Saturday, September 19, 2009
NEW YORK CITY'S NARROWEST HOUSE
I've been doing a bit of searching around for our forthcoming trip and found a great site with stories of some of the oldest buildings in New York. The above building is the narrowest in New York city at only 9ft 6inches wide. Built in 1873 on what was a former carriage entrance way between two buildings. Read below a snippet of Bonnie Rosenstock's descriptive history of the house and the many luminaries who once lived there or visited.
'According to the plaque on the front of the building, Edna St. Vincent Millay lived there from 1923-1924 and wrote "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver", for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. No so, says Elizabeth Barnett, literary executor of the Millay Society. Via e-mail, Barnett stated that Millay did not write this poem there. "Millay worked on that poem while living in Europe and finished it before returning to the USA. Millay and her husband lived at Steepletop, Austerlitz, NY, beginning in 1925. She lived there until her death in 1950, her husband until his death in 1949." However, writer Ann McGovern (who lived at the building sometime in the late 1980s) asserted in a newspaper interview that Millay wrote part of "The King's Henchmen" there.'
Further reading can be found here.