I contacted Meta to ask about a fire that once damaged the venerable “Schuster’s Hall”. (According to Sidney S. it was the “Jacob Schuster Auditorium”.)
In her response which I shall quote momentarily we learn the story behind the picture of Rav Breuer ZT’L mounitng the top step of the unique super-stairway up to Ft. Washington Avenue. Remember, he never lived there. He lived on 181st Street, in the apartment occupied today by Mr. Schnerb hbl’cht.
So here it is:
Yes, Mendy, there was a fire in 90 Bennett in the basement, something with the boiler went wrong. – I remember that the front room had lockers where people put their Friday pay checks – or cash – when they rushed from work to come to Shul. That room was not affected and the people got their money out.
So, it must have been in the winter.
But repairs had to be made, and the place up the steps on Ft. Washington Avenue and 187 Street(which is now a Bank and next to it a large grocery) which became our Shul and Talmud Tora classes. I think a few months later we moved back to 90 Bennett.
I cannot remember dates or year. But there is a picture of R. Breuer approaching the steps on Ft. Washington Avenue.