Greenwich Village Literary Tour
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ST. LUKE'S PLACE
WASHINGTON SQUARE EAST
WASHINGTON SQUARE NORTH
WASHINGTON SQUARE SOUTH
WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST
SOURCES FOR THE STREET GUIDE NOTES
FOR FURTHER READING
GREENWICH VILLAGE IN FICTION & DRAMA
MOVIES WITH GREENWICH VILLAGE AS A LOCATION AND INVOLVING “LITERATURE”
SOME FAMOUS PAINTINGS OF GREENWICH VILLAGE
NEW YORK CITY LINKS
A HISTORY OF GREENWICH VILLAGE
13 Astor Place Astor Place Opera House: “On May 10, 1849, an angry crowd of more than ten thousand fans of the American actor Edwin Forrest surrounded this building during a performance of Madbeth starring tragedian Charles Macready. The ensuing riot that night was the culmination of a bitter feud between the two rival actors and their fervent admirers. Macready had come to symbolize and magnify a deep-rooted anti-English resentment held by many of the city’s poor. Thirty-one people died and 150 were injured in what became known as the ‘Astor Place Riots.’ The damaged hall was reconstructed and named Clinton Hall.” (Bunyan)
1 Bank St. In 1913, shortly after the publication of O Pioneers!, Willa Cather, age 40, moved to a seven-room, second-floor apartment in a large brick house here. She lived with her companion Edith Lewis and wrote My Antonia (the third of a trilogy about immigrants in the United States), Death Comes to the Archbishop, and several other novels. When she became successful, Cather rented the apartment above hers and kept it empty to ensure perfect quiet. Her Friday afternoon at-homes here were frequented by D.H. Lawrence, among others. Unlike many Village writers of her day, Cather eschewed the radical scene and took little interest in politics. (Source: Frommer’s) 1 Bank St is now the site of Haus Interior.
27 Bank St Allen Tate lived in the basement apartment here in 1927 when he was writing his biography of Stonewall Jackson. He served as the janitor in lieu of rent
63 Bank St. Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died here, Feb. 2, 1979. (Bunyan 66)
155 Bank St. Diane Arbus committed suicide in her apartment here, July 28, 1971. (Bunyan 67)
75 1/2 Bedford St. “The narrowest house in the Village (a mere 9 1/2 feet across), this three-story brick residence was built on the site of a former carriage alley in 1873. Pretty, redheaded, feminist poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who arrived in the Village fresh from Vassar, lived here from 1923 (the year she won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry) to 1925. Other famous occupants of the narrow house have included a young Cary Grant and John Barrymore.” (Source: Frommer’s)
86 Bedford St.; tel. 212/675-4449 ) Chumley’s opened in 1926 in a former blacksmith's shop. During Prohibition, it was a speakeasy with a casino upstairs. Its convoluted entranceway with four steps up and four down (designed to slow police raiders), the lack of a sign outside, and a back door that opens on an alleyway are remnants of that era. Original owner Lee Chumley was a radical labor sympathizer who held secret meetings of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) on the premises. Chumley's has long been a writer's bar. Its walls are lined with book jackets of works by famous patrons who, over the years, have included Edna St. Vincent Millay (she once lived upstairs), Edna Ferber, Ring Lardner, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, e.e. cummings, John Dos Passos, Eugene O' Neill, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Lionel Trilling, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Gregory Corso, Calvin Trillin, and Harvey Fierstein. Even the elusive J.D. Salinger hoisted a few at the bar here, and Simone de Beauvoir came by when she was in town. With its working fireplaces (converted blacksmith forges), wood-plank flooring, amber lighting, and old, carved-up oak tables, Chumley's lacks nothing in the way of mellowed atmosphere. Think about returning for drinks or dinner. A blackboard menu features fresh pasta and grilled fish. Open nightly from 5pm to an arbitrary closing time, Chumley's also offers brunch on weekends. (Source: Frommer’s)
102 Bedford St. Twin Peaks was reconstructed in 1925 for artists’ housing (apartments rented for $68.50 a month). (Stonehill) Often called "Twin Peaks", this building was renovated in 1926 when a wealthy patron of the arts, Otto Kahn, sought to create a home for creative artists in a fanciful building that would enliven the surrounding neighborhood.
Corner of Bedford and Grove
23 Bethune St. Photographer Walker Evans and photographer/painter Ben Shaln were roommates here in the 1930s. (Bunyan 68)
33 Bleecker Street Herman Melville lived here, age five to nine (the family later moved to 675 Broadway, site of the Grand Hotel) (Bunyan 68)
Bleecker and Mercer (southeast corner) African Grove Theater, the first African American theater in the US, opened 1821 (location debated). The company performed Othello and other Shakespeare plays; lasted only two seasons; according to legend, whites were required to sit in the rear of the theater. (Bunyan 69)
65 Bleecker Street, Bayard Building New York City's only building by Louis Sullivan, this loft building displays the architects acclaimed decorative design skills. Long famous for its unexpected presence on a narrow, dark street, the building is frequently visited by students of architecture from the United States and around the world. (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
102 Bleecker Street John Lloyd Stephens, American travel writer, lived here
144 Bleecker Street, Mori's Restaurant, “long one of the literary landmarks of the town” in the late 1800s and early 1900s, owned by Placido Mori and his wife, from Tuscany, frequented by “actors, authors, painters, and musicians” (Wilson 86).
145 Bleecker St. James Fenimore Cooper, author of 32 novels, plus a dozen works of nonfiction, lived here in 1833. Though he is primarily remembered for romantic adventure stories of American frontier—especially Leatherstocking Tales, the epic of frontiersman Natty Bumppo (written over a period of 19 years)—Cooper also wrote political commentary, naval history, sea stories, and a group of novels about the Middle Ages. (Frommer’s) When Cooper lived here, this block of Bleecker Street was called Carroll Place; he lived at number 4. (Edmiston & Cirino)
159 Bleecker St. Circle in the Square Theater Founded by Ted Mann and Jose Quintero in 1951 at the site of an abandoned nightclub on Sheridan Square, the theater moved to Bleecker Street in 1959. It was one of the first arena, or "in-the-round," theaters in the United States. Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke (starring Geraldine Page), Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (starring Jason Robards, Jr.), Thorton Wilder's Plays for Bleecker Street, Truman Capote's The Grass Harp, and Jean Genet's The Balcony all premiered here. Actors Colleen Dewhurst, Dustin Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Jason Robards, George C. Scott, and Peter Falk honed their craft on the Circle in the Square stage. The theater continues to present high-quality productions. (Frommer’s)
160 Bleecker St. The Atrium. This 19th-century beaux arts building by Ernest Flagg is today a posh apartment building. Before becoming the sadly defunct Village Gate jazz club in the late 1950s, this former flophouse was Theodore Dreiser's first New York residence (in 1895, he paid 25¢ a night for a cell-like room). (Frommer’s) This is the only survivor of a group of three men's hotels built by Mills in New York City. Built as a hostel for poor gentlemen, this block-wide building contained 1,500 tiny rooms available at affordable rates. The hotel was closed during the day to encourage its residents to seek work. The hotel was built in accordance with the 1879 Tenement House Law known as the 'Old Law.' With two 60-square foot airshafts penetrating a structure that occupies four city lots, this building exemplifies Flagg's main proposals for changes in the zoning laws. A major lobbyist for housing reform, Flagg might have been inspired by the layout of the Dakota , or by the apartment buildings he had seen in Paris during his studies abroad. (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
172 Bleecker St. This is where James Agee lived in a top-floor railroad flat from 1941 to 1951, after he completed Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Though the book enjoyed a great vogue in the 1960s, it was originally scathingly reviewed and went out of print in 1948 after selling a mere 1,025 copies. Time magazine called it "the most distinguished failure of the season." Rallying from critical buffets during his Bleecker Street tenancy, Agee created the screenplay for The African Queen and worked as a movie critic for both Time and The Nation. He had to move from this walk-up apartment after he suffered a heart attack. (Frommer’s) Now Café Espanol is on this site.
184-186 Bleecker St. Café Figaro (tel. 212/677-1100) is an old beat-generation haunt. In 1969, Village residents were disheartened to see the Figaro close and in its place arise an uninspired and sterile Blimpie's. In 1976, the present owner completely restored Figaro to its earlier appearance, replastering its walls once again with shellacked copies of the French newspaper Le Figaro. Stop in for pastries and coffee or an omelet and absorb the atmosphere, or sit at a sidewalk table to watch the Village parade by. (Frommer’s)
189 Bleecker St. The San Remo café: see 93 MacDougal Street. For several decades, beginning in the late 1920s, the San Remo (today Carpo's Cafe), an Italian restaurant at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Streets, was a writer's hangout frequented by . famous bohemian hangout of Miles Davis, Tennessee Williams, James Agee, Jackson Pollock, W.H. Auden, Frank O'Hara, James Baldwin, Village character Maxwell Bodenheim, photographer Weegee, William Styron, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Dylan Thomas, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. John Clellon Holmes wrote about the San Remo in his 1952 novel, Go, one of the first published works of the beat generation. Gore Vidal once picked up Jack Kerouac here. Lost popularity because the bartenders beat up the customers once too often. (Frommer’s and other sources)
190 Bleecker Street Beat Poet Gregory Corso was born here, above a funeral parlor, March 26, 1930. (Bunyan 71)
276 Bleecker Street, cheese store
259 Bleecker Street, Bread Store
259 Bleecker Street, then and now (Changing New York)
293 Bleecker, Thomas Paine lived here for a while, beginning in 1808, before moving to 59 Grove, where he died in 1809.
337 Bleecker is the former residence of Lorraine Hansberry, the African-American paywright who wrote A Raisin in the Sun. She was the first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics circle Award for Best Play of the Year. (NYU Tour)
309 Bleecker Street Home of Thomas Paine
393 Bleecker Street Mark Van Doren and his wife lived here
413 Bleecker Street. Pingpank Barber Shop, Now the location of Leo Design.
Bleecker and Christopher Streets
22 Bowery, site of the first NYC YMCA, home to William Burroughs for a time.
46-48 Bowery, Bowery Theater, opened 1826, the first theater to be lighted with gas and the first American theater to have a ballet performance (1827). An anti-abolitionist mob sacked the auditorium after an English actor, George Percy Farren, allegedly made some anti-American comments against slavery. (Bunyan 73)
201 Bowery, Tony Pastor’s Opera House, a concert saloon opened in 1865 and helped make vaudeville respectable by cleaning up the acts—no offensive language or behavior, and no smoking and drinking. (Bunyan 74)
Bowery and Bayard, New England Hotel Stephen Foster, composer, was found here in a run down hotel, naked, bleeding, taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died a few days later. (Bunyan 72)
667-77 Broadway, Winter Garden Theater, replaced the Metropolitan Hall on this site after it burned down in 1859; all three Booth brothers performed here together (the only time in their careers) for a performance of Julius Caesar in 1864, less than five months before John Wilkes assassinated Lincoln. His brother Edwin vowed never to act again, but financial circumstances forced a return. The Winter Garden was replaced by the Grand Central Hotel, which collapsed in 1973, killing four. (Bunyan 85)
721 Broadway, home of the New York Hotel, opened in 1844, an “innovative” hotel that was the first to introduce room service and an a la carte menu. August Brenatano opened a bookselling business in the lobby; popular among southerners during the civil war, thought to be a hotbed of Confederate spies and blockade runners. The hotel was five stories high and covered most of the block; had a famous French chef; off the beaten track in its day, when most of the action was lower on Broadway, it became chic. (In fact, it was thought to be a “wild and perilous undertaking” it was so far from the gentile neighborhood. It also featured new amenities such as indoor plumbing on every floor and individual room keys. Building taken down in 1893, replaced by loft building, a craze at the time, called the New York Commercial Building. (Gallatin continues the tradition with its innovative curriculum of a la carte courses and student services and individualized keys, and in the renovated space, there will be indoor plumbing.)
839 Broadway, the Roosevelt Building, whose rooftop served as the first movie theater of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company of the 1890s.
12 Centre Street Walt Whitman lived at a boardinghouse here in 1842, of which he writes in a story for the New York Aurora about getting home late one evening and being locked out, forced to spend the night in a city shelter. (Bunyan)
between West and Washington Streets
16-18 Charles Street
69 Charles St. (formerly 10 Van Nest Place) Sinclair Lewis lived here.
79 Charles St. (formerly 15 Van Nest Place) Hart Crane lived here. (Edmiston and Cirino)
25 Charleston Street: Edna St Vincent Millay and her family lived here in 1918.
51 Christopher Street, The Stonewall Inn, where a police raid on June 28, 1969, gave birth to the gay rights movement.
84 Christopher St. between Bleeker and 4th St. is a former residence of actress Sally Kirkland. Robert DeNiro and Rip Torn used to rehearse scenes here. (Source: NYU Tour)
121 Christopher St. – The Lucille Lortel Theatre opened in 1954 and is one of the oldest Off-Broadway playhouses. It was known as the Theatre De Lys until 1981 when it was renamed to the Lucille Lortel. Kurt Weil’s Three Penny Opera had its New York premiere here. Volunteer ushering can also be done here. Just call a few days or weeks in advance with two available dates. For more information, visit www.lortel.org. (Source: NYU Tour)
236 Church Street. “The first newspaper in the United States owned and published by African Americans, Freedom’s Journal, was launched at this site in 1827, the same year slavery was abolished in New York State. The Reverend Smauel Cornish and John Russwurm, the frst African American to receive a college education in the United States, edited the paper. The paper’s goal was printed in the first issue: ‘We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. . . .’” (Bunyan 95)
Church and Leonard Street (sw corner), Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, site of the first church built by and for African Americans in NYC (1796); Sojourner Truth renounced her slave name here. (Bunyan 95-6)
Church and Leonard Street (nw corner), Italian Opera House, the first theater in the US designed exclusively for opera; it became the National Theater, burned down in 1839, rebuilt, burned again.
11 Commerce St. Washington Irving wrote "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" while living in this quaint three-story brick building. Born into a prosperous New York family, he penned biographies of naval heroes as an officer in the War of 1812. In 1819, under the name Geoffrey Crayon, he wrote The Sketch Book, which contained the stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Westminster Abbey," and "Rip Van Winkle." Irving was one of the elite New Yorkers who served on the planning commission for Central Park and was ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. He coined the phrase "the almighty dollar" and once observed that "A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only tool that grows keener with constant use." (Source: Frommer’s)
38 Commerce St Nestled in a bend in the street (following the bend of Dutch Governor Wouter Van Twiller’s farm in the 1630s) the Cherry Lane Theatre, founded in 1924 by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Famed scenic designer Cleon Throckmorton transformed the Revolutionary-era building (originally a farm silo, later a brewery and a box factory) into a playhouse that presented works by Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot and Endgame premiered here), Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Harold Pinter. In 1951, Judith Malina and Julian Beck founded the ultra-experimental Living Theatre on its premises. Before rising to megafame, Barbra Streisand worked as a Cherry Lane usher.
Commerce Street, Nos. 39-41, then and now (Changing New York)
48 Commerce St. In Commerce Street's bend is a Greek Revival house fronted by a bona-fide working gas lamp and built in 1844 for malicious merchant maven A.T. Stewart. (Source: Frommer’s)
50 Commerce St. The Blue Mill Tavern was a hangout for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, accused of spying for the Soviet Union and playwright Eugene O’Neill. It has been featured in The Brothers McMullen, Woody Allen’s Anything Else and the final episode of Sex and the City. (Source: NYU Tour)
41 Cooper Square, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Cooper Union Foundation Building: Peter Cooper wanted to provide educational opportunities for all citizens regardless of class. Therefore, he established a school of higher learning with a mandate to provide free schooling and training for working-class students. Augustus Saint Gaudens, the sculptor, remembered Cooper coming by his workbench when he was a youth, suggesting that the young cameo jeweler attend night classes at the Cooper Union. Cooper is memorialized by Saint Gaudens who build a monument to the philanthropist in front of the brownstone, round-arched building designed by a German-born architect.
31 Cornelia St Next door, at 31 Cornelia St., once stood the Caffè Cino, which opened in 1958 and served cappuccino in shaving mugs. In the early 1960s, owner Joe Cino encouraged aspiring playwrights, such as Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard, and John Guare, to stage readings and performances in his cramped storefront space. Experimentation in this tiny cafe gave birth to New York's off-Broadway theater. Plagued by money troubles, Cino committed suicide in 1967; Caffè Cino closed a year later. (Source: Frommer’s)
33 Cornelia St. Throughout the 1940s, James Agee lived on Bleecker Street and worked in a studio at this address. Here he completed final revisions on Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which portrayed the bleak lives of Alabama sharecroppers.
165 East Broadway, Garden Cafeteria, an earlier restaurant on this stie was popular among Yiddish intellectuals, many of whom worked for the Jewish Daily Forward; among the diners, Emma Goldman, Leon Trotsky, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. (Bunyan 99)
173-75 East Broadway, offices of the Jewish Daily Forward, founded 1897.
197 East Broadway, The Education Alliance, originally the Hebrew Institute, founded 1889.
14 Gay Street In the 1920s, Ruth McKenney lived in the basement of here with her sister Eileen, who later married Nathanael West. It was the setting for McKenney's zany My Sister Eileen stories, which were first published in the New Yorker and then collected into a book. They were then turned into a popular stage comedy that ran on Broadway from 1940 to 1942, followed by a Broadway musical version called Wonderful Town and two movie versions. (Source: Frommer’s)
Gay Street, Nos. 14-16, then and now (Changing New York)
18 Gay Street: During Prohibition, this street held several speakeasies. Mary McCarthy, living here, “exulted in being poor and alone” after separating from her first husband. (Edmiston and Cirino)
45 Greenwich Avenue In 1947, William Styron came to New York from North Carolina to work as a junior editor at McGraw-Hill. He moved here in 1951 after a stint in the marines and the success of his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness. Styron originally showed manuscript pages from that novel, begun at age 23, to Hiram Haydn, a Bobbs-Merrill editor whose writing class he was taking at the New School. Haydn told Styron he was too advanced for the class and took an option on the novel. (Source: Frommer’s)
51-55 Greenwich Avenue
91 Greenwich Ave. At the beginning of the 20th century, Max Eastman was editor of a radical left-wing literary magazine called The Masses. The magazine at this address published, among others, Max Eastman, John Reed, Floyd Dell, Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Upton Sinclair, Edgar Lee Masters, e.e. cummings, and Louis Untermeyer. John Sloan, Stuart Davis, Picasso, and George Bellows provided art for its pages, which a newspaper columnist dismissed thusly: “They draw nude women for The Masses, Thick, fat, ungainly lasses-- How does that help the working classes?” The Masses was suppressed by the Justice Department in 1918 because of its opposition to World War I and Reed, Eastman, political cartoonist Art Young, and writer/literary critic Floyd Dell were put on trial under the Espionage Act and charged with conspiracy to obstruct recruiting and prevent enlistment. Pacifist Edna St. Vincent Millay read poems to the accused to help pass the time while juries were out. The trials all ended in hung juries. (Source: Frommer’s)
666 Greenwich St. Architects Willoughby J. Edbrooke, William Martin Aiken, James Knox. Built near the waterfront as a warehouse for the U.S. Customs Service, this 10-story building was the largest structure to date in Greenwich Village. It is a typical Romanesque Revival building featuring round Roman arches, wide piers, and massive brick walls that are as thick as three feet at the base. Above, the masonry facade is broken by regularly spaced square and arched windows and a heavy cornice with arched corbel tables. Soon after its completion, the building was taken over by the U.S. Federal Archives. Since each floor contained over one acre of square footage, it was highly suitable as storage space for the agency's archival materials. Renovated in 1988, the building was converted into 479 rental apartments offering views over the Hudson waterfront and the West Village. An interior atrium was carved into the center of the building and retail spaces were integrated into the base. Some of the income generated from the building is used for historic preservation activities under the jurisdiction of the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Photo (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
10/12 Grove Court (between Beford and Hudson, at 10 - 12 Grove Street): “it’s said that O. Henry was inspired to write The Last Leaf after he’d read Murger’s Scenes de la Vie de Boheme and been taken to Grove Court to see ‘the most picturesque bit of rear tenement that remains in New York.’” (Source: Stonehill)
14-16 Grove Street
Contrasting pictures, old and new, adjacent to Twin Peaks on Bedford
17 Grove St. Parts of this picturesque wood-frame house date to the early 1800s. A friend of James Baldwin's lived here in the 1960s, and Baldwin frequently stayed at the house. Baldwin, whose fiery writings coincided with the inception of the civil rights movement, once said, "The most dangerous creation of any society is that man who has nothing to lose." (Source: Frommer’s)
42 Grove St. is the Pink Teacup, southern cusine enjoyed by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, and Pee-Wee Herman. And everything inside is really pink. (NYY tour)
45 Grove St. Originally a freestanding two-story building, this was, in the 19th century, one of the Village's most elegant mansions, surrounded by verdant lawns with greenhouses and stables. Built in 1830, it was refurbished with Italianate influences in 1870. This is where John Wilkes Booth supposedly plotted the Lincoln assassination with his coconspirators. The building also served as a hospital during the Spanish-American War. In the movie Reds, which is based on the life of John Reed, 45 Grove was portrayed (inaccurately) as Eugene O'Neill's house. Ohio-born poet Hart Crane rented a second-floor room at 45 Grove St. in 1923 and began writing his poetic portrait of America, The Bridge (Hart depicted the Brooklyn Bridge as a symbol of America's westward expansion). During his childhood, Crane was constantly traveling with his mother, which kept him from finishing school; nonetheless, he was a voracious reader and brilliantly self-educated. By the time he was 17, his poetry had been published in prestigious New York magazines. In later years, frustrated by frequent rejection from magazines and other exigencies of his craft, Crane would occasionally toss his typewriter out the window. Often moody and despondent, he was chronically in debt, plagued by guilt over homosexual encounters on the nearby docks, and given to almost nightly alcoholic binges; fellow Villager e.e. cummings once found him passed out on a sidewalk, bundled him into a taxi, and had him driven home. In 1932, returning by ship from Mexico (where, on a Guggenheim fellowship, he had been attempting to write an epic poem about Montezuma), Crane made sexual advances to a crew member, was badly beaten up, and jumped into the waters to his death at the age of 33. (Source: Frommer’s)
53 Grove St. The Stonewall The current bar in this spot shares a name with its more famous predecessor, the Stonewall Inn. This bar was the scene of the Stonewall riots of June 1969, when gay customers decided to resist the police during a routine raid. The event launched the lesbian and gay rights movement and is commemorated throughout the country every year with gay pride parades. (Source: Frommer’s) Now the 53 Grove Street Café
59 Grove St. English-born American revolutionary/political theorist/writer Thomas Paine died here in 1809. Paine came to America (with the help of Benjamin Franklin) in 1774, and in 1776 he produced his famous pamphlet, The Crisis, which begins with the words: "These are the times that try men's souls." After fighting in the American Revolution, he returned to England to advocate the overthrow of the British monarchy. Indicted for treason, he escaped to Paris and became a French citizen; while imprisoned there during the Terror, he wrote The Age of Reason. He returned to the United States in 1802, where he was vilified for his atheism. Benjamin Franklin once said to Paine, "Where liberty is, there is my country." To which Paine replied: "Where liberty is not, there is mine." The downstairs space has always been a restaurant, which today is called Marie’s Crisis (named after Paine’s “The Crisis” pamphlet). Though the building Paine lived in burned down, some of the interior brickwork is original. Of note is a WPA-era mural behind the bar depicting the French and American Revolutions. Up a flight of stairs is another mural (a wood-relief carving) called La Convention, depicting Robespierre, Danton, and Thomas Paine. In the 1920s, you might have spotted anyone from Eugene O'Neill to Edward VIII of England here. (Source: Frommer’s)
123 Hudon Street Horace Greeley lived here in the 1800s, founding editor of the New Yorker, later founder of the New York Tribune,
477 - 485 Hudson St. Church of St. Luke’s in the Fields, built in 1821. The Parish House was the boyhood home of Bret Harte, author of The Luck of Roaring Camp.
567 Hudson The White Horse Tavern, a literary hangout where Dylan Thomas overdosed on drink. Other famous patrons include The Clancy Brothers (who performed at the establishment), Bob Dylan, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Seymour Krim, Richard Fariña, Jane Jacobs, and Hunter S. Thompson.
17 King Street In 1951 James Agee bought a rundown old house at this address and lived here until his death in 1955.
376 Lafayette Street. This loft building is an early work of architect Henry J. Hardenbergh who designed many hotels and apartment buildings in New York City, including the Dakota and the Plaza Hotel. (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
542 Laguardia Place, between W. 3rd Street and Bleecker, Keith Haring had a home here.
Add text on Whitney etc
1 MacDougal Alley
93 MacDougal (corner of Bleecker) The San Remo bar: see 189 Bleecker Street.
113 MacDougal St. at Minetta Lane (tel. 212/475-3850) the Minetta Tavern was a speakeasy called the Black Rabbit during Prohibition. The most unlikely event to take place here in those wild days was the founding of De Witt Wallace's very unbohemian Reader's Digest on the premises in 1923; the magazine was published in the basement in its early days. Since 1937, the Minetta has been a simpatico Italian restaurant and meeting place for writers and other creative folk, including Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings, Louis Bromfield, and Ernest Hemingway. The Minetta still evokes the old Village. Walls are covered with photographs of famous patrons and caricatures (about 20 of which artist Franz Kline scrawled in exchange for drinks and food), and the rustic pine-paneled back room is adorned with murals of local landmarks. The Minetta is open daily from noon to midnight and serves traditional Italian fare. (Source: Frommer’s)
119 MacDougal: Café Reggio
125 MacDougal: Groove, "The Home of Rhythm & Blues and Funk"
129 MacDougal: La Lanterna di Vittorio, NYU hangout with nice garden. In the basement is The Bar Next Door, an intimate jazz room. Was Eve's Hangout (1925-26), tearoom and speakeasy run by Eve Addams, "Queen of the Third Sex"; "Men Admitted But Not Welcome" was the sign. Closed by police. Addams was convicted of obscenity and deported for writing a story collection called Lesbian Love. Note pineapples on railing—an old symbol of hospitality.
131 MacDougal: This building was not, as legend has it, built for Aaron Burr, but was, like 127 and 129, built about 1829 in the Federal style.
127-131 MacDougal Street:
Photo and discussion of the architecture (NYU Fine Arts)
133 MacDougal St. (tel. 212/477-5048 ) The Provincetown Playhouse at was first established in 1915 on a wharf in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Founders George Cram "Jig" Cook and his wife Susan Glaspell began by producing their own plays. One day, however, an intense 27-year-old named Eugene O'Neill arrived in Provincetown with a trunk full of plays, a few of which he brought for Cook and Glaspell to read. They immediately recognized his genius and were inspired to create a theater dedicated to experimental drama. It moved to this converted stable, where O'Neill managed it through 1927. Many of O'Neill's early plays premiered here: Bound East for Cardiff, The Hairy Ape, The Long Voyage Home, The Emperor Jones, and All God's Chillun's Got Wings. Other seminal figures in the theater's early days were Wilbur Daniel Steele, Neith Boyce, Floyd Dell, Djuna Barnes, Evelyn Scott, Theodore Dreiser, and others. Edna St. Vincent Millay, whose unlikely life plan was to support herself as a poet by earning her living as an actress, snagged both the lead in Fred Dell's An Angel Intrudes and Dell himself (their love affair inspired her poems "Weeds" and "Journal"). Katharine Cornell, Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis (who made her stage debut here), and Eva Le Gallienne also appeared on the Provincetown stage in its early years. (Frommer’s) The presence of the young man in Berenice Abbott’s photograph, an African-American and perhaps an actor, recalls the Playhouse's 1924 scandalous production of O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings, in which an interracial kiss on stage led to bomb threats against the theater.
Photo by Berenice Abbott (Source: NYU)
130-132 MacDougal St. This house belonged to Louisa May Alcott's uncle, and after the Civil War, Alcott lived and worked here. Historians believe it was here that she penned her best-known work, the autobiographical children's classic Little Women (Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth were based on Alcott and her sisters Abbie, Anna, and Lizzie, respectively). Alcott grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the daughter of transcendentalist Amos Bronson Alcott. Emerson was a close family friend, and Thoreau taught the young Louisa botany. During the Civil War, Alcott briefly served as a Union hospital nurse in Washington, D.C., until a case of typhoid fever nearly killed her. Alcott later published a book of letters documenting that time under the title Hospital Sketches. Mercury poisoning from the medication she was given left her in fragile health the rest of her life. (Frommer’s)
137 MacDougal St. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Vachel Lindsay, Louis Untermeyer, Max Eastman, Theodore Dreiser, Lincoln Steffens, and Sinclair Lewis hashed over life theories at the Liberal Club, "A Meeting Place for Those Interested in New Ideas," founded in 1913 on the second floor of the house that once stood here. Margaret Sanger lectured the club on birth control, an on-premises organization called Heterodoxy worked to promote feminist causes, and cubist art was displayed on the walls. Downstairs were Polly's Restaurant (run by anarchist Polly Holladay and Hippolyte Havel) and the radical Washington Square Book Shop, from which Liberal Club members more often borrowed than bought. Holladay, a staunch anarchist, refused to join even the Liberal Club, which, however bohemian, was still an "organization." The apoplectic Havel, who was on the editorial board of The Masses, once shouted out at a meeting where fellow members were debating which literary contributions to accept: "Bourgeois pigs! Voting! Voting on poetry! Poetry is something from the soul! You can't vote on poetry!" When Floyd Dell pointed out to Havel that he had once made editorial selections for the radical magazine Mother Earth, Havel shot back, "Yes, but we didn't abide by the results!" Hugo Kalmar, a character in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, is purportedly based on Havel. This was alo the meeting place of Heterodoxy, which Mabel Dodge described as a club for "unorthodox women, women who did things and did them openly." In a previous incarnation, this building was the home of Nathaniel Currier (of Currier and Ives). (Frommer’s)
144 MacDougal: Another building replaced by the law school was used by Anais Nin as a print shop--she self-published her first three books here.
146 MacDougal: Replaced a building that housed The Calypso, a Caribbean restaurant (noted for its curry) where author James Baldwin worked as a waiter. His friends would often drop by to see him—like Paul Robeson, Marlon Brando, Eartha Kitt and Henry Miller.
2, 4, 6 Minetta Street
(between Sixth Ave. and Greenwich Ave next to the Jefferson Market) The gate closing off Patchin Place is never locked; feel free to pass through it. This tranquil, tree-shaded cul-de-sac has sheltered many illustrious residents. From 1923 to 1962, e.e. cummings lived at no. 4, where visitors included T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Dylan Thomas. The highly acclaimed but little-known Djuna Barnes (literary critics have compared her to James Joyce) lived in a tiny one-room apartment at no. 5. Reclusive and eccentric, she almost never left the premises for 40 years, prompting cummings to occasionally shout from his window, "Are you still alive, Djuna?" (Source: Frommer’s) Louise Bryant and John Reed maintained a residence at Patchin Place for several years until Reed's death in 1920. During this time, he wrote his eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution, Ten Days That Shook the World. To avoid interruptions from callers at Patchin Place, Reed rented a room atop a restaurant at 147 West 4th Street to do his writing. Theodore Dreiser and John Masefield were also Patchin Place residents, the former in 1895 when he was still an unknown journalist. (Source: Frommer’s)
4 Patchin Place e e cummings lived here from 1923 until his death in 1962
5 Patchin Place Djuna Barnes lived in a one-room apartment here from the 1940s on
38 Perry Street James Agee lived here when he arrived from Harvard in 1932, in the basement
6 St. Luke's Place [1851-4] West of 7th Avenue, Leroy Street bends and its name changes to St. Luke's Place. The atmosphere changes, as one leaves a modest working-class district to enter an area once inhabited by upwardly mobile working- and middle-class Irish immigrants. Originally the northernmost boundary of Trinity Church's estate, this block is graced by brick and brownstone Greek and Renaissance Revival row houses. This building once served as the residence of the Mayor of New York (including James Walker) and it was marked by a pair of lanterns to symbolize the political importance of its residents. The house has the arched entry and pediment-topped windows that are characteristic of mid-century Renaissance Revival row houses. Respected as a fair and effective mayor during his first term, Walker was forced to resign in disgrace in 1932 due to a scandal that plagued his second term (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
12 St. Luke's Place Sherwood Anderson lived here in 1922
14 St. Luke's Place Marianne Moore lived here 1918-1929 in the basement apartment while she worked in the Hudson Park branch of the New York Public Library across the street before becoming editor of the Dial
16 St. Lukes’s Place Theodore Dreiser lived here 1922-23.
Sheridan Square: The park here is not actually Sheridan Square but Christopher Park, and it features a statue of Civil War general Philip Sheridan and a sculpture of two couples called Gay Liberation by George Segal. There were draft riots here during the Civil War and in 1969 during the Stonewall rebellion, when thousands of gays and lesbians protested police harassment and launched the gay rights movement. The Greenwich Village Theater on Sheridan Square stated the musical revue Greenwich Village Follies in 1919-1920 until the Shuberts moved the play uptown to Broadway.
10 Sheridan Square
177 Sullivan, between Houstan and Bleecker, birthplace of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, 1882, collapsed while underoing renovation, killing a 13 -month-old child
75 University Place Hotel Albert: see 23 E. Tenth Street
Lafayette Hotel, University Place and 9th Street
14-15 Washington Mews: John Dos Passos rented a room here from Elaine Orr Cummings in 1922. (Edmiston and Cirino)
14A Washington Mews: Edward Hopper lived here.
14 Washington Place:
21 Washington Place: Henry James was born here, but a plaque commemorating his birth has been placed on NYU’s Brown Building a half block away on 29 Washington Place.
29 Washington Place, Brown Building, built in 1901; John Wooley, Architect; Original use, commercial, manufactory and warehouses, called the Asch Building. Site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (1911).
82 Washington Place This was the residence from 1908 to 1912 of Willa Cather, whose books celebrated pioneer life and the beauty of her native Nebraska landscape. Cather came to New York in 1906 at the age of 31 to work at the prestigious McClure's magazine and rose to managing editor before resigning to write full time. As her career advanced, and she found herself besieged with requests for lectures and interviews, Cather became almost reclusive and fiercely protective of her privacy. Richard Wright lived here too, in 1945. The building is a beaux arts, 1903. (Source: NYU)
88 Washington Place, the last home of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, before his death in 1910.
121 Washington Place In 1909 Mrs. Clara Potter Davidge built a large one-room studio for Edwin Arlington Robinson behind her house. The poet lived there on and off for years. (Edmiston and Cirino)
Washington Square Park Once a swamp frequented largely by duck hunters, this is the hub of the Village. Minetta Brook meandered through it. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was a potter's field (more than 10,000 people are buried under the park) and an execution site (one of the makeshift gallows survives--a towering English elm in the northwest corner of the park). The park was dedicated in 1826, and elegant residential dwellings, some of which have survived NYU's cannibalization of the neighborhood, went up around the square. At this time, it was the citadel of stifling patrician gentility so evocatively depicted in the novels of Edith Wharton. She defined Washington Square society as "a little set with its private catch-words, observances, and amusements" indifferent to "anything outside its charmed circle." (Source: Frommer’s) Washington Square has served as the setting in a number of literary works, including William S. Burroughs' The Naked Lunch and Henry James' Washington Square.
Washington Square Arch The white marble Memorial Arch (1892) at the Fifth Avenue entrance, which replaced a wooden arch erected in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of Washington's inauguration, was designed by Stanford White. One night in 1917, a group of Liberal Club pranksters climbed the Washington Square Arch, fired cap guns, and proclaimed the "independent republic of Greenwich Village," a utopia dedicated to "socialism, sex, poetry, conversation, dawn-greeting, anything--so long as it is taboo in the Middle West." Today, Washington Square Park would probably surpass any of this group's most cherished anarchist fantasies. (Source: Frommer’s) Stanford White figures in a novel by Charles Samuels about White’s girlfriend, also made into a 1955 movie, called The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.
A gallery of Arch photos (Source: NYU)
Photo, the park, facing east (Source: NYU)
University Building, Town, Davis & Dakin's Gothic Revival structure constructed in 1837
Photo (Source: NYU)
Photo (Source: Wikipedia)
Photo (Source: NYU)
Main Building Built to replace NYU's original University Building, this light brick, stone and terra-cotta edifice housed the schools of commerce, law and pedagogy as well as the offices of the American Book Company. This combination of institutional and commercial tenants is apparent in the building's tripartite facade design. The presence of the University on the three top floors is marked by engaged Ionic columns capped by pediments. In 1927, due to the pressures of a growing post-war student body, NYU took over the entire building. Main Building became the home of NYU's Washington Square College until the University returned to Washington Square after giving up its second Bronx Campus in 1972. Zucker was a German born and trained architect. Ironically, nine other university buildings designed by Zucker were built in this formerly commercial area, as lofts and wholesale stores, only to be taken over later by NYU as its institutional functions increased. (Source)
80 Washington Square East: “The Benedick,” an exclusive apartment house for bachelors (Benedick was the bachelor in Much Ado About Nothing); completed in 1879, it had exotic bohemian apartments and was the home of painter Albert Pinkham Ryder and poet Wallace Stevens, and it was here that Lily Bart began her downfall in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. (Source: Stonehill)
?? Washington Square East Grey Gallery, formerly the Gallery of Living Art, created by Albert Gallatin, great-grandson of a founder of NYU, the collected included twelve Picassos as well as works by Braque, Man Ray, Mondrian, and other modernists. In December 1942, Gallatin was notified by the university that “all nonessentials were to be discontined during the war years” and the museum’s space would have to be vacated—the entire collection was immediately given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (source: Stonehill) (This brilliant decision by the university should be put in the same category as its decision to sell One Fifth.)
Washington Square North
3 Washington Square North (today the NYU School of Social Work) Critic Edmund Wilson, managing editor of the New Republic, lived here from 1921 to 1923. Another resident, John Dos Passos, a fiery 1920s radical, wrote Manhattan Transfer here. (Source: Frommer’s) Other residents included Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Abbott Thayer, and Rockwell Kent. (Source: Stonehill)
6 Washington Square North Gallatin House, 1833
7 Washington Square North Edith Wharton, age 20, and her mother lived here in 1882. A wealthy aristocrat, born Edith Jones, Wharton maintained a close friendship with Henry James and, like him, left New York's stultifying upper-class social scene for Europe (Paris) in 1910, where she wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Innocence. Both she and James were immensely popular in Europe and were deluged with invitations (James once admitted to accepting 107 dinner invitations in a single year). Wharton wrote almost a book a year her entire adult life, while also finding time to feed French and Belgian refugees during World War I and take charge of 600 Belgian orphans. (Source: Frommer’s)
9 Washington Square North - St. Joseph's Academy, 1829. This was the first house built on Washington Square North.
19 Washington Square North Henry James's grandmother, Elizabeth Walsh, lived at this now-defunct address. (The no. 19 that exists today is a different house, the numbering system having changed since James's day. It would 18 if it were still standing today.) Young Henry spent much time at her house, which was the inspiration for his novel Washington Square. (Source: Frommer’s) Later, 19 WSN became a speakeasy named Barney Gallant’s Speako de Luxe. (Source: Stonehill)
121-125 Washington Square North
40 Washington Square South NYU School of Law's Vanderbilt Hall (1951), Eggers and Higgins, architects. On this site previously (at 42 Washington Square South) was a rooming house whose tenants included Walter Lippman, Conrad Aiken, Lincoln Steffens and John Reed. Steffens was a muckraking journalist and author, and Reed, a journalist and staff member of The Masses, a radical magazine. Steffens left his position at McClure's in 1906, shortly before Willa Cather began there. Woodress notes that Cather had no interest in radical politics, and her only tie with such neighbors would be "her tolerance for a variety of life styles." (Source: ?) This was one of those Village rooming houses where “nobody questions your morals, and nobody asks for the rent,” wrote John Reed, who rented one of those rooms, along with, as he wrote, “Inglorious Miltons by the Score/And Rodins, one to every floor.” (Source: Stonehill)
51-55 Washington Square South Judson Memorial Baptist Church. Campanile and Hall constructed in the 1890's by McKim, Mead and White in Greco-Romanesque style. Its stained glass is by John LaFarge, who resided in the Village along with other artists of the Hudson River School. Built for the minister Edwin Judson (and named after his father) this Baptist church was an anomaly in the wealthy residential district of Washington Square. It functioned as a mission church, stabilizing the neighborhood at the point of transition between the upper class area of the Square and the poorer neighborhood immediately to the west. In order to further this goal, the Judson Hotel--a tower for housing the poor--was added to the church in 1895. The church's activist social engagement continued through the 1960's, and to this today. Judson Hall at 51 Washington Square south was a hotel when Edwin Arlington Robinson stayed here in 1906. (Edmiston and Cirino)
58 Washington Square South: Arch Cafe, near turn of the century, where once stood a hangman's shack. The executioner plied his trade early in the nineteenth century when public hangings took place in the park.
60 Washington Square South (beween LaGuardia Place and Thompson Place): Willa Cather’s first Village residence (1906-1909).
61 Washing Square South "House of Genius" where Kimmell now stands, was a rooming house owned by Madame Catherine Blanchard, who rented to Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, O Henry, John Reed, Eugene O’Neill, Zona Gale, Oliver Herford, James Oppenheim, Gelett Burgess, Stephen Crane, and Frank Norris. Norris and Cather were invited to work at McClure's Magazine (a literary and political publication founded by Samuel McClure in 1893). Edith Lewis worked at McClure's as a proofreader and roomed in the same building. Cather biographer James Woodress reports that she first met Lewis in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1903. "Don Hedger had lived for four years on the top of an old house on the south side of Washington Square." (Cather, "Coming, Aphrodite") The house was torn down in 1948 and later became the site of NYU’s student center, first Loeb, now Kimmel.
62 (?) Washington Square South, at the corner of Thompson St, “stood a small ramshackle building known at The Garret, a center of Bohemian activity from 1914 until 1926 when it was demolished. Guido Bruno organized poetry readings and published literary booklets here in its first years; later it was transformed into a restaurant by Grace Godwin, who served spaghetti to local artist and writers.” (Source: Stonehill)
Photo, Oasis Restaurant
72 Washington Square South Now the site of NYU’s Bobst Library, formerly the site of the Modern Art School: founded in 1914 and had 12 instructors and 150 students and the tuition for 9 months was $120. Max Eastman lived here, 1916-1917.
33 Washington Square West Hayden Hall. An NYU dorm originally built in 1957 as a Law student residence hall, it incorporates an old hotel from the early 20th Century, Holley Chambers Hotel, where is rumored that Theodore Roosevelt was once a guest. There are other remnants of the hotel left with the building like an “HC” still engraved over the door and a letter chute that’s no longer working.
Washington Square West Hicks-Lord House, near turn of the century: During the late nineteenth century, this 1850 town house on Washington Square West was home to Annette Hicks-Lord, who made it a center of social activity in the area.
Gentlemen stroll by the eating establishments that stood on Washington Square West in 1894.
24-26, 28-30 Waverly Place
Built in 1893, remodeled into one structure in 1946 by John Lowry
116 Waverly Place Dating from 1891, the building has hosted William Cullen Bryant, Horace Greeley, Margaret Fuller, poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, and Herman Melville. Here . Edgar Allan Poe read his latest poem, "The Raven," to assembled literati. Waverly Place, by the way, was named in 1833 for Sir Walter Scott's novel, Waverley. (Frommer’s)
139 Waverly Place Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here with her sister, Norma, in 1918. Radical playwright Floyd Dell, her lover, who found the apartment for her, commented: "She lived in that gay poverty which is traditional of the Village, and one may find vivid reminiscences of that life in her poetry." (Source: Frommer’s)
165 Waverly Pl. – The Northern Dispensary was built in 1831 to serve the medical needs of the poor. Edgar Allan Poe was treated for a head cold here in 1836, the year he came to New York with his 13-year-old bride for whom he would later compose the pain-filled requiems "Ulalume" and "Annabel Lee": I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love-- I and my Annabel Lee. (Source: Frommer’s) After 1960, it became a dental clinic. In 1986, after he was refused care because he had AIDS, George Whitmore sued the clinic and it became bankrupt. It become empty until 1997 when it became a Hostel for the Disabled.
68 White Street, home of John James Audubon when he completed Birds of America
Third Avenue between 12th and 13th street, Lyric Theatre
Lyric Theatre, 3rd Avenue, bet 12th & 13th Streets, then and now (Changing New York)
1 Fifth Avenuye. Sara Teasdale took an apartment here in 1932; she committed suicide the following year. (Edmiston and Cirino)
2 Fifth Avenue: This behemoth, which destroyed the house that inspired Henry James' Washington Square, helped spark Village preservation movement. Former Mayor Ed Koch, feminist politician Bella Abzug and gay writer/activist Larry Kramer have lived here. Fountain to right of front door fed by Minetta Brook, a now-underground river that used to meander through Washington Square Park and the Village.
8 Fifth Avenue the site of New York's first marble mansion, built by John Taylor Johnston in 1856. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was organized here in 1870, with Johnston elected its founding president. Writer/cartoonist James Thurber lived there in 1935-36.
10 Fifth Ave. The Thimble Theater, on the second floor, a tiny playhouse founded by Charles Edison, poet and son of the inventor; he collaborated with eccentric Village publisher Guido Bruno to organize a theater group in 1916, performing Chekhov, Gogol, and the first American production of Strindberg’s Miss Julie; the theater lasted just one season. (Source: Stonehill)
11-15 Fifth Ave, at 8th street: Brevoort Apartments, the site of the Brevoort Hotel, the first hotel on Fifth Avenue, built in 1854. John Dos Passos, in 42nd Parallel, wrote tha "all the artists and radicals and really interesting people used to stay there and it was very French." Among its habituees were Eugene O'Neill, Isadora Duncan, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Lincoln Steffans. Nathanael West lived there in 1935-36. Banquets were held here for Margaret Sanger, indicted for distributing birth control information, and for Emma Goldman on the eve of her 1919 deportation to the Soviet Union. The American Labor Party was founded here in 1936. The hotel's barber is credited with inventing the "bob" (for dancer Irene Castle). The hotel's owner, Raymond Orteig, put up $25,000 for the first person to fly across the Atlantic, and Charles Lindbergh collected at a breakfast here on June 17,1927. The hotel was torn down in 1948 because it couldn't be brought up to code. In 1954 the entire block, including the hotel and the Mark Twain house, was razed for the 19-story Brevoort Apartments, large enough to dwarf One Fifth Avenue. Musician Buddy Holly lived in the Brevoort Apartments in 1958-59, from his marriage until his death. He recorded what are known as The Apartment Tapes here. Carmine DeSapio, last boss of Tammany Hall, also lived here. His 1961 defeat as Greenwich Village district leader spelled the end of Tammany's long sway. He helped close Washington Square to traffic. (Source)
Brevoort Hotel with Mark Twain House: then and now (Changing New York)
?? Fifth Ave The Gothic Revival town house at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and East 9th Street was home to Mark Twain between 1904 and 1908; his tenure was short, but Twain was then at the height of his celebrity, and his association with the house was highly publicized. The house was built in 1840 by James Renwick, the architect of the nearby Grace Church (1845) and St. Patrick's Cathedral (1878-88).
16 Fifth Ave. In 1870 Bret Harte stayed at his sister’s house here when he came to New York. A plaque marks his residence there.
23 Fifth Ave. Mabel Dodge’s salon, “a room that was luminously white, with heavy white paper covering covering the walls, an elaborate white Venetian chandelier, and a white bearskin rug in front of the white marble fireplace.” Filled on Wednesday evenings with guests discussing taboo topics like psychoanalysis, birth control, and trade unionism. (Source: Stonehill)
47 Fifth Ave. The Salmagundi Club began as an artist's club in 1871 and was originally located at 596 Broadway. The name comes from the Salmagundi papers, in which Washington Irving mocked his fellow New Yorkers and first used the term Gotham to describe the city. Salmagundi, which means "a stew of many ingredients," was thought an appropriate term to describe the club's diverse membership of painters, sculptors, writers, and musicians. The club moved to this mid-19th-century brownstone mansion in 1917. Theodore Dreiser lived at the Salmagundi in 1897, when it was located across the street where the First Presbyterian Church stands today, and probably wrote Sister Carrie there, a work based on the experiences of his own sister, Emma. (Source: Frommer’s)
60-62 Fifth Ave., the Forbes Magazine Building houses a museum (tel. 212/206-5548 ) featuring exhibits from the varied collections of the late Malcolm Forbes, who was famous as a financier, magazine magnate, frequent Liz Taylor escort, and father of one-time presidential hopeful Steve Forbes. On display are hundreds of model ships; legions formed from a collection of more than 100,000 military miniatures; thousands of signed letters, papers, and other paraphernalia from almost every American president; a remarkable even dozen of Fabergé eggs and other objets d'art fashioned for the czars; the evolution of the game Monopoly (natch); and changing exhibits and art shows. Admission is free. The galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. (Source: Frommer’s)
Fifth Avenue Bus
Sixth Avenue and West 4th Street Eugene O'Neill, a heavy drinker, nightly frequented a bar called the Golden Swan (more familiarly known as the "Hell Hole" or "Bucket of Blood") where the small park now stands and later used it as a setting for his play The Iceman Cometh, a play that was 12 years in the writing. The bar was patronized by prostitutes, gangsters, longshoremen, anarchists, and politicians, as well as artists and writers. Eccentric owner Tom Wallace, on whom O'Neill modeled saloon proprietor Harry Hope, kept a pig in the basement and seldom ventured off the premises. (Source: Frommer’s)
425 Sixth Ave. Jefferson Market Library This library was a former produce market. The turreted, red brick-and-granite, Victorian-Gothic castle was built as a courthouse in 1877 and named for Thomas Jefferson. Topped by a lofty clock/bell tower (originally intended as a fire lookout), with tracery and stained-glass windows, gables, and steeply sloping roofs, the building was inspired by a Bavarian castle. In the 1880s, architects voted it one of the ten most beautiful buildings in America. (Source: Frommer’s) The library is the subject of a famous painting by Village artist John Sloan, known for his paintings of ordinary urban scenes—hence he and the other early realists were called the Ashcan School. He and his wife Dolly lived at 61 Perry Street, then 240 West 4th, then 88 Washington Place, where he painted Jefferson Market, Sixth Avenue, in 1917. He then moved to 53 Washington Square South in the Judson Annex.
Jefferson Market Court, then and now (Changing New York)
Jefferson Market Court and 647-661 Sixth Avenue
Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets: Rhinelander Row:
91 Seventh Avenue South: The Limelight, a photo gallery and coffeehouse, opened here in the 1950s, by Helen Gee. Among those who frequented the place were Philippe Halsman, Arnold Newman, Cornell Capa, and Weegee. You could buy inexpensive works by Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, Robert Franks, Bill Brandt, Bernice Abbott, Eugene Smith, Edward Weston, and Paul Strand. The gallery closed in 1961.
85 W. 3rd Street. Edgar Allen Poe lived here when it was 85 Amity Place, 1845-46, later an Italian hotel, now owned by NYU
29 E. 4th Street “Dating from the 1830s, this building was a part of a group of well-built, speculative row houses, of which only this structure survives. Built from the pages of pattern books such as that by Minard Lafever, at the time these houses sat at the northeastern edge of the city. This row house indicates the transition from the Federal Style to the Greek Revival Style with the inclusion of such classical elements as the colonettes surrounding the entrance. Saved by the Historic Landmarks Society, this is a great and rare example of how upper middle classes lived in the 1830's.” (Source: NYU Fine Arts)
11 W. 4th street, corner of Mercer, Gerde’s Folk City, where Bob Dylan made his debut as paid performer, April 11, 1971, also where Simon and Garfunkle debuted (was this the club that NYU recently took over?)
35 W. 4th Street, Education Building, 1930
James Gamble Rogers; Architect; Art Deco architectural style
For blocks between MacDougal and xxx, see Washington Square South
147 W 4th (off the Square, near 6th Ave.) John Reed wrote Ten Days that Shook the World, 1918, upstairs from Polly Holliday’s second restaurant here. Today the restaurant is Bertolotti’s (?).(Edmiston and Cirino)
15 E. 7th Street. McSorley's Ale House
W. 8th Street
28 W. 8th Street. Edwin Arlington Robinson lived here in the 1920s; he had the skylighted studio at the top of the house.
3 E. 9th Street The offices of Broom were located in the basement of the brick house belonging to Marjorie Content, former wife of Harold Loeb, later the model for Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises. She later married Jean Toomer, whose Cane was regarded as the best work of the Harlem Renaissance. (Edmiston and Cirino)
35 W. 9th Street Marianne Moore lived in apartment 7B; her living room furnishings have been reassembled in a room in the Rosenbach Foundation in Philadelphia. (Edmiston and Cirino)
9 East 10th St. Dawn Powell lived here for eight years before moving around the corner to 35 E. 9th Street. Her diaries describe her peregrinations to Village speakeasies and cafes, often depicted in her works. The Wicked Pavilion is known as her Hotel Lafayette book, The Golden Spur, her Cedar Tavern novel. She wrote in her diary that a fellow writer said of her, “No one but you is doing for New York what Balzac did for Paris.” (Source: Stonehill)
16 East 10th St. The Pen and Brush Club, an organization of professional women in the arts, founded in 1892
23 East 10th St. The Albert, once a hotel, now an apartment house, named for the artist Albert Pinkham Ryder, whose brother owned the building (Pollack described Ryder as “the only American artist that interests me”). When Thomas Wolfe graduated from Harvard in 1923, he came to New York to teach at NYU and lived at the Hotel Albert, room 220 (depicted as the Hotel Leopold in his novel Of Time and the River). (Source: Stonehill and Frommer’s)
14 West 10th St. Understandably identified with the Mississippi River, few people realize that Samuel Langhorne Clemens—Mark Twain—spent more than just a few years between the Hudson and East Rivers. He had several residences here—on Fifth Avenue, on Wave Hill, in The Bronx, etc. However, this 1850 mansion, which he purchased around 1900, was his personal favorite. He threw luxurious parties here, and it was the only place he would hold interviews, for a while. Today, West 10th Street is a comparatively quiet Manhattan street, very elegant, and positively a place in which Huck Finn would NOT feel comfortable. (Source: Dormarunno)
28 West 10th St. Marcel Duchamp resided here in the 1960s and often played chess across the street at the Marshall Chess Club, 23 W. 10th St.
37 West 10th St. Sinclair Lewis, already a famous writer by the mid-1920s, lived in this early 19th-century house with his wife, journalist Dorothy Thompson, from 1928 to 1929 (just after the triumph of Main Street). Lewis fell in love with the recently divorced Thompson at first sight in 1927 and immediately proposed to her. Once, when asked to speak at a dinner party, he stood up and said, "Dorothy, will you marry me?" and resumed his seat. Lewis later followed her to Russia and all over Europe until she accepted his proposal. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last. (Source: Frommer’s)
50 West 10th St. After his great success with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee bought this late 19th-century converted carriage house in the early 1960s. It's a gem of a building, with highly polished wooden carriage doors. Albee wrote Tiny Alice and A Delicate Balance here, the latter being a Pulitzer Prize winner. In 1994, he won a second Pulitzer Prize for Three Tall Women. (Source: Frommer’s)
51 West 10th St. Tenth Street Studio, “the first building ever designed exclusively for artists, with three floors of well-lit stuidios and a dramatic glass-domed exhibition hall.” The artists living and working here included William Merrit Chase. (Source: Stonehill)
54 West 10th St. Hart Crane lived here when he first moved to the Village in 1917. “He could barely afford the $6 weekly rent, but at least his job on the little journal Pagan entited him to a supply of passea to the Village theaters.” (Source: Stonehill)
58 West 10th St. The Tile Club, famous in the 1880s as a place to discuss new ideas in art.
70 West 10th St. The post office
139 West 10th St. Today an Italian restaurant, this was the site, for decades, of a popular Village bar called the Ninth Circle. But it was in 1954 at a former bar at this location that playwright Edward Albee saw graffiti on a mirror reading, "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and, years later, appropriated it. He recalled the incident in a Paris Review interview: "When I started to write the play, it cropped up in my mind again. And, of course, 'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf' means...who's afraid of living life without false illusions." (Source: Frommer’s)
21 East 11th St. The home of Mary Cadwaller Jones, who was married to Edith Wharton's brother, the setting of literary salons; Henry Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and John Singer Sargent often came to lunch, and Henry James was a houseguest when he visited America from Europe. (Frommer’s)
18 West 11th Street This house was built after the original was destroyed in a 1970 explosion of a basement bomb factory, which had been started by members of the Weathermen, the revolutionary faction of the Students for a Democratic Society.
112-114 West 11th Street
14 West 12th Street
66 West 12th The New School The New School for Social Research was founded in 1919 as a forum for professors too liberal-minded for Columbia University's then stiflingly traditional attitude. In the 1930s, it became a "University in Exile" for intelligentsia fleeing Nazi Germany. Its founders included the historian Charles Beard, economists Thorstein Veblen and James Harvey Robinson, and philosopher John Dewey. Many great writers have taught or lectured in its classrooms over the decades: William Styron, Joseph Heller, Edward Albee, W.H. Auden, Robert Frost, Nadine Gordimer, Max Maya Angelou, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Sontag, and numerous others. (Source: Frommer’s)
138 West 13th St. Max Eastman and other radicals urged revolution in the pages of the Liberator, headquartered in this lovely building on a pleasant tree-lined street. The magazine published works by John Reed, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ernest Hemingway, Elinor Wylie, e.e. cummings (who later became very right-wing and a passionate supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Communist witch hunts), John Dos Passos, and William Carlos Williams. The Liberator, established in 1919, succeeded The Masses, an earlier Eastman publication (see stop 37). (Source: Frommer’s)
152 West 13th St. Offices of The Dial, a major avant-garde literary magazine of the 1920s, occupied this beautiful Greek Revival brick town house. The magazine dated from 1840 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where transcendentalists Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson were its seminal editors. In the '20s, its aim was to offer "the best of European and American art, experimental and conventional." Contributors included Marianne Moore, Hart Crane, Conrad Aiken, Ezra Pound, Theodore Dreiser, T.S. Eliot, and artist Marc Chagall. (Source: Frommer’s)
215 W. 13th St Anaïs Nin lived in a skylight studio here in 1940 after returning from Europe.
14th Street West of Sixth Avenue, Civic Repertory Theatre,
All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities by Patrick Bunyan
Literary New York: A History and Guide by Susan Edmiston and Linda D. Cirino