Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bill and Kitty McKnight

William McKnight is the son of LeBrun (Brunie) Rhinelander. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Philip Jacob Rhinelander arrived in New York in 1686 from Germany, settling in New Rochelle. Philip’s son William started a bakeshop on William Street and established the family precedent of investing in city realty.

He lived in a house on Spruce Street that was still in the family at the beginning of the 20th Century. The most famous Rhinelander property in New York today is the present Ralph Lauren store at 72nd and Madison Avenue. The building, built in 1898 by Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo (who never moved in), was occupied by her sister and nephew, who lived there into the 1920s.

The McKnights are lifelong New Yorkers who brought up their family here and on the family property in Southampton and move easily within the society they grew up in and the newer members of their social circle. A very popular couple, they love to travel to Europe annually.