The Bohemian State of New York

Bohemian Nation of Washington Woodstock


Henry Brevoort, and Sir Walter Scott, corresponded. They discussed the writing of Washington Irving. Scott wrote about Woodstock and Fair Rosamond who is the subject of the castle Singer built on an island. Churchill grew up in Blenheim Palace were Rosamond’s Labyrinth was located. A lake was named after her. Here is The Fair Lady of the Rose and Lake.

The artist, Marcel Duchamp, climbed atop the arch in Washington Square, and declared Washington Square a sovereign nation. On this day I found the New Bohemian Nation of Washington Woodstock, named after Washington Irving, and a generation known as The Woodstock Nation of Flower Children who will be forever known as….


Washington Woodstock will be a Sanctuary for all children who have demonstrated Literary and Artistic Gifts, and find themselves being bullied and harassed. I suggest a Art and Poetry event take place in Washington Woodstock Square for The Dreamers’.

Consuelo Vanderbuilt, and Jennie Jerome, were the daughters of American Millionairs who married into the royal family that lived at Blenheim, and had to be familiar with the Legends of Rosamond. These are the Beautiful American Daughters of Wall Street. Let there be a sanctuary and new understanding of how sane business people conduct business, and themselves in The Bohemian Renaissance.

“In 1817, Washington Irving spent several days with his literary idol, Sir Walter Scott, at Abbotsford, Scott’s stately home near Melrose, Scotland. At the time, Scott was known more for his romantic poetry than his novels, though at the time of Irving’s visit, Scott was reviewing the proofs of his historical novel Rob Roy, part of his popular Waverley series.”

On this day, let the Knight Templars of Rougemont pour out of the Arch of Washington Woodstock, and form a Rouge Line along 14th. Street, from river to river.

Haters of Democracy……………You will not pass! We will crush the fake reports of Breitbart with real history. We will make America and England great again!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2017

Sarah Wilson Rosamond and House of Schwarzenberg

It is 7:25 in the morning. I have found my Bohemian People. Presco was originally spelled Braskewitz. My father’s ancestors came from Bohemia, and, so did my mother’s people via Sarah Wilson. She descends from the House of Schwarzenberg who were friends with Martin Luther. This is why William Wilson is buried in Saint George Cathedral. The House of Saxe-Coburg is in this tree. I am kin to much royalty. I am home. I am tired. I have been up all night.

John Gregory Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press


Woodstock Manor was destroyed in the English Civil War (1642-51). But a description of it came into the hands of Sir Walter Scott, the great Scottish novelist, and he included it in his 1826 novel Woodstock or The Cavalier.

The original hunting lodge at Woodstock in Henry I’s day became Rosamund’s Bower, or Rosamund’s Labyrinth, in Henry II’s day, as legend would have it (this legend was completely debunked very much later in history, along with the idea that Eleanor of Aquitaine killed the fair Rosamund, though Henry II did have a deep and long-lasting affair with Rosamund Clifford); Henry II did make the original hunting lodge into a very elaborate country estate for his fair Rosamund; then…

Blenheim Palace was built on the site of the original hunting lodge and Rosamund’s Labyrinth, and was completed in 1724. It’s now a World Heritage Site, and one remarkable building.

The Free And Independent Republic Of Washington Square (Part II)

John Sloan (1871-1951) Arch Conspirators, 1917; Courtesy of New York University

Yesterday in The Daily Plant:
But perhaps as significant a break with the artistic past as the 1913 Armory Show was an event that occurred 90 years ago today in Washington Square Park.

And now, today’s conclusion:
It was on the cold, snowy evening of January 23, 1917 that painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp, poet Gertrude Drick, and Provincetown Playhouse actors Alan Russell Mann, Betty Turner, and Charles Ellis slipped through an unlocked door and climbed up the spiral staircase to the roof of the Washington Arch. These six so-called “Arch Conspirators” then spread out blankets, hung Chinese lanterns, tied red balloons to the arch’s parapet, sipped tea, shot off cap pistols, and conversed until dawn. At some point during the night, the ringleader, Gertrude Drick, read a proclamation by candlelight into the windy night — a declaration of independence for what the Arch Conspirators, somewhat ironically, called the “Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square.”

That cold January night on the top of the Washington Arch was immortalized graphically by John Sloan’s 1917 print entitled “Arch Conspirators,” depicting the artists and bohemians chatting by candlelight high above Fifth Avenue, balloons buffeted by the wind. Social commentator Luc Sante astutely noted that the slightly comical declaration of January 23, 1917 “actually named the thing that all the inhabitants of the Greenwich Village bohemia of that time were aiming for, a revolution in more than just a legislative sense, a free territory untrammeled by convention.”

While 1917’s Declaration of Independence was soon forgotten, Greenwich Village’s spirit of rebellion and breaking with the past was very much alive, then and now. It is no understatement to declare that modern American art became deeply rooted in and around Washington Square in the decades after the Arch Conspirators’ stunt. Artists like Sloan and Glackens were the vanguard of an entire movement of realist painters, including Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper, who painted around Washington Square. Other strains of art followed in Duchamp’s iconoclastic footsteps, most notably Jackson Pollock and other abstract expressionists. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney established the Whitney Museum of American Art in a studio a few blocks from the square, and sustained an entire generation of emerging artists by her encouragement and patronage.

In more recent years, Washington Square continued to exert creative gravity for new generations of artists, writers, and performers — Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Charlie Parker, and Allen Ginsberg all performed in and around the square. These days, the access door on the west pier of Washington Arch is locked, the spiral stairs secured, and the arch roof off limits. But on a chilly January night, 90 years after Sloan, Drick, Duchamp and the other Arch Conspirators proclaimed the independence of Washington Square, rebellion and artistic expression remain very much a part of the spirit of Greenwich Village.

Duchamp’s contempt for conventionalism is reflected in his involvement with the “Arch Conspirators.” In January of 1917, Duchamp and a group of fellow artists (including poet Gertrude Drick; painter John Sloan; and Provincetown Playhouse actors Russell Mann, Betty Turner, and Charles Ellis) entered the inside of the Washington Square Arch’s staircase through an unlocked door, climbed to the top of the arch, and declared liberation for the “Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square” with the intent of having a neighborhood free from mainstream convention. The Daily Plant, the paper of the City’s Parks Department, wrote: “These six so-called ‘Arch Conspirators’ then spread out blankets, hung Chinese lanterns, tied red balloons to the arch’s parapet, sipped tea, shot off cap pistols, and conversed until dawn.” (Read more about the Arch Conspiracy here). 


Posted On Fri, September 19, 2014 By In Celebrities, Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

You won’t find any paint-splattered masterpieces here, but you will get the exclusive bragging rights of saying you live in the former home of Jackson Pollock at 46 Carmine Street. And if that wasn’t enough of a conversation starter, the Greenwich Village building was once owned by Aaron Burr.

On Dark Island, Ponder Fair Rosamund’s Fate

Singer Castle on Dark Island, New York

Singer Castle, built for the Singer Sewing Company’s president Frank Bourne in 1902, was modelled on Sir Walter Scott’s description of the place where Henry II’s mistress, Fair Rosamund, was imprisoned in the 12th century.
MITCHELL SMYTH/Meridian Writers’ Group

A MEDIEVAL mystery echoes down the centuries and across an ocean to the halls of a faux castle on this island in the St. Lawrence River.

The mystery: what happened to Fair Rosamund, the beautiful young mistress of King Henry II (1133-1189) of England? Was she murdered by his jealous queen, Eleanor of Aquataine? Or did she live out her later years anonymously, in a convent?

It’s a riddle you can ponder as you walk the corridors and gardens, study the ancient weapons and suits of armour, and peer into the secret passages of Singer Castle, here on Dark Island, a few hundred metres south of the Canada-U.S. border in the St. Lawrence. (Belying its name, Dark Island is a pleasant place, not in the least eerie or brooding.) Or, if you want to pay $725, you and your lover can ponder in the bridal suite, which may be a replica of Rosamund’s bedchamber.

Regrettably, the guide on the day of my visit appeared to know very little about the castle’s medieval connection, beyond saying the building “was modelled on an English castle.”

In fact, the original was not a castle. Medieval castles were fortified structures. Woodstock Manor, in Oxfordshire, was a royal hunting lodge in a forest stocked with deer and wild boar for the entertainment of Henry and his courtiers. (“Woodstock,” in Norman English, means a clearing in the woods.)

It was there that, sometime around 1160, Henry sequestered Rosamund de Clifford, the woman who has gone down in English folklore as Fair Rosamund.

Supposedly—and there are a lot of suppositions in the tale—the entrance to Rosamund’s quarters was guarded by a maze, but the jealous Eleanor found a silken thread that had been torn from her rival’s gown. She followed it to the tragic young woman’s chamber and poisoned her. (Another version says Eleanor’s knight stabbed the young woman.)

Serious historians reject the story. They say Rosamund died in a nunnery, where she had fled to atone for her adultery with the king. Some say Henry “leaked” the murder story to blacken Eleanor, whom he had grown to hate.

Woodstock Manor was destroyed in the English Civil War (1642-51). But a description of it came into the hands of Sir Walter Scott, the great Scottish novelist, and he included it in his 1826 novel Woodstock or The Cavalier.

Fast forward to 1902. It was the Gilded Age for America’s industrialists and tycoons and Frank Bourne, president of the Singer Sewing Company, wanted a summer “cottage” on his three-hectare Dark Island. He commissioned architect Ernest Flagg, who had designed the Singer Building in New York.

Flagg was a fan of Sir Walter so, switching his talents from skyscrapers to castles, he modelled Flagg’s summer home on the novelist’s description, red-topped turrets, a dungeon, tunnels and all. The cost: $500,000, a fortune in those days.

Singer Castle remained a private residence until 2003, when the present owners opened it to public tours. Among the books in its library is a first edition of Scott’s Woodstock.

In 1817, Washington Irving spent several days with his literary idol, Sir Walter Scott, at Abbotsford, Scott’s stately home near Melrose, Scotland. At the time, Scott was known more for his romantic poetry than his novels, though at the time of Irving’s visit, Scott was reviewing the proofs of his historical novel Rob Roy, part of his popular Waverley series.

Rebecca Gratz

Three years after Irving’s visit–right around the time Irving was enjoying international success with the publication of The Sketch Book—Scott published a blockbuster of his own, another installment of the Waverley series, the medieval adventure novel Ivanhoe.  Featured prominently in Scott’s story is the character Rebecca, the beautiful daughter of a Jewish moneylender, as well as a healer who saves Ivanhoe and is later tried–and, with the help of Ivanhoe as her champion, cleared–of charges of witchcraft.

Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford, letter signed to Henry Brevoort, 23 April 1813
Expresses the writer’s delight in Washington Irving’s History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Scott, Walter, 1771-1832
Brevoort, Henry, 1782-1848
April 23, 1813

e estate given by the nation to Marlborough for the new palace was the manor of Woodstock, sometimes called the Palace of Woodstock, which had been a royal demesne, in reality little more than a deer park. Legend has obscured the manor’s origins. King Henry I enclosed the park to contain the deer. Henry II housed his mistress Rosamund Clifford (sometimes known as “Fair Rosamund”) there in a “bower and labyrinth”; a spring in which she is said to have bathed remains, named after her.

Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough (1871–1934) can be credited with saving both the palace and the family. Inheriting the near-bankrupt dukedom in 1892, he was forced to find a quick and drastic solution to the problems. Prevented by the strict social dictates of late 19th-century society from earning money, he was left with one solution; he had to marry money. In November 1896 he coldly and openly without love married the American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. The marriage was celebrated following lengthy negotiations with her divorced parents: her mother, Alva Vanderbilt, was desperate to see her daughter a duchess, and the bride’s father, William Vanderbilt, paid for the privilege. The final price was $2,500,000 (worth about $62m in 2007) in 50,000 shares of the capital stock of the Beech Creek Railway Company with a minimum 4% dividend guaranteed by the New York Central Railroad Company. The couple were given a further annual income each of $100,000 for life. The bride later claimed she had been locked in her room until she agreed to the marriage. The contract was actually signed in the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, immediately after the wedding vows had been made. In the carriage leaving the church, Marlborough told Consuelo he loved another woman, and would never return to America, as he “despised anything that was not British”.[25][26]


Sir Winston Churchill was born at the palace on 30 November 1874. He proposed to his wife, Clementine Hozier, in the Temple of Diana summerhouse in the palace gardens on 11 August 1908. He is quoted as having said: “At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.”


During the Second World War, between 1939 and 1940, more than 400 boys were evacuated to the palace from Malvern College. For one academic year the college used the State Rooms as dormitories and classrooms – and the boys even had lessons in the bathrooms, according to a spokesperson for the palace.

Meanwhile, Blenheim Park was used by the Home Guard, and the lake for preparation for the D-Day landings. The country house was later used by MI5.

Greenwich Village: Past and Present

By on January 5, 2017

453-461-sixth-avenue-in-the-historic-districtOn a bitterly cold January morning in 1917, the painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamps, along with friends, climbed to the top of Washington Square Arch to proclaim the secession of Greenwich Village from the United States. Thenceforth the neighborhood that stood as America’s repository of avant-garde art, literature and social enlightenment would be known as the Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square. The stunt defined the character of the Village, as it is popularly known to New Yorkers, for the ensuing half century.

In the 1930s, a creative effervescence took hold in Manhattan. At the southern reaches of the island, where ancient cobbled streets and leafy squares mirrored the Bohemian character of Greenwich Village, one could hardly set forth in any of the lively watering holes and coffee houses without spotting local artists like Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning or Jackson Pollock, propping up the bar at the White Horse Tavern or Caffè Reggio, the first place in America to serve cappuccino.

Originally an Indian fishing village with a stream running through it known as the Minetta (hence the still-thriving Minetta Tavern), the area was transformed into a tobacco plantation by the Dutch, while under the English it became a country village known as Grinwich. Thanks to its isolation, most of the Village was spared inclusion in the Manhattan grid plan and retained its twisting 18th century street layout.

‘The neighborhood is intriguing because of the unfamiliar street pattern,’ says art deco historian and former Greenwich Village tour guide Anthony W. Robins. ‘For instance, it was fun discovering the intersection of West 4 th and West 12 th streets, thoroughly unintuitive to a New Yorker accustomed to the usual Uptown grid, where numbered streets are always parallel to one another.’

In the 1930s any self-respecting Villager could proudly claim that almost every cultural amenity a person might want was to be found within the confines of an area bounded by Bleecker and 14th Street, Second Avenue and Greenwich Street. No other residential section of New York could hold a candle to the cultural vibrancy of Greenwich Village. Those who lived outside this privileged enclave scarcely existed. Wall Street might just as well have been in Illinois, and Madison Avenue a road in Ohio.

In the 1930s world celebrities like Albert Einstein, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlie Chaplin and Joseph Conrad sat for the sculptor Jo Davidson in his Village studio. In that decade, the Village became a powerful symbol of cultural rebirth, a community that set its sights beyond the desolation of the Depression, keeping alive and cultivating the arts in all their manifestations. Many Village residents, as well as those who came to partake of its nonconformist culture, became leading activists in the social-reform movement. Barney Josephson, the son of a Jewish Latvian immigrant, was a jazz fan and frequent visitor to the Cotton Club in Harlem. Much as he enjoyed the music, Josephson was troubled by the club’s racial segregation policy. Determined to put right this injustice, in 1938 he opened Café Society in the heart of the Village, a dark and cosy basement meeting place. This became America’s first racially integrated nightclub, where top performers like Billie Holiday and jazz pianist Teddy Wilson lost no time in showing Josephson their support and gratitude, both putting in regular appearances at the Sheridan Square venue.

Always in the vanguard of progressive thought, at the time of Hitler’s ascendancy the Village became a beacon of hope for persecuted German academics, guiding them to a safe harbour of promise. By the 1930s The New School for Social Research had set up its ‘University in Exile’ in West 12th with the backing of a diverse group of luminaries, including Supreme Court chief justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union Felix Frankfurter, philosopher John Dewey and newspaper editor Herbert Bayard Swope. By 1934, they had raised enough funds to bring a dozen highly regarded German Jewish academics to New York. In the ensuing decade, nearly 200 European intellectuals had joined the faculty at the New School’s Village campus.

Even at that time change was beginning to take hold of Village life. The British photographer Sir Cecil Beaton noted in his travels to New York in the 1930s that the Village had become ‘more bourgeois than

Bohemian’. What he saw was a neighborhood in which ‘the artists’ quarter had yielded to slums or commercialism…the aspiring poets, working in gas-lit rooms with splintered floors, unable to pay their six dollars a week rent, have moved elsewhere’.

But Beaton acknowledges that ‘Washington Square, with charming, uniform houses of red brick, retains what Henry James described as “established repose”. Bobbles, like the fringes of Edith Wharton’s antimacassars, still hang from the plane trees with their artificially sun-dappled bark.’

‘There are few places in New York that could be said to be anything less than dramatically changed from the 1930s to the present,’ says Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. ‘In many cases, parts of New York have in fact unrecognisably changed over the last eighty years. Yet in spite of that the Village, while clearly a vastly different place than it was eighty years ago, or even eight years ago, shares a remarkable amount in common with its inter-war self.’

Berman says that today, as in the 1930s, the Village still feels like an intimate, tucked away neighborhood, and yet ironically a place where people come from all over the city, region, and world for a taste of charm, history, excitement, drama, and culture. ‘This has always been and remains a paradox of the Village – it is at once one of New York’s quietest and liveliest of neighborhoods,’ he says. ‘Vast stretches of the Village, from its charming row houses to its evocative tenements and grand pre-war apartment buildings, remain intact. Some houses have gone full circle over the past century, once turned into multi-family dwellings and now converted back to single-family houses.’

In the 1960s, Bob Dylan pitched up in the Village to launch his career. Beatniks, New York University students and hippies huddled in the candle-lit premises of The Bitter End, the Village Gate and Café Wha’ to listen enraptured to the future megastar. Today tourists are offered the Bob Dylan Greenwich Walking Tour. They are guided through a warren of narrow streets, whose four postcodes rank amongst the ten most expensive property sites in the US.

The 1960s witnessed a flowering of Village counterculture, epitomized by literary icons like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Borroughs, the founding fathers of the Beat Generation. They are gone, yet many traditions endure: The New School remains a center of academic excellence, The Village Vanguard continues to bring in dazzling jazz ensembles and Caffè Reggio, the last of a vanished breed, is still serving cappuccino in its baroque salon to the Village literati and tourists, as it has done for nearly a century.

‘Washington Square has been rebuilt as a family-friendly park, though students still seem to be its major population,’ says Robins. ‘New York University has continued to expand — it replaced the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived with a new building for the Law School. Yes, the Village remains a tourist draw, but still a wonderful place to wander around. The presence of NYU guarantees the survival of a few restaurants catering to students, and even the occasional bookshop. But hippies? Radical politics? Resident artists, musicians and writers? Not at these prices — they are few and far between.’

Berman says one thing today’s Village shares most distinctly with that of the 1930s are the doomsday forecasts: the Village is ‘finished’, no longer what it once was or what defined it.  ‘Not only was this being said in the 1930s and in every decade that followed, you can find literature asserting the same in the 1890s, when the Village first started to become a tourist destination for those seeking to enjoy how the other half lived,’ he says.  ‘However, then as now the Village continues to attract residents and visitors drawn by its almost impossibly charming and anachronistic streets, its strong sense of community, its shockingly low scale, its quiet streets, lively thoroughfares, and unrivaled array of places to eat, shop, be entertained, laugh, and be seen. This is as true today as it was a hundred years ago.’

Before Washington Irving published ”The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.,” containing ”Rip van Winkle,” and ”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” together with accounts of life in England, British opinion of American literary effort could be summed up in the words of an anonymous English critic writing in 1818 who said, ”The Americans have no national literature and no learned men.” Another observed, ”In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?”

As Washington Irving became known in the world, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow all joined his crowd of admirers.

In his own country, Irving ”became a contemporary hero just as our culture was looking for heroes,” Dr. Myers said. ”He was,” Dr. Myers added, ”a writer whose Americanism is something his contemporaries were more conscious of than we are.”

America at the beginning of the 18th century found itself the proud winner of a revolution and the proud possessor of a new republic but without a national culture. ”Irving was conscious that if we don’t preserve the past, it gets lost,” Dr. Myers observed, adding, ”Our mythology was there to begin with. He simply magnified its importance.”

With the publication of the fictitious Diedrich Knickerbocker’s ”A History of New-York” in 1809, a spoof of 17th-century Dutch traditions, Irving had his first success. Among the most famous caricatures: the renowned Wouter van Twiller, first Governor of the province ”exactly five feet six inches in height and six feet five inches in circumference … His legs were short, but sturdy in proportion to the weight they had to sustain; so that when erect he had not a little the appearance of a beer-barrel in skids.”

Originally presented as an advertising hoax, the fictitious author, Diedrich Knickerbocker, became a symbol for New York, a symbol which remains familiar today.

Ten years later, Irving achieved international fame with ”The Sketch Book,” which also contained in addition to ‘The Hudson River Tales’ descriptions of old English Christmas customs which were largely responsible for popularizing those traditions in this country.

”The Sketch Book” also achieved the unusual goal of providing a positive view of America for Europeans and making some European cultural traditions acceptable at home.

Washington Irving performed that function himself. Living abroad for much of his adult life as a member of the diplomatic corps in both the Court of St. James’s and in Spain and as an equally acclaimed author. After 17 years, he returned triumphantly to his native New York for more honors and an invitation to run for mayor, which he declined. Following a trip to the American West, Irving settled in Westchester in a small Dutch farm house that once had been a tenant farm, part of the Philipsburg Manor. The farm had also once been owned by the Van Tassel family, immortalized in ”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Sunnyside embodied several major influences in Irving’s life, including his attachment to romantic history and his appreciation of European influences. It is considered a unique example of American romantic architecture. Mr. Irving had the simple farm house remodeled until, he said, it was ”all made up of gabled ends and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat … of mighty spirit.”

During his lifetime, Irving’s popularity drew hundreds of visitors to Sunnyside, a tradition carried on today through the efforts of the nonprofit Sleepy Hollow Restorations.

Irving revered the past and the stability that a sense of the past provides, and he gave his country that sense. No doubt he would be pleased to see that Sunnyside remains today much as he left it. He added a romance to the history of the Hudson Valley, a place of which he said, ”It is in such little retired Dutch valleys, found here and there embosomed in the great state of New York that population, manners and customs remained fixed while the great torrent of migration and improvement, which is making such incessant changes in other parts of this restless country, sweeps by them unobserved. Though many years have elapsed since I trod the drowsy shades of Sleepy Hollow, yet I question whether I should not still find the same trees and the same families vegetating in its sheltered bosom.”

In 1834,Henry Brevoort built a mansion at 24 5thAvenue, at the northwest corner of 9th Street. Mr. Brevoort was descended from Dutch settlers and since 1701, his earlier ancestors had retained their farm, stretching from 5th Avenue to the Bowery and extending north of 14th Street. He was a lifelong friend of Washington Irving, with whom he corresponded by letters for over 50 years. His son, James Carson Brevoort, was a world famous collector of rare books and coins and was very involved with the Astor Library.J. Carson Brevoort also studied with his uncle, James Renwick. Mr. Renwick built the house at 21 5th Avenue, which would become the home of Mark Twain. According to Nathan Silver’s book Lost New York, the Brevoort House was probably designed by the firm of Ithiel Town and A.J. Davis. Its classic Greek Revivalelements made it a model for later homes in the City.

In 1845,directly across the street from the Brevoort House, a large, stately hotel was erected by the family, stretching the Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets.Called the Hotel Brevoort, it kept alive the family’s name after the mansion was torn down in 1925 to make way for another hotel.

In 1902, restaurateur Raymond Orteig purchased the Hotel Brevoort along with the nearby Hotel Lafayette, located at University Place and 9th Street. A native of France, Mr. Orteigmodeled both hotels on French precedents. The Café Brevoort, which he opened on the ground floor and basement of the hotel, served up haute French cuisine to notables of the day including Mark Twain, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O’Neill and George F. Baker. It included a Parisian sidewalk café, a new feature for the time. A deep interest in aviation had led Orteig to donate the $25,000 prize which inspired Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight, another venture that made him an international figure.Charles Lindbergh collected his prize at the Brevoort Hotel. Raymond Orteig would run the hotel until 1933 when it was taken over by the Knott Management Corporation.

From 1901-1938 Henri Grechen operated a barber shop out of the hotel where, according to the Times, he “cut the hair and shaved the beards of many famous persons.” This included Mark Twain, who used Mr. Grechen’s services for the 4 and ½ years that he lived nearby at 21 5thAvenue.

The Hotel Brevoort was extremely popular for the European elite and royalty. Congressmen, Senators, Mexican and Turkish heads of state, past U.S. presidents, army generals, and even Prince Arthur all frequented the hotel. It was a popular spot for book readings, luncheons for nearby churches, dinners for the likes of Gertrude Whitney, and big fundraisers for institutions like St. Vincent’s. On January 18, 1916, the day before she was tried in Federal Court for sending her articles on birth control through the mail, Margaret Sanger gave a rousing speech at the hotel during a dinner held to support her. The New York Times captured the event saying it had, “the flavor of Bohemia and Greenwich Village.”

In 1954 the hotel was demolished to make way for a large apartment building. Built by architects Corbet and MacMurray and completed in 1956, this 19-story building has 296 apartments that were converted to co-ops in 1981. It features a limestone and polished brick façade, interior courtyard garden, and lobby complete with murals painted by Paul Sample. One of the building’s earliest residents was Buddy Holly and, interestingly, Judge Judith Scheindlin lived there before she became television’s Judge Judy. The building was named the Brevoort, a lasting reminder of this prominent Dutch family and the hotel that anchored the Village

IT was the sight of apartment buildings in New York City belching plumes of black smoke into the sky that spurred Diane Nardone into action.

As board president of the Brevoort, a 1955 co-op tower in Greenwich Village, Ms. Nardone started her campaign to turn the building green about three years ago.

Since then, the building has spent nearly $6 million. The projects ranged from the prosaic, like new windows and light bulbs, to the ambitious, like green roofs, converting from heating oil to natural gas, and installing a $3.2 million cogeneration plant capable of powering the 20-story building in a citywide blackout.

The extent of the work and the amount spent in such a short time are unusual. But board members say the building is now a model of energy efficiency and proudly note that other co-op boards have come to see what it has done. brev



Jackson Pollock
47 Horatio St
46 Carmine St76 W Houston St46 East Eigth StPollock moved to NY in 1930. Too unstable to live by himself, he shared small, cheap, unheated apartments with one or the other of his brothers. In 1935, Pollock moved into a large floor-through at 46 E 8th with brother Charles. When Charles and his wife moved out, Lee Krasner moved in. The couple moved to Springs, NY in 1945.

During the excavations for the eastern pier, human remains, a coffin, and a gravestone dated 1803 were uncovered 10 feet (3.0 m) below ground level.[4] The Arch was dedicated in 1895. In 1918, two statues of Washington were added to the north side.

Washington Square Arch, constructed of white Tuckahoe marble (Westchester marble), was modeled by Stanford White on the Arc de Triomphe, built in 1806, in Paris (itself modeled on the Arch of Titus). It stands 77 feet (23 m) high. The piers stand 30 feet (9.1 m) apart and the arch opening is 47 feet (14 m) high. The iconography of the Arch centers on images of war and peace. On the frieze are 13 large stars and 42 small stars interspersed with capital “W”s. The spandrels contain figures of Victory. The inscription on the attic story reads:

One of the more outraged citizens was Brevoort, who, Patterson noted, was related to the Astors, already one of the city’s richest families. Brevoort objected to a street crossing part of his property and as a result 11th Street does still does not go through Broadway to Forth Avenue. Grace Episcopal Church would later be built on the property and its architect, James Renwick Jr., was a grandson of Brevoort. At his death at the age of 94 in 1841, Brevoort was one of the city’s wealthiest citizens and he then owned 11 acres north of Washington Square Park, which by then was the most desirable residential section in the city, Patterson wrote. Brevoort’s son built a free-standing house on the northwest corner of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in 1834 “perhaps designed (no positive evidence exists) by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, masters of the Greek Revival style. The house was sold to the de Rham family who lived in it until 1921, four years before it was replaced by the Fifth Avenue Hotel that itself was subsequently converted into apartments.

Editor’s Note: Jules Stewart will be giving a talk at the 92nd Street Y in February about New York in the 1930s. More information is available here.

IF YOU ARE A NEW YORKER, chances are you’ve strolled the streets of Greenwich Village at night, peeking into windows and concocting stories about the fabulous freaks, titans and reprobates on the other side of those panes. If you’d taken such a stroll down East Ninth Street, you might have skipped the drab building in the middle of a row of townhouses: The four-story Greek Revival structure, built in 1844, is among the least distinctive of those on the north side of this wide block, though it was once much grander than it now appears. The facade likely had steps up to an imposing front door, but that is all gone now — ripped out when the single-family building was converted to apartments around 1920. Now, you descend three steps to a plain front door that leads to gloomy hallways, the walls a light yellow grayed by years of grime.

But the frumpy face of 17 East Ninth Street belies its rich history, a microcosm of the struggle between beauty and commerce, art and real estate, the creators and the patrons who made Manhattan and continue to reshape it to this day. As the city succumbs to sleek glass monuments to hedge-fund hegemony, 17 remains a boho vestige and a precarious homage to the creative churn that made Greenwich Village famous from Los Angeles to Laos.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Bohemian State of New York

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Henry Brevoort was a close friend of the author Washington Irving, and, Sir Walter Scott, who wrote about Fair Rosamond. The president of the Singer sewing machine company built a castle on a island in Van Couver, that is molded after the castle that Scott described in his book Woodstock. Two years after her overnight success, the artist known as Rosamond offered to teach me her style so I could be rich and famous, too. Was she aware of imitators, and concluded it best to keep it in the family? With the help of my therapist I was able to see the destructive role our un-creative siblings played in our lives. Vicki and Mark Presco undermined Christine, Shannon and I, and take credit for the sane aspects of Rosamond’s success. Where was this alleged SANE CONTRIBUTION when Christine Rosamond Benton was alive. Mark had enough money to hire a Art Manager. So did Vicki – and Vic! Christine asked me to be her manager in 1972. Then she asked our criminal father. I was horrified, and retreated. My creativity was threatened – as well as my precarious role in the family. In talking to Shannon on Christmas, we both concluded Rosamond was a very insecure artist, who stays in the orbit of her abusive and dysfunctional family – when she could have lived anywhere in the world. Snyder said The Rose of The World was ripped off for $50,000 dollars a year by Ira Kaplan, her discoverer. Christine took him to court and won. I will try to find the court records as part of the funding I am seeking in order to alas employ a Art Manager. Surely the Mellon, Buck, and Getty families have such an animal? Executor, Sydney Morris should have hired one. Instead, he sells the Rosamond Dynasty to an inexperience nobody, who Shannon told me purchased prints from Vicki, who sent family photographs to Stacey Pierrot to by in Snyders SLANERUS book of lies. The family name ROSAMONS is a traditional Brand Name that artists and writer have employed for over a thousand years, to promote and sell their work and books. In applying for a grant, I will make this Rosy Name the altarpiece. In hindsight, I should have taken up photography and done portraits of beautiful women. Rosamond knew I had an eye for Beauty. I could have found success by mentioning “I am Rosamond’s brother!” The covert team of Mark, Vicki, Garth, Snyder and Stacey made sure I could not do – what they conspired to do. My daughter and her mother need to say; “We are sorry!” so we can move foreword by doing the right thing – alas!
    Singer Castle, built for the Singer Sewing Company’s president Frank Bourne in 1902, was modelled on Sir Walter Scott’s description of the place where Henry II’s mistress, Fair Rosamund, was imprisoned in the 12th century.

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