People & Stories Oral History Project: Aurelio Saiz

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.

3-27-70 Main at Mamaroneck

3-27-70 Main Street at Mamaroneck Avenue. The Arthur Murray Dance Studio was in the building the Saiz Family lived in.

9-29-57 Court St., looking toward the intersection of Main St. and Mamaroneck Ave.

9-29-57 Court Street, looking toward the intersection of Main St. and Mamaroneck Ave.

9-25-62 Main and Mamaroneck Ave

9-25-62 Main St. and Mamaroneck Ave.

11-30-65 Main at Mamk County Trust Sign

11-30-65 Main St. at Mamaroneck Ave. The County Trust sign and two stores occupying the lots where the Ritz-Carlton now stands.

11-30-65 Main at Mamaroneck County Trust Sign

11-30-65 A black and white version the same view, with Grace Church on the right and RKO Keith's on the left.

9-25-62 Druss Roemer Pharmacy Main at Mamaroneck

9-25-62 Main St. at Mamaroneck Ave. The Druss Roemer Pharmacy was on the first floor of the building on the corner. The old County Courthouse is visible on the right.

3-27-61 Main at Mamaroneck

3-27-61 Main St. at Mamaroneck Ave. The bright lights of the RKO Keith's marquee shone into the Saiz's apartment.

12-16-58 Main St at Mamaroneck Ave

12-16-58 Main St. at Mamaroneck Ave.



































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.

Categories: Local History and Oral History.