Did you know that Juanita Castro, Fidel's sister, spent a night in White Plains? That story and many others come from Aurelio Saiz's oral history in which he describes moving with his family to White Plains from Cuba. The Saiz Family lived in a building on the corner of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue at a time when dozens of businesses had elaborate storefronts and narrower streets still accommodated two-way traffic. His bedroom windows were directly across from the marquee of RKO Keith's Theater! Saiz is a great storyteller. He conveys a vivid version of growing up on the streets of downtown White Plains before urban renewal and includes tons of details from daily life. This is essential listening for anyone who wants to remember or learn what White Plains was like in the 1950s and 1960s.
All of the pictures in this post come from the Peter Kanze Collection, part of the White Plains Collection. Peter Kanze, a former resident and local historian, bought the photographs at an estate sale in White Plains. It is possible they were taken by someone in the insurance business.