Friday, January 06, 2006

37 West 10th Street

Manhattan > Greenwich Village > West 10th Street

Marital misery ruled the roost here. Painted a dismal "Pepto Bismol" pink currently, this townhouse refuses to blend in with its neighbors. The original 19th century staircase leading up to the front door was, unfortunately, ripped out, depriving the facade of its former grandeur and distinction.

• • In 1919, Henry Martin Hoyt, fleeing to Greenwich Village to escape ongoing connubial vicissitude and discord, bought this house. Grandson of the 18th Governor of Pennsylvania, and a son of a philandering Attorney General, Hoyt inherited money when his father died in 1910, and began buying up real estate in the Washington Square area and aligning himself with spirit kin: artists and poets. The artist committed suicide here in August 1920 in front of his friend William Rose Benet [a writer who would later marry Henry Hoyt's sister, Elinor and advance her literary career].
• • In 1928-1929, author Sinclair Lewis and his wife, the journalist Dorothy Thompson, lived here and (by all reports) were wretchedly unhappy with each other.
• • Lewis’s first play "Hobohemia" - - which he adapted from his story of the same name - - opened on 8 February 1919 at the Greenwich Village Theatre, Sheridan Square, New York.
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• • Photo: 37 West 10th Street

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