NEW YORK - William and Diana Brenneisen bought a house on East 9th Street in what used to be known as "Old Town Gravesend" back in 1969.  

"We bought the house and people came by and said you know who was born and raised here? We didn't know right away. They said it was her, Ginsburg. We kept it in our mind," said William Brenneisen.


What You Need To Know

  • William and Diana Brenneisen unknowingly bought Ruth Bader Ginsburg's childhood home back in 1969  

  • They found out about a year later that Ginsburg grew up in the house they raised their family

  • Strangers have come to visit over the years and since her passing to get a glimpse at her Brooklyn history


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during her Senate confirmation hearing in 1993, that she was a Brooklynite - born and bred.  

She grew up in this house on a quiet block in Midwood and attended nearby James Madison High School.

Diana Brenneisen was a legal secretary back when she and her husband purchased it.

At work she learned of Ginsburg's time with the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"What we personally like about her is fighting for the women's rights. I hope personally that whomever should fill her shoes, it is gonna be hard, will be a woman," said Diana Brenneisen.

The Brenneisen's raised two girls here and often have their young granddaughter visit.

They Have not changed the house much since they bought it.

"Sorta makes you feel part of her history in a sense that she resided here and like my granddaughter says, Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Nana and Poppy's place," added Diana.

The Brenneisen's say Ginsburg never came back to see her childhood home since they’ve owned it but since her death people have stopped by to get a glimpse of her history.

And it is not the first time strangers have visited.  

"When she was nominated, there was one or two people to find out the history of Ruth Ginsburg," recalled Diana. 

As proud Brooklynites themselves, they are happy to share an address with a woman they call an American icon.  

"She showed you, you didn't have to be 6 foot 5 to be a factor. For a little woman she stood for a lot," added William. 

The Brenneisens say many have offered to buy the house because of its connection to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but they say they are not interested in selling.