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EJ Phillips' Manhattan -- A walking tour with glimpses of the 1880s and 1890s
Much of EJ Phillips'
New York has vanished -- but there are still traces -- and old photographs and
new websites. Her addresses mark the steady northward movement of theaters, but
rarely stray far from Broadway. Photographs are from three
trips to New York
March 2005 to see Catherine Osborne's Burnt Over, Journeyman Productions. A chance to explore some of John Nickinson's New York in Lower Manhattan with Bob and Linda Osborne who have seen this evolve from the very beginning.
June 2003 South from Times Square to West 12th St. [Thanks to Nola Van Hoy and Isabel for their company.]
Nov. 2002 North to Madison Square from Chinatown (dim sum) and Mott Street with Marjorie and her friend Barry
EJP Addresses *
a. 39 West 12th St. 1886-1887 36 East 21st Street 1893 *
b. 47 East 21st St 1888-1893 51 East 21st St. 1895 *
c. Aberdeen Broadway & 21st St. 1894 *
d. e. 50 West 24th St 1887-1888
e. Sturtevant 1186 Broadway (& 29th St.) 1897
f. 26 West 31st. St. 1891-1892
g. 475 Fourth Ave 1886
h. Rossmore Hotel, Broadway, 41st and 42nd Sts 1887 *
1. Olympic Theatre 1837 John Nickinson 444 Broadway, between Howard and Grande
2. Wallacks Theatre (Second 1861) 485 Broadway, near Broome St.
3. Tony Pastors North side of 14th Street, near Third Avenue, in the Tammany Hall Building
4. Union Square Theatre (1871-1885) South side of Union Square, between Broadway & 4th Avenue
5. Lyceum Theatre West side of Fourth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets
6. Grand Opera House Northwest corner of Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street,
7. Madison Square Theatre (1877-1908) 24th St. (5th and Madison)
8. Madison Square Garden Theatre NE corner of Madison Square, Stanford White
9. Dalys Theatre (1879) 1221 Broadway .
Wallacks Theatre (third 1882) later Palmers Theatre (1888) then Hoyt's (1891) 30th and Broadway
10. Empire Theatre (1893) 1430 Broadway (and 40th. St.)
11. Harlem Opera House, 207 West 125th St. opened 1889, Oscar Hammerstein
B. Health Dept of the City of New York Bureau of Vital Statistics, No. 301 Mott St.
Washington Square George Washington Centennial
C, Ladies Mile Broadway 8th to 23rd Street
C. Delmonicos 1869 26th St.. between Fifth Ave and Broadway
E. Luchows 1882 14th St. near Irving Place
F. Players Club 1881 15 Gramercy Park West,
G. Macy's 1858 6th Ave near 14th Street
Simpson's & Crawfords department store, Fifth Ave. between 19th and 20th Streets
H. 5 A's American Actors Amateur Athletic Association 43 West 29th Street *
J. Holland House 30th St & 5th Avenue
K. Waldorf Hotel 1893 Fifth Ave. and 33rd. St.
L. Metropolitan Opera House Broadway, 7th Ave, 39th and 40th Sts.
M. Grand Central Depot 42nd Street
DesBrosses ferry DesBrosses Street is a very short street, just south of Canal Street, near today's Holland Tunnel.
Newark, Apr. 6, 1894 I took Walter [Dolman] to New York yesterday. Got in 6th Ave car at DesBrosses ferry and rode up to 59th St. [why to 59th?] Then walked down 5th Ave to 42nd. Took 4th Ave car down to 21st. Went to Nagles and had lunch with Dr & Mrs. N[agle]. Introduced Walter to Lizzie & Fanny Kirby. After a chat for an hour or so, we took 4th Ave Car down the Bowery to Broome & Centre to Grand and changed to DesBrosses Street cars. On our way I showed him the various theatres
York- Jersey City ferries
Pier 11, Wall St. and West 38th St. to Port Liberte http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/masstran/ferries/portlib.html 15 minutes
Pier 78 West 38th St and 12th Ave. to Colgate Palmolive, Exchange Place, Jersey City http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/masstran/ferries/colgate.html 15-20 minutes, depending on stops.
New York Waterway http://www.nywaterway.com/index.html Up through the 1800's, ferries were the only way to get to and around Manhattan. As bridges and tunnels were built, ferry transportation faded. .. West 38th Street ferry terminal
Seaport, March 2005
George Washington Inauguration 1889 Centennial Federal Hall 26 Wall Street
John Nickinson ever meet Edgar Allan Poe? Craving excitement apart from his
[Edgar Allan Poe's] labor, he sought the
companionship of his guild downtown, and he found that, too, in a little store
in Nassau Street, between Ann and Beekman, where gathered a few elevated
literary minds, reinforced by a sprinkling of actors like Peter Cunningham, John
Brougham, Oliver Raymond, Tom Johnston and John Nickinson. It was not a dramshop,
but it dispensed various kinds of nervine, and it had facilities for adding
emphasis to what ‘the Governor of North Carolina once said to the Governor of
South Carolina. Some Memorials of Edgar Allan
Poe,” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, April 1891, vol. XXXI, no. 4,
pp. 457-464 http://www.eapoe.org/papers/misc1851/18910401.htm
John Nickinson and drinking
Nassau Street between Ann and Beekman Streets
Bob and Linda Osborne Linda and Mary Glen
After leaving the Canadian Army in 1835 and seasons in Montreal and then Albany (1836-37) the Nickinson family [ John and first wife Mary Ann, four daughters and son John Jr.] came to New York at the Franklin and Park Theatres, then to William Mitchell's Olympic from 1841-1850, until it closed abruptly.
William Mitchell's Olympic Theatre [map] Broadway between Howard and Grand. [Identified as "the site now occupied by 622 and 624 Broadway" in Mrs. Gilbert's Dec 1904 obituary from an unidentified New York newspaper.] John Nickinson was at the Olympic Theatre from 1841-1850, until it abruptly closed.
Olympic http://www.musicals101.com/News/olympic.jpg sketch
"Now a business building" http://www.musicals101.com/News/olympic2004.jpg photograph
1832 New York Seabury Treadwell house, 29 East Fourth St. http://www.charleslockwood.com/project1.html A glimpse of John Nickinson's era in New York
Wallacks Theatre [map] (Second 1861) 485 Broadway, near Broome St. 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Dept of the City of New York [map]
Bureau of Vital Statistics, No. 301 Mott St. is where Dr. Nagle worked. Seems now [Nov. 2002] to be a billiards parlor.
Columbus Park’s opening was written up in the New
York Times, June 16, 1897 p. 7
Bounded by Baxter (formally Orange), Worth (formerly Anthony), Bayard and Mulberry Street, the site has alternately been named Mulberry Bend Park, Five Points Park and Paradise Park. Situated in the heart of one of the oldest residential areas of Manhattan , adjacent to the infamous “Five Points” and “the Bend” http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_divisions/capital/pd_proj_month_mar_04.html
Tenement Museum, 90 Orchard St. New York http://www.tenement.org/ Dr. Nagle and Jacob Riis
During the 1889 George Washington Centennial celebration a temporary arch (designed by architect Stanford White) spanned Fifth Ave. A permanent arch (also designed by White) was put up in Washington Square in 1890-1892.
Milwaukee Feb. 17, 1893 I do not yet know where I can put up, for all the rooms are occupied at Nagles 47 E. 21st. St., and the hotels of which there are many in the vicinity, are expensive. But I am going to try the Hotel Dane or St Denis.
Hotel St. Denis was at Broadway and 11th Street, opposite Grace Church. "A few minutes walk above the St. Denis is the brilliant Union Square and the shopping district extends on all sides...The Broadway cable cars pass the doors almost every minute." Kings NYC 1893
Grace Church http://www.gracechurchnyc.org/
39 West 12th St. [map]
Oct. 14, 1886 I was very busy yesterday. Went to look at rooms, took them and move today to 39 West 12th Street -- near the old camping ground, opposite where Alice [Zavistowski Webb] used to live. I have 2nd story front room. Miss Omera is the landlady's name and she has lived in the house 20 years, boarders have been with her 12 and 15 years. That ought to be a good recommendation. I find this [Ashland House, 24th St. and Fourth Ave.] too expensive.
West 12th St. 2003
The building with the blue awning.
and 40 West 12th St.
The other side of West 12th St. may look more as it did in EJ Phillips' days.
The Ladies' Mile [map] began in 1862 when A. T. Stewart moved his department store into a large white Venetian cast-iron palace at 9th Street, near Grace Church. The Stewart store has been demolished, but its extension, designed by D. H. Burnham in 1902 for John Wanamaker, survives at 9th Street. http://www.preserve2.org/ladiesmile/history.htm http://vtvt.essortment.com/chelseanewyo_obd.htm
Preceding the third Wallacks Theatre [map] had been two on Broadway near Broome Street (Soho) from 1852-1861, and then Broadway at Thirteenth Street (just south of Union Square) from 1861-1881.
Ladies' Mile: With R. H. Macy leading the way in the mid-1850s with a flagship store at Sixth and 14th, and A.T. Stewart's Cast Iron Palace at 9th Street, Sixth Avenue from 9th north to 23rd is lined with big, buxom Beaux- Arts buildings that catered to ladies who lunched and then shopped. In Ladies' Mile heyday, over a dozen huge emporia lined the avenue. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/deepsix/deepsix.html more on Macy and Macys
Mar. 5, 1890 I am ashamed to say I have not yet ordered your cards for I have not had time to get down to Macys. But I am going there soon about a bonnet, and will then order them.
Apr. 17, 1890 It was so lovely this Morning, that when I left the Photograph gallery about 1/2 past 11 I took a walk down 5th Avenue and through 14th St to Macys and back.
Apr. 12, 1893 I have been trying to get to Macy's to investigate the matter about the shirts. I asked the salesman if he was sure all the shirts were 16 inches and he said "Oh, yes!" As much as to tell me he never made mistakes. "6th Ave Elevated 1893, near 14th Street"
Union Square first opened in 1832. It takes its name from a confluence of two major roads, Broadway and the Bowery Road (which subsequently became 4th Avenue). Previously known as Union Place from 1808, it was built up and made a public park 24 years later. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/madisonunionstats/whoguys3.html
During the 1870's theaters, hotels, and fine restaurants, reflecting the exuberance of the growing city, made this neighborhood the center of good living and gaiety. In the late 1860's Delmonico's restaurant moved from the City Hall section to 14th Street and Fifth Avenue. WPA Guide to New York City, 1939
[map] 14th Street near Irving Place.
110 East. 14th St.: Now NYU structure built by Davis Brody Bond in 1998. Built on site of Luchow's (1882), famous German restaurant; hangout for music figures from Enrico Caruso to Cole Porter to Leonard Bernstein, as well as writers like Mencken and Dreiser. http://www.nysonglines.com/
Union Square Hotel was at the southeast corner of 15th and Union Square West. Single-tax advocate Henry George died here, October 29, 1897. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm#bleecker
Square at West 16th St.
Brentano's Literary Emporium was between 16th and 17th Streets. Farther west and north toward Sixth Avenue, the shopping center included Hearn's, B. Altmans, Siegel-Cooper, and farther south on Broadway, Stewart's and Daniels." WPA Guide to New York City, 1939
The redbrick and white-stone Century Building (built in 1881, 33 E. 17th St.) on the square's north side, is now a Barnes & Noble bookstore, which has preserved the building's original cast-iron columns and other architectural details. The building at 17th Street and Union Square East, now housing the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theatre, was the final home of Tammany Hall. Sights of New York, Union Square http://www.new-york-hotels-usa.com/union_square.htm
136 East 16th Street, Rowhouse converted to five French Flats 1889. http://www.preserve2.org/gramercy/proposes/land/marks/134_136_138e16.htm
The west side of Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets has changed little since 1911. http://www.preserve2.org/ladiesmile/broadway.htm
The Union Square Theatre was in the center of the Union Place Hotel, on 14th Street, on the south side of Union Square, between Broadway and 4th Avenue 1872-1883. Durham Union Square Theatre Company
AM Palmer disbanded his stock company in 1885 and moved to the Madison Square Theatre. The Union Square Theatre burned down in 1888, was rebuilt but never regained its former reputation. http://www.daviscrossfield.com/unionsq.htm
1 Union Square South features a Virgin Megastore and a Circuit City. Like most of the new buildings on this stretch of 14th, designed by Davis Brody Bond architects (1999). No. 56, on this site, used to be the Union Square Theater http://www.nysonglines.com/
more on Union Square
850 [Broadway?]: Site of Wallack's Theater, which Newland Archer attends in The Age of Innocence. A United Artists cinema is here now. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/broadway.htm#23st
One of the Square's most elaborate cast-iron facades. Tiffany's, was designed by John Kellum to resemble a Venetian palace. When it opened (on the southwest corner of 15th Street and Union Square West) in 1870, the New York Times called it "A Jewel Palace" and described its elevator as "a dummy engine which hoists goods and people from one floor to another on a sliding platform."" Unfortunately, this worldly palace has been modernized and resurfaced in white brick. Drive to Protect the Ladies Mile District http://www.preserve2.org/ladiesmile/broadway.htm
Tiffany's jewelry store was on the west side of Union Square, at 15th Street 11-15 (corner) 15th St. Amalgamated Bank is on site of Tiffany's (1870-1905). http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/university.htm
New York, Jan. 2, 1889 I have this Afternoon exchanged the ring and have it ready for mail. Will post and register it tomorrow or vice versa. I hope it will be large enough. I got one pearl & two rubies, very much like the other and three dollars more, but the gentleman who waited on me today called me by name, and I smiled and said "You know me?" and he said "Yes and it is the first time I ever saw you off the stage, but I recognized you as soon as you opened the door".
Was Tiffany's where Neppie's engagement ring came from?
Detroit, Dec. 13, 1892 [I] shall be just as well pleased with a letter telling me you are all well, as with the richest gift you could possibly buy from Tiffanys.
and Mary Glen in Union Square
145-147 (corner): East end of Con Ed building and parking lot was Tammany Hall from 1867-1917, when the corrupt political club was at height of power. Hosted 1868 Democratic convention. Ground floor was Tony Pastor's [map] Music Hall, popular variety show venue. http://www.nysonglines.com/
program Employees of J & C Johnston
at Tammany Hall, AE Nickinson, Recording Secretary
Tony Pastors Theatre "a little playhouse in the Tammany Hall Building, on the north side of 14th Street, near Third Avenue. The attractions are invariably of the variety order." Kings NYC
Albert Nickinson wrote to his mother of Tony Pastors as an eleven year old .
At 14th Street corner (now Con Edison building) was the Academy of Music (1854-1926), cultural hub of New York's elite; setting of opening scene of Age of Innocence. Hosted famous ball for Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, 1860. President-elect Lincoln saw Verdi's Masked Ball here (1861). After fashion moved to Metropolitan Opera House, presented vaudeville and later silent movies.
Matthew Brady’s photography studio caught the glamour of the age in his portraits of society beauties displayed in his Broadway window. At the studio of stage photographer Napoleon Sarony at  Union Square, actors posed in costume for publicity shots. http://vtvt.essortment.com/chelseanewyo_obd.htm
Union Square Hotel was at the southeast corner of 15th and Union Square West. Single-tax advocate Henry George died here, October 29, 1897. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm#bleecker
29, 1886 George Riddle sent me tickets for his course of readings,
the 1st on Saturday night at Chickering Hall.
Chickering Hall was at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 18th Street. Kings NYC picture http://www.daviscrossfield.com/chicker.htm
Philadelphia, Oct. 31, 1894, Hattie to Neppie The part is a hard one for she has to wear four dresses, two she had made at Simpson & Crawford's [department store], the ball dress she had, and I freshened it up & in the last act she wore one of her Joseph dresses.
Simpson's & Crawfords department store, Fifth Ave. between 19th and 20th Streets [1897 New York Times ad]
Players' Club [map] At 15 Gramercy Park West, 1845, remodelled 1888 by Stanford White after Edwin Booth bought the building and turned it into an actors' club. From 47 East 21st Street it would have been a very short walk to the Players Club.
on Players' Club porch entrance
Players Club is to the left of the National Arts Club in this photograph
Thanks to Syrl Silberman and Saul Rubin for this picture and report -- several years before I made it to NY in search of EJ Phillips.
The National Arts Club is more accessible to the public than the Players Club.
Boston, Apr. 29, 1890 I went to the "Players Club" reception last Wed'day. It was an awful crush and I became very tired. Saw many new faces and met many old friends. I was there from half past three until after five. It was ladies day, no gentlemen admitted unless members of the club.
garden in Gramercy Park.
Edwin Booth statue
Dedication of the statue 1919 http://www.theatrehistory.com/american/booth002.html
Gramercy Park Historic District http://sc.essortment.com/gramercyparksi_maz.htm
Boston, May 22, 1886 [Walden] Ramsey's mother died Tuesday and was buried yesterday from [Episcopalian] Church of the Holy Communion -- 6th Ave [and 20th Street] New York
The Limelight Corner (660 6th Ave): A dance club since 1990; has been closed down at times over accusations of drug sales, as well as general opposition to nightlife. Was Church of the Holy Communion (1846), designed by Richard Upjohn, who designed the new Trinity Church about the same time. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/20st.htm
New York Nov 29, 1895 I went to 11 o'clock Service at Calvary [Church] and to shop [theater] at 1. Mrs. Ahearn gave me my [Thanksgiving] dinner at 12:25.
Calvary Church "has long been one of the leading Episcopal parishes... and is the center of much beneficent activity. The congregational singing is very fine, trained singers being scattered throughout the congregation. [Kings NYC]
Calvary Church now houses a Furniture Store (Park Ave. South) and thrift shop (21st St. and Park Ave. South). I'll write and ask them about the trained singers scattered throughout the congregation that Kings NYC reports. http://www.calvarychurchnyc.org/
Designed by James Renwick Jr. in 1846. It was the Roosevelt family's church (including Teddy and Eleanor). Rev. Edward Washburn, rector 1865-81, was model for Dr. Ashmore in Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm#bleecker Churches and EJP
Broadway & 21st St. above Park
& Tilford's Grocery Store [picture from NYPL]
Mar. 5, 1894 I hope you will be able to come over and see me this week. I have Matinees Wed & Sat. Take 23rd St ferry and car to Broadway. The entrance to this house is on Broadway. You cannot miss it. If I am satisfied with this house I shall remain here next week, making the journey to Brooklyn by Broadway car, Bridge & Brooklyn Elevated to Park Theatre. If I do not like it, I shall move over to the Clarendon in Brooklyn next week.
East 21st Street
Mar. 14, 1893 Arrived in the City yesterday and went to [Hotel] St Denis at 4:40 PM. Came up to 47 E 21st and learned there was a room vacant here. Came over and liked it and took it, and moved here this Morning. I have the 2nd story front room, not so large as Nagles or Beechers, but better furnished and more cosy. Two closets, running hot & cold water in one.
Mar. 24, 1893 The 23rd Street ferry is so convenient you would not have far to walk. Get out of the car at 23rd Street and B'way as this house is nearer the latter than 4th Ave.
c. 47 East 21st St [map] (1888-1891) This was the home and boarding house of Dr. and Mrs. Dr. Nagle. 39 W. 12th. St. may have also been an earlier Nagles.
East 2lst St.
47 is the Microcomputer store. Obviously not the 19th century building.
Microcomputer Store Inc. http://www.mcsmicro.com/
51 East 21st St. July/Aug. 1895 Full at Nagles so they advised me to come here. Have my choice of three rooms here, but think I shall decide on 2nd story back room, as I do not like climbing into the 3rd story. I am now in 3rd story front, but will change on Thursday when it will be vacated.
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS is located at 28 East 20th Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South. http://www.nps.gov/thrb/ Original demolished in 1916, later rebuilt with many original furnishings from Roosevelt's wife and sisters.
Newark NJ Feb. 27, 1896 I do not yet know where I can locate in New York. I am trying to find out about the "Chelsea House", 313 West 22nd Street.
EJP doesn't seem to have ended up at the Chelsea House, but one of Ted Nickinson's daughters and family lived at 360 W. 22nd Street in the 1960's.
Mar. 5, 1894 We play at Grand Opera House tonight and for the week. Next week in Brooklyn, where on Saturday night our present season closes, and a new company is formed under the management of Mr. Gustave Frohman.
Grand Opera House [map] was at the northwest corner of Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street, New York, seated 2,000 with room for 1,500 more to stand. Built by Samuel N. Pike, the builder of Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati", opened in 1868. [Kings NYC] John Nickinson was stage manager at an earlier Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati, and EJ Phillips was playing there when he died in Feb 1864.
When Mrs. Phillips was playing in Cincinnati Mr. Pike brought a light to dark lavender brocade ball gown worn to a reception in Cincinnati for the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, in about 1861, saying it was too conspicuous for his wife to wear often, and if Mrs. Phillips could use it, she might have it. A piece of the silk ended up in a family crazy quilt.
Hotel Chelsea 23rd St. 1884 http://www.hotelchelsea.com/historytop.html 23rd Street's golden age as a theater strip would pass, but in the late 19th Century the Chelsea was in the center, with the Opera House Palace and Pike's Opera House (24th Street and 8th Avenue) down the block and Proctor's Theater ("continuous daily vaudeville") opening across 23rd Street. It was not until January of 1893 that this began to change, with the establishment of The Empire -- Broadway's first proper theater -- near 40th Street uptown.
West 23rd Street - Corner: Former site of the Grand Opera-House; originally Pike's Opera House (1868), bought soon after by financiers Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, partly as showcase for Fisk's mistress, Josie Mansfield, partly as offices for Gould and Fisk's Erie Railway. During 1869 "Black Friday" panic -- caused by Fisk and Gould's attempts to corner gold -- Fisk allegedly hid in Opera- House vaults. Fisk was shot in 1872 by Edward Stokes, a rival for Mansfield; his funeral was held at the Opera- House. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/23st.htm#8av
Lyceum Theatre West side of Fourth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets. (1887-1899) Isabella Nickinson and her husband Charles Walcott Jr. joined Daniel Frohmans' company in New York and appeared at the Lyceum Theatre from 1887-1899.
May 19, 1889 This is the last week of Capt
Swift until next August 26th, Grand Opera
See also letter from Salt Lake City Sept., 14, 1886
Fifth Avenue Hotel Madison Square West, opened 1859, and was demolished in 1908. It has been replaced by the International Toy Center in the Fifth Avenue Building, 200 Fifth Ave. http://www.thetoycenter.com more on Madison Square
The first Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, the Academy of Music, as well as various publishing houses and booksellers, sheet music dealers, and fancy restaurants, gave cultural cachet to the commercial district. The famous character actor Edwin Booth opened a theater on 23rd Street near Sixth Avenue in 1869. Wallack’s at 13th and Broadway showed Restoration comedies. http://vtvt.essortment.com/chelseanewyo_obd.htm
April 29th New
House, Fourth Ave. & 24th Street, A.A. Brockway, Proprietor Oct
We came to this hotel on Tuesday 6 PM. We leave for Boston on Sunday afternoon.
Oct 6, 1886 Ashland House Dr & Mrs. Nagle & I [Hattie] went up to 42nd St. [Depot to meet Mama at 9 o'clock & here we are. Mama asked me to write, as we have been out & she is feeling a little tired. She is well & looks the same as ever. You can imagine that we have done quite some talking. We are living on the European plan.
The Ashland House was a popular hotel here from 1869 until the 1890s. Corner: East 24th St. and Fourth Ave [Park Ave. South] http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm
e. 50 West 24th St [map] (1887-1888) Now Masonic Hall? Couldn't find this number in 2003.
Oct. 4, 1887 Well this morning I went to 50 West 24th where Mr. [Herbert] Millward roomed last winter (and will again if he does not have to travel all season with Jim [the Penman] No 1 Co) and there I can have 3rd story front room heated for $8 per week. She will try to give me breakfast in my room, and the other meals I will take out. I shall not have carfare or hansom fare to pay. And in the long run I think, be cheaper than anything else, and when I feel like eating I shall not be tied down to boarding house fare.
April 18, 1888 The 23rd Street ferry is very convenient to this house.
New York Nov. 19, 1890 Yesterday went to the Brunswick Hotel to hear Mrs. Kendal address the Goethe Society. Subject "The Stage". Heard nothing new but the subject was nicely put together, and very clearly delivered by Mrs. Kendall who has a very sweet toned voice.
The Brunswick Hotel was on Madison Square at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street "much favored by English tourists and is patronized also by the wealthy young men about town". [Kings NYC?]
An ad in an 1887-'88 14th Street Theatre program reads "Table d' Hote Dinner at the Hotel Brunswick from 6 to 8 p.m. $1.50 The restaurant a la carte is open until 1 o'clock for the accommodation of Theatre parties."
April 14, 1886 Hattie went to luncheon with Mr. Simmons and Lizzie today at Delmonicos
Delmonicos had moved uptown from Wall Street in 1876, to the south side of 26th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway "to provide a place for the cream of society to dine and dance". Blue Guide
Some of the earliest eating establishments in the city were taverns and food stalls, but there is little historical record of them, [curator William] Grimes said. So, instead, the exhibit begins with the growth of Delmonico’s, a classy, French- style restaurant. Delmonico’s, credited with inventing popular dishes such as Baked Alaska and Lobster Newberg, attracted the city’s movers and shakers throughout the 19th century and expanded uptown as well- heeled diners made it a hot spot. But like many other fancy restaurants in the city, Delmonico’s could not survive Prohibition, when alcohol was banned. The restaurant shut its doors in 1923. Prohibition was repealed a decade later. A modern-day restaurant in New York called Delmonicos is in the style of the original and serves some of the same dishes, but it is not connected to the original owners. "New York Eats Out" exhibit at New York Public Library, 2002. http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/mobilechannel/842164.htm
Madison Square Garden (the building) is now on West 31st. St, but was preceded by two previous Madison Square Gardens on the East side, at Madison Square Park.
Madison Square Park Broadway between East 23rd and East 26th.http://www.newyorkled.com/madisonpark.htm Named after James Madison, established 1836.
Madison Square, much more tranquil and leafy than Union Square
Madison Square Park has a statue of US Senator Roscoe Conkling who died after trying to walk home in the Blizzard of 1888.
Bartholdi Day Oct. 28 1886 Dedication of the Statue of Liberty Between 1876 and 1882, the right arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty were on display in [Madison Square] park, in order to raise money for the construction of the statue. http://www.aviewoncities.com/nyc/madisonsquare.htm Fundraising for the platform took some years to complete, finally being organized by Joseph Pulitzer.
The General William Jenkins Worth Monument, on the triangle formed by Broadway, 5th Avenue, and 25th Street, not only is a memorial to the Mexican War general, but is, in fact, his gravesite. It was created by sculptor James Batterson in 1857. Since Worth died in 1849, his remains may have been transferred here. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/CEMETERIES/grant/grant.html
General William Jenkins Worth Monument New York Songlines, Broadway http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/29st.htm#broadway
THE WORTH MONUMENT At the junction of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Twenty-fifth Street is a small, triangular park, in which is a granite obelisk, known as the Worth Monument. If we read the bronze bands which are around the stone, we find inscribed Chippewa and Lundys Lane of the War of 1812 and nearly every battle of the Mexican War in which either Taylor or Scott fought; for Major-General William J. Worth was the right hand man of both these commanders. Worth was a native of Hudson and a very distinguished officer. He died in Texas in 1849, and his body was brought here later. After lying in state in the City Hall, it was buried with imposing ceremonies on November 25, 1857, under this monument erected by the City of New York. It has become customary in late years to erect reviewing stands abreast of the monument when parades and processions pass down Fifth Avenue to the Washington Arch, or up the avenue to points above. Here the reviewing officer, whether president, governor, mayor, or other distinguished person, takes his stand. Jenkins, Greatest Street in the World, 1911
Stanford White's Madison Square Garden Theatre [map] NE corner of Madison Square (1890-1925) AM Palmer managed originally.
The Actor's Fund Fair was held May 2-7, 1892 in Stanford White's new (opened 1890) Madison Square Garden . "The entire floor was laid out as a miniature village of one street in the midst of a plain. The buildings were models of famous theatres of ancient London and older New York , and the architecture and picturesque local color of several centuries and of places far distant from each other were cleverly brought into harmony.
The Garden Theatre was a portion of Stanford White's Madison Square Garden structure, but separately managed. The auditorium, eight boxes, a gallery and a balcony seated about 1200. The bases of the box tiers and the heavy columns forming the frame of the outer proscenium arch were of onyx and the wall hung with silk in tints of light yellow and cream. Kings NYC 1893
Now the site of the New York Life Building (1928) building by Cass Gilbert, the designer of the Woolworth Tower; the rooftop pyramid is a trademark. Built on site of New York, New Haven & Hartford Depot, which in 1871 became P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome, later Gilmore's Garden, which the Vanderbilt family turned into the original Madison Square Garden. This was torn down and rebuilt in 1890 to a design by Stanford White -- considered his masterwork. Topped by Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Diana (now in Philadelphia Museum of Art; a smaller copy is at the Met). In 1906, White was shot and killed in his building's Roof Garden by Harry K. Thaw, jealous husband of White's former mistress Evelyn Nesbit. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm#bleecker
March 29, 1886 Barnum had to postpone his procession Saturday night and will have to tonight, for it is still raining 4:45 PM and looks as if it meant to continue all night.
PT Barnum http://www.barnum-museum.org/
Barnum's Hippodrome http://www.mcny.org/Exhibitions/Circus/circus8.jpg
Madison Square Theatre, 24th St. (5th and Madison) 1877 Built after a fire destroyed the previous theatre on the site, (the south side of 24th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue) Rebuilt by Steele MacKaye in 1879 "as one of the earliest "intimate" playhouses. Demolished in 1908.
It was 'the remarkable Madison Square Company' according to Lewis C. Strang, 'rather than the plays that were given, which brought such reputation to the house".
New York Clipper offices
47 West 28th St.
Another Paul Meconi storefront was the office of the New York Clipper, ''the oldest American Sporting & Theatrical Journal''; top floor was Whitney-Warner Publishing Company (''Hiawatha''). http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/28st.htm
A's American Actors Amateur Athletic Association [map]
West 29th Street *
San Francisco, July 31, 1890 I asked [Maurice] Barrymore about the 5 A's which he was one of the founders, but has not taken an active part lately. Scan in Albert's guest pass card when I find it.
Revolutionary Age Newspaper, 43 West 29th Street, New York, New York — This building has a store front on the ground level with offices on the upper three levels. No integrity remains from the period dating to 1925 when the Revolutionary Age newspaper was published. US Constitution, Selected Constitutional Decisions http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/butowsky2/constitution2.htm
Little Church Around the Corner Church of the Transfiguration, One East 29th Street, Between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue http://www.littlechurch.org/history.html The difficulty in finding a church in which to hold George Holland's funeral in 1870 (the father of EM Holland) led Joseph Jefferson to exclaim "Thank God for the Little Church Around the Corner" by which the church has been known ever since.
Richard Mansfield's desk is in Guild Hall, One East 29th St. and he has a stained glass window in the Church of the Transfiguration, Episcopal Actors' Guild of America, Inc. Edwin Booth's funeral was held at the Church of the Transfiguration. http://www.eaguild.homestead.com/files/index.html
Broadway & 29th St. 1186
Broadway (southeast corner)
Jan.4, 1897 I located in the above this afternoon a little before 4 o'clock. Tried the New Amsterdam -- but they had only two single rooms vacant -- both dark and about the size of [grandson's] Ted's bedroom - would not have held my trunks. Nagles had no empty rooms so I came here. Have a plain room on the 4th floor with running cold water, no hot for $1 per day. Am taking meals on the European plan. Guess it will be a little expensive but I can take meals where I please.
Maurice Barrymores often had a suite
at the Sturtevant, before moving to an apartment on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue
Breslin Apartments; formerly Breslin Hotel. Houses Silver Street, Speed Zone Inc., Drama Ltd. Creative Clothing and other wholesalers. Previously on this site was Sturtevant House, where on June 2, 1873, novelist Mansfield Walworth was shot to death by his son for making threats against the son's mother. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/29st.htm
corner of 29th and Broadway
NE corner of Broadway & 29th St.
Gilsey House Northeast corner Broadway & 29th St. (1200 Broadway): Opened in 1871 as the Gilsey Hotel, this cast-iron Second Empire landmark was the first hotel in the city to offer telephone service to guests. It was a favorite of Diamond Jim Brady and Oscar Wilde. Converted to housing in 1979. New York Songlines, 29th St. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/29st.htm
The Gilsey at Twenty-ninth Street on the east side, the Grand [Hotel] at Thirty-first Street, just above, now called the New Grand, the Coleman House on the west side between Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth streets, the Hotel Martinique at the north-east corner of Thirty-second Street, and the Sturtevant at 1186 Broadway, a favorite stopping place for officers of the army and navy. The last two have disappeared, the Gilsey is termed the New Breslin, and the Imperial at Thirty-first to Thirty-second streets, the finest hotel of all, has been erected and enlarged within less than fifteen years. Where the Gilsey House now stands was the field of the St. George Cricket Club, which was formed by the Englishmen who patronized Clark and Brown's English chop-house in Maiden Lane; the grounds of the club are now on Staten Island. At the southeast corner of Twenty-sixth Street, Delmonico's up-town restaurant was located from 1876 to 1888, when the Cafe Martin took its place and succeeded to its popularity. There are a number of well-known restaurants and Rathskellers on this part of the thoroughfare. Jenkins, Greatest Street in the World, 1911
Dalys Theatre (1879) [map] 1221 Broadway http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA02/volpe/theater/theater/dalys.html more
Wallacks' Theatre [map] (third 1882) Broadway and 30th Street (just south of Greeley Square) then Palmer's Theatre, (1888) then in1891 Hoyt's Theatre more
Jan 24, 1892 I rehearse at 11 tomorrow and at 3 PM have to attend a "tea & reception" at the Holland House [Hotel] [30th St & 5th Avenue] given by the committee of "The Actors Fund Fair" to be held in May at the Madison Square Garden. I suppose the object to-morrow will be to see what everybody concerned is willing to do, to make the affair a success.
Marble Collegiate Church and Holland House photo, Detroit Publishing Co., Library of Congress American Memory http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?detr:1:./temp/~ammem_UZeu::@@@md more Holland House
Marble Collegiate Church (1854) on 5th Ave and 29th St. was certainly around (but not yet associated with Norman Vincent Peale) when EJP was in the neighborhood. History http://www.marblechurch.org/history.html Exterior http://www.marblechurch.org/exterior.html
475 Fourth Ave [map] 1886
Feb. 7, 1886 A new agent called for the rent yesterday, and said when our lease expired in May that the rent would be $45 and they would like to know as early as possible if we intended remaining. I do not think a cheaper Flat can be found in the City although a smaller one would now do me and [daughter] Hattie - but where to find one in a respectable locality is the difficulty.
New York City Directory
1890-1891 puts 475 Fourth Ave. between East 31st and E. 32nd St.
475 (corner Fourth Ave): This 35-floor 1969 building has a plaza sculpture, Triad, based on the Picasso painting Three Musicians. http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/4av.htm
Fourth Avenue is not nearly as long as the other Avenues. It is an extension of the Bowery, running only from Astor Place in the East Village to Union Square. 475 may well have housed a number of actors, as we have a calling card of Mrs. LeMoyne with the same address.
There are only two buildings now between East 31st and 32nd Streets. 461 is only several stories high, but what must have been 475 is now a very tall bank building, graced with vinyl free checking signs and a mural about the healthy cardiovascular advantages of high fiber diets.
History of Fourth Ave. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/streetnecrology/AveA/declassified.html
26 West 31st. Street
Ave and Broadway
26 West 31st. St, Nov 23. 1891 You ask if I am far from my old boarding house. Yes, it is quite a walk -- ten blocks -- that was 21st Street near 4th Avenue. This is 31st near B'way. My work will be at "Palmer's" Theatre this Winter and that is on the corner of B'way and 30th Street. And on the North side of 30th Street. This house being on the South side of 31st. Therefore I do not have to cross a street to go to my place of business.
Dec. 3, 1891 I think I am living in the house of the late Henry Ward Beecher. The initials of this gentleman are H.W.. He is not here a great deal himself but his wife and family are. [But Henry Ward Beecher had lived in Brooklyn and the NY City Directory 1890-1891 lists Herbert W. Beecher at this address.]
New York, Feb. 5, 1892 The house [26 West 31st. St.] is between B'way and 5th Avenue, just back of the Grand Hotel [Broadway and 31st. St.]
Seems to be a construction site, largely a hole in the
ground on the south side of 31st. St. in June 2003.
March 2005 Still under construction, but well above ground now. more on West 31st. Street
6th Ave between 32nd and 33rd Sts
Newark, Apr. 6, 1894 On our way I showed him [Walter Dolman] the various theatres, and last night he was called to a rehearsal at Standard Theatre. This Morning found his way there alone taking 6th Ave L to 33rd St and he got back all right.
Hotel 5th Ave. and 33rd. St. [now site of the Empire State Building]
Mar. 19, 1893 The New Waldorf Hotel was opened on Thursday to the Public and everybody is amazed at the magnificence displayed. Only $20 per day for a suite consisting of Parlor, bedroom & bathroom. Meals extra. It is on the European plan. I guess we could live there for about $40 per day, $280 per week. Not much for a Rockefeller or Vanderbilt but the Astors will never get it out of this child. Cause why? She hasn't got that much & never will have. And if she had, would not spend it so foolishly.
Opera House [map] Block bounded by Broadway, Seventh Avenue, 39th &
New York Nov. 19, 1890 Tomorrow appear at Metropolitan Opera House for Benefit of Cath[olic] Orphan Asylum.
Theatre [map] 1893 Charles Frohman 1430 Broadway, at 40th St.
Philadelphia, Mar. 24, 1894 Mr. Frank Connor tells me he has had an interview with Mr. Humphreys at the Empire Theater and he told Mr. Conner that at present there was nothing being done in regard to new plays or "casts". So for the present there is no sense in my going to NY and presenting myself to the New York Managers.
Rossmore Hotel, Broadway, 41st and
42nd Sts Geo. T. Putney & Co, Proprietor
Oct. 4, 1887 I arrived 10:30 Sunday night and came with Mr. & Mrs. [Louis] Massen to this hotel where Mr. Massen thought, and tried to make terms for me, but in vain. Everything is too high for me. Nothing less than $25 per week that would be fit to live in.
Central Depot at 42nd Street
Grand Central Station wasn't built until 1903. Cornelius Vanderbilt built the Grand Central Depot in 1871. WPA Guide to New York City, 1939.
The existing building is not the first facility to be built
on 42nd street. Construction of the first building, called Grand Central Depot,
was begun in 1869 when Commodore Vanderbilt was in charge of the New York
Central and Hudson River Railroad. ..
When the New York Central moved to the new Grand Central Depot in 1871, the old
station at 27th Street was bought by P.T. Barnum and converted into the first
Madison Square Garden. The current Madison Square Garden was built over the site
of the old (and Grand) Pennsylvania Station. Grand Central Depot was inadequate
from the day it was completed in 1871 until it was replaced by Grand Central
Terminal in 1913. Pierce Haviland, NJ, NY & CT Railroad page http://piercehaviland.com/rail/gct.htm
EJ Phillips was forever getting on or off of trains. Railroads
The Windemere (southwest corner of 57th and Ninth), built in 1881, is an early luxury apartment house or "French flat." http://www.explorenyc.com/Hell's%20Kitchen/text.html
John Nickinson, Jr. listed in an 1886 New York City Directory as living at 221 East 81st. St. and working as a clerk.
theatres and other sites
Apr. 12, 1893 Hotel Peteler, SE Corner of 124th Street & Lexington Ave NY . I am half a block from back entrance of theatre -- board is very good, and I get it for $9 per week -- quite a save on $20. I am saved the long ride after the performance and as we give 2 matinees -- today, the other on Saturday, I am spared from riding up and down and buying lunches as I should have to do on Matinee days for business up here is better than at the Square, and the play receives more enthusiastic applause. The theatre is a fine large one -- fronts on 125th Street and runs back to 124th. I think the auditorium will hold more than double the number than could get in at Union Square. [Actually 1800 compared to 1300 at the Union Square Theatre.]
Harlem Opera House [map] was at 207 West 125th Street. Opened in 1889, it was owned and managed by Oscar Hammerstein.
Jan. 9, 1895 Hammerstein's Theatre where we are to play next week fronts on the North side of 125th Street and the back door is on 126th Street so the boarding house I expect to go to is 219 West 126th Street. I have written to the lady of the house, by name Mrs. FL Wandell, to see if she can accommodate me.
Brooklyn Theatre, Brooklyn New York, Oct. 11, 1886
Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online 1841-1902 http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Archive/skins/BE/Phaseone.htm has an account of the final performances at the Brooklyn Theatre June 2, 1890 (Richard Mansfield in A Parisian Romance and Rose Coghlan and Charles Walcott in Dion Boucicault's London Assurance)
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy http://www.bbpc.net/
The opening of the
Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 is described in the Brooklyn Eagle online.
http://www.new-york-hotels-usa.com/brooklyn_bridge.htm I think I have an 1883 letter mentioning the bridge.
Bridge from the Seaport, March 2005
Best of the brownstones walking tours http://www.charleslockwood.com/tours.html
Dolkart, Andrew S. and Steven Wheeler, Touring Lower Manhattan: Three Walks in New York's Historic Downtown. New York Landsmarks Conservancy, 2000.
Gotham Center for New York City History, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York http://www.gothamcenter.org/index.html
Janvier, Thomas, In Old New York with an introduction by Edwin G. Burrows, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000, First published 1894.
Kendrick, John, New York Theatres: Past and Present http://www.musicals101.com/bwayhouses.htm
Mendelsohn, Joyce, Touring the Flatiron: Walks in Four Historic Neighborhoods, New York Landmarks Conservancy, 1998 http://www.e-guana.net/organizations.php3?orgid=79&typeID=650&action=printContentItem&itemID=5119&templateID=923&sortField=alpha&...
Naureckas, Jim, New York Songlines http://www.nysonglines.com/ Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets
New York Landmarks Conservancy http://www.nylandmarks.org/index.php
New York Public Library, R. Waddell, Moving Uptown: Nineteenth Century Views of Manhattan, 1998 http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/art/print/exhibits/movingup/opening.htm
Stern, Robert, Thomas Mellins and David Fishman, New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age, New York: Monacelli Press, 1999
Stern Robert AM, Gregory Gilmartin and John Massengale, New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanisms 1890-1915, New York: Rizzoli, 1983.
Sullivan, James editor, History of New York State, 1927
Book II Chapter IV, Part II http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/his/bk2/ch4/pt2.html 1830's - 1850s New York
Book II Chapter IV Part IV http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/his/bk2/ch4/pt4.html Post Civil War New York City
Book II Chapter IV Part V http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/his/bk2/ch4/pt5.html 1870s -1880s
Book II Chapter IV Part VI http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/his/bk2/ch4/pt6.html 1890s
Williams, Ellen and Steve Radlauer, Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York, New York: The Little Bookroom, 2002 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1892145154/qid=1078015784/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-603...
More New York City
Bibliographies New York Letters 1886-1889 New York Letters 1890-1897
Rinear, David, The Temple of Momus: Mitchell's Olympic Theater, Scarecrow Press, 1987, ordered 3/15/2005
Last updated April 1, 2005
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