Mayor Jimmy Walker set up his
mistress, showgirl Betty Compson, in an apartment here
c. 1926. After his resignation in 1932, he got a divorce and
married Compson. Later Frank Parris,
creator of Howdy Doody, lived here.
14: In the basement apartment here, writer
Ruth McKenney lived in 1935 with her beautiful sister Eileen.
Ruth wrote about the peeping Toms at the window,
the fungus on the ceiling and the blasting of the 7the Avenue subway
in short stories for The New Yorker, which
were collected in the book My Sister Eileen,
which became a play and then the brilliant musical Wonderful
Eileen married writer
Nathanael West in 1940, but both were killed in a car
accident on December 22 that year, just for days
before My Sister Eileen opened on Broadway; a
distraught Ruth never saw it.
The house was built in 1827 as one of the original row houses
on the street. On December 25, 2003, a fire in the basement
killed long-time resident David Ryan, who was fighting to
protect the neighborhood from PATH train expansion.
Mary McCarthy lived in this tiny studio in 1936
after divorcing her first husband. Here, according to
biographer Carol Brightman, she had a "succession of
one-night stands that allowed her to compare the
sexual equipment of an astonishing variety of men."