (See Maloney Directory Company's Columbia City Directory 1897-1898, p. 128.)

Draftsman, Kansas City, MO, c. 1900.

Principal, C. Alfred Breitung, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1900-1905. In 1901 and 1902, he occupied Room #12 in the Colman Building in Seattle. (SeePolk's Seattle Directory Company's Seattle City Directory, 1901, p. 1268 andR.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1902, p. 272.)

Partner, Breitung and [Theobald] Buchinger, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1905-1907. In 1905, Breitung and Buchinger occupied two rooms of the Walker Block, #423-424. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1905, p.273.)

Principal, Conrad A. Breitung, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1908-1917. In 1908, Breitung placed an advertisement for office help in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Competent architectural draughtsman wanted; steady position. No other need apply. C.A. Breitung, 424 Walker Building." (See Breitung classified ad, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 06/18/1908, p. 12.) He continued to make his office in Room #424 of the Walker Building in 1915, (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1915, p. 424)and in 1916-1917 he had switched to Room #429 of the same building. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1916, p. 429.)

Breitung was last listed as an architect working in Seattle in the city's 1917 city directory. He did not appear in those of 1918 or 1919. It is possible, that Breitung faced some backlash from others regarding his German heritage and his apparent support for General Hindenberg and the German military cause during World War I.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington Chapter, 1910-1911.

Trustee, Washington State Society of Architects, Board of Trustees, 04/1917. He served with A. Warren Gould (President), William J. Jones (Secretary), Harry H. James (Trustee), William J. Jones (Trustee), J.L. McCauley (Trustee), and G.F. Rowe (Trustee.)

Personal

Relocation

Conradin Alfred Breitung, born in Kammerberg, Bavaria, Germany, about 38.5 km north of Munich, immigrated to the U.S. in 1888. (His naturalization paperwork wrote his hometown as "Commerberg.") This 1913 naturalization document indicated that traveled from Bremen to New York, NY, aboard the vessel "Allen," between 05/25/1888-06/05/1888. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (Nara); Washington, D.c.; Naturalization Records of the U.s. District Court For the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957; Microfilm Roll: 34; Microfilm Serial: M1542, accessed 10/22/2021.

It may have been that Breitung spent some time in Chicago, IL, c. 1894, as the name of "C.A. Breitung" appeared in a dead letter list for the week of 07/20/1894 in the German language Abendblatt der Illinois Staats-Zeitung, (See "Wöchentliche Briefliste," Abendblatt der Illinois Staats-Zeitung, 07/28/1894, n.p.) Chicago had a very large German-American community, and Breitung may have settled there because of this and the amount of construction work going on connected with the Columbian World's Exposition, although this likely slowed drastically following the Depression of 1893.

By 1897, Breitung and his wife lived at 1702 Main Street in Columbia, SC, where he worked in the architectural office of Wilson and Edwards. (See Maloney Directory Company's Columbia City Directory, 1897-1898, p. 128.)

Likely by 1899, the Breitungs had moved to Kansas City, MO. The US Census of 1900 indicated that Breitung and his wife, Jennie, lived with their infant daughter at 1625 Olive Street in Kansas City as late as 04/1900. Hoye's 1900 Directory for Kansas City, MO, (p. 147) listed the Breitungs as living at 1628 Olive Street.

His naturalization paperwork of 09/1913 stated that he had moved to WA State on 07/07/1900. He worked alone at first, and then in partnership with Theobald Buchinger, 1905-1907. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (Nara); Washington, D.c.; Naturalization Records of the U.s. District Court For the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957; Microfilm Roll: 34; Microfilm Serial: M1542, accessed 10/22/2021.) Breitung and his family resided at 919 Yakima Avenue in Seattle from 1902 through at least 1905. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1902, p. 272 andR.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1905, p. 273.)In c. 1907, they relocated to 1103 31st Avenue South in Seattle. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1907, p. 253.)

Breitung and his family lived at 531 23rd Avenue South c. 1910-1913. The 09/19/1913 Petition for Naturalization indicated the following: he made his intention to become a citizen 12/02/1905 in Seattle; Breitung came to Seattle on 07/04/1900; he had a building contractor--S. Normile--and a real estate broker--J. E. Langlois--as his witnesses at the Petition for Naturalization. Breitung, during 1915-1919, resided at 531 23rd Avenue South in Seattle. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1915, p. 434, and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1919, p. 455.)

In 1920, he lived with this wife and two children at 208 13th Avenue, Apartment C. (This building had four apartments at the time.) At age 51, he lived in this apartment with his wife and two children, Otto and Josephine. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1929; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 269; Image: 782, accessed 01/24/2017.) The Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1920, indicated that he lived at 208 30th Avenue, Apartment C, and that he listed himself as an architect. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1920, p. 261.)

Conrad Breitung did not appear in the Seattle City Directory, 1921, although his wife did. She resided in Apartment A at 208 30th Avenue. (SeeSeattle, Washington, City Directory, 1921, p. 374.) She also appeared at the same address in the following year. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1922, p. 395.) She did not appear in the Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1924, although William O. Breitung, their son, did. He had married by this point. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1924, p. 367.)

Ochsner et al., hypothesized that Breitung "intended" to move to San Antonio, TX, c. 1922. (See Shaping Seattle Architecture, Jeffrey Ochsner, ed., [Seattle: University of WA Press, 1994], p. 295.) The architect's name did not appear in the city directory of San Antonio during the early 1920s.

C. Alfred Breitung disappeared from Seattle by late 1920 or early 1921. His wife left the state by 1922 or 1923. The next city directory listing for her was in 1933 in Southern CA, and she is listed as the "widow of C.A." Breitung. She appeared in the 1930 US Census that indicated that she had divorced Breitung. She resided at 2281 Parnell Avenue Los Angeles, CA, with her son William O. Breitung, who was also listed as being divorced in 1930. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 2339870, accessed 10/22/2021.)

A 1933 Los Angeles City Directory listing indicated that Jennie was a widow who lived at 2281 Parnell Avenue in West Los Angeles. (See Los Angeles Directory Company's Bay Cities Directory, 1933, p. 90.)

He appears to have died between 1920-1926. As most of his family lived from at least 1926-on in Southern California, it is likely that he moved there from Seattle, or died elsewhere. An article in the German-language newspaper Süd California Deutsche zeitung.of 11/03/1922, indicated that a "C.A. Breitung" had designed the newly opened Otto Building at the corner of 7th and B Streets in San Diego, CA. (See "Eröffnung des Otto Gebaudes," Süd California Deutsche zeitung, 11/03/1922, p. 3.) One possible clue as to Breitung's end was a CA State death listing for an "Alfred Brietung" who died on 09/12/1925 in either Santa Clara or Santa Clara County, CA. This man died at age 56, making him very close to the same age as the architect.

Spouse

In 1920, Breitung was married to Jennie Mary Cook c. 1897 (born c. 1882 in SC-d. 02/14/1937 in Los Angeles, CA). Her parents both had come from SC. The US Census of 1900 indicated her birth to have been in 01/1880.

It appears that she divorced Conrad by c. 1921 and moved to Southern CA by about 1922. This divorce could have been difficult for Breitung both personally and professionally. A practicing Catholic himself, Conrad Breitung maintained close relations with the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and a divorce would likely have been frowned upon by the church hierarchy and may have dimmed his chances of getting further commissions from it.

In 1926, Mrs Jennie M. Breitung's name appeared in the Indexes of Registered Voters in Los Angeles, CA. Her occupation was given as "Saleswoman," she voted Democratic, and her residence was 715 South Gage Street, Laguna Precinct #6, Los Angeles. From c. 1933-1936, Jennie Breitung was a housewife and her address was 2281 Parnell Avenue, West Los Angeles, as was that of her son, William O. Breitung, a salesman, and Robert M. Braggins, Jr., an electrical engineer. She died on 02/14/1937 in Los Angeles. (See "Deaths," Los Angeles Times, 02/14/1937. p. B14.)

Children

Breitung had four children: Mary Elizabeth Breitung Edwards Bystrom (born 07/06/1899 in Kansas City, MO-died 06/06/1984 in San Diego, CA), Helen Lucilia Breitung (born 04/18/1903 in Seattle, WA-d. -d. 07/10/1923 in Lake Oswego, OR), Otto Alphonso Breitung (born 03/08/1905 in Seattle, WA-d. 05/17/1974 in Los Angeles, CA) and Jennie Josephine Breitung Rickert (born Seattle, WA, 06/01/1908-died Los Angeles, CA, 06/25/1997).

In 1917, Mary, who worked as a telephone operator, lived with her parents at 531 23rd Avenue South in Seattle. She also married in this year. A notice in the Seattle Daily Times "Society" column stated: "Miss Mary E. Breitung, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Alfred Breitung of 531 Twenty-third Avenue South, this morning at 9 o'clock became the bride of Mr. Harold W.J. Edwards. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Anthony Fischer of St. Mary's Church. Miss Helen Breitung, sister of the bride, was her only attendant nad Mr. Kenneth F. Scott acted as best man for the groom." (See "Society," Seattle Daily Times, 08/20/1917, p. 11.)

Helen became a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Agneda, who taught in parochial schools. She passed away from tuberculosis at the Convent of Holy Names in Lake Oswego. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Oregon State Archives; Salem, Oregon; Oregon, Death Records, 1864-1967, accessed 10/22/2021.)

Otto was known as William O. Breitung, and his birthday was recorded in the CA Death Index as 03/08/1905 rather than 03/04/1905. (The King County Birth Register indicated the birthday to have been 03/08/1905.) Between 1938 and 1940, at least, he lived in West Los Angeles and worked as a salesman at Oviatt's in Downtown Los Angeles, the famous men's clothing store. (See Los Angeles A-L, California, City Directory, 1938, p. 303 andSee Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for California, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 202, accessed 10/22/2021.)William died in Los Angeles, 05/17/1974, his last residence near Beverly Hills, CA.

Biographical Notes

The US Census of 1900 indicated that Breitung lived in Kansas City, MO, and was born in 06/1870. Both US Censuses of 1900 and 1920 called the architect "Conrad Alfred Breitung." An "Index to Declarations of Intentions and Petitions for Naturalization" dated 05/17/1913 included the name of Conrad Alfred Breitung. He went by the names "C. Alfred Breitung," "C.A. Breitung" and less frequently "Conrad Breitung." This document, in his own hand, indicated that his name was "Conradin."

Breitung was well-connected within Seattle's German-American and Austrian-American social circles in 1915. An article in the Seattle Daily Times described a local fundraising event staged by local German and Austrian-Americans that involved an ancient ritual of pounding nails into a tree for charity. For their purpose, the Seattle Germans wanted to create a bust of General Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (1847-1934) and place it atop a stand. They would then auction off five ceremonial nails that would be pounded into the pedestal for charity. Proceeds would benefit "indigent Germans and Austrian in Seattle and for the German-Austrian Red Cross." (This charitable giving to Germany and memorialization of a German military leader would not have been completely popular in the US in 1915 as German U-boats were menacing trans-Atlantic shipping approaching Britain at the time. The Cunard liner R.M.S. Lusitania had been sunk on 05/07/1915, killing 1,198 passengers, 128 of them Americans.) According to the article: "The Von Hindenburg bust is being made by Sculptor George Fischer of Seattle, while Architect C. Alfred Breitung is designing the hand-carved pedestal on which it will rest." (See "Teutons Plan on Raising Big Fund," Seattle Daily Times, 11/14/1915, p. 12.)

A strange note appeared in the wedding announcement of Josephine Dale Chapman, the granddaughter of C.A. Breitung, published in 09/1951. This announcement mentioned the architect saying: "The bride is the granddaughter of the late Conrad Alfred Breitung, prominent architect and builder in the Pacific Northwest. He dropped his title of Baron von Bretton, when he came to America." (See "Josephine Chapman Weds in Los Angeles," Roseburg News-Review, 09/24/1951, p. 8.)



Associated Locations

PCAD id: 2253