Dorothy Parker’s Former Home is Being Demolished

A building on 72nd Street near Broadway where famed author Dorothy Parker lived for four years during her childhood is being dismantled to make way for a new development. Parker lived in the five-story building from about 1895 to 1899, according to the Dorothy Parker Society.

“I believe any residence where an author lived is important, even if they weren’t writing there, because it shaped that person,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, who runs the Dorothy Parker Society and had spoken out against the building’s demolition, in an interview with the New York Times in 2011. Fitzpatrick just celebrated the 125th anniversary of Parker’s birth.

In its place will rise a 21-story building with 20 units and a commercial-retail space on the ground floor. It’s expected to be condos.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 38 comments | permalink
    1. Mia says:

      21 stories is too high. Who approved? Midtown extends to 72nd Street now. Bill at work.

      • A.C. says:

        21 stories for a building is too high? The building right next to it is 19 stories, the building right across the street is 25 stories, and the other building on the other side between 70th and 71st is 41 stories. Nevada Towers, Dorchester Towers, Millenium Tower, 1865 Broadway, Century Tower, I could go on, but all those buildings are much much taller than this new building, how is a 21-story tower on the Upper West Side too tall? The Boulevard on 86th street is 20 stories, Stern’s new building on 81st street is 18 stories. The tower with the Halstead in it on 79th and Columbus is 30 stories. I could go on, but in reality, this is normal, maybe above average for a tower on the Upper West Side, but not too tall. There’s barely going to be any new shadow at all if any.

        Shutting down this building because it’s going over a location of some significance (That’s not officially a landmark), that’s one thing, and I can agree with that, while I still think the building can be built, but trying to shut it down based on height, especially if many of the surrounding towers are as tall if not taller, that’s another, and that isn’t a good enough reason.

        And hey, we have even gotten official renderings yet, we just not what’s going inside, it could be a beautiful building, like Stern’s projects, for all we know.

        • ScooterStan says:

          THANK YOU, “A.C.” for a very substantial and detailed reply refuting all the NIMBY’s squawking, like demented parrots, “Building too tall…building too tall…”

      • Been There says:

        The building next door is just as tall. With about five times the frontage.

      • Kenneth says:

        It will only be about has high at the building directly to its east.

    2. JerryV says:

      Just what we need – another tall building filled with new condos. And of course our political leaders are planning improvements in local public transportation to serve these new residents.

      • Josh says:

        Just what we need – 20 new homes to help alleviate the housing crisis.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Seriously? You think 20 more condos, probably at least 3 million each (actually, probably a lot more) has anything to do with alleviating the housing crisis?

          There is no housing crisis in nyc for multi millionaires.

          If you’re really interested in alleviating the housing crisis, you would advocate for 100 units of affordable housing on the site.

          • Sean says:

            There is no housing crisis. All of Manhattan is rapidly gentrifying. It is not the place it was in the 80s. No one who actually works in a store here or is a doorman in any building actually lives in Manhattan. Yes there are investment apartments. You move where you can afford to live. These are facts. There is no god given right that you must live in Manhattan. The middle class has always had to move to a new place when things got to expensive. I did not make the rules.

        • A.C. says:

          Admittedly, this looks like it can be nothing but a luxury condo project, to be honest. It’s too thin for more than one apartment per floor. It really does make sense for there to only be one apartment per floor. So honestly, in terms of the housing crisis, it doesn’t really do too much, and knowing the neighborhood, this market is ripe for market-rate condos… in other words, $5 million plus.

        • Cato says:

          — “Just what we need – 20 new homes to help alleviate the housing crisis.”

          The uber-wealthy people to whom these homes will undoubtedly be marketed are not experiencing any kind of housing crisis, except perhaps for their constant need for more-more-more.

          Of course, if these 20 new homes turn out to be “affordable”, or even middle-class-income, then I’m wrong.

          But what developer wants to pass up the opportunity to pull in some of that Banker Money that’s buying up the West Side?

          No, these 20 new homes aren’t going to do anything to alleviate the real housing crisis among the non-wealthy. This neighborhood isn’t open to them anymore.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          these will be 20 ultra-high end condo apartments, probably in the range of $3 million a unit or more.

          it defies reality to suggest that this building will in any way alleviate the housing crisis in NYC. the housing crisis is in affordable housing. there is no housing crisis for the rich.

          there is no way this will have any impact on the affordable housing market.

          i don’t know why people keep insisting that this sort of development affects the NYC affordable housing crisis.

          by the way, 60-80 units of affordable housing could have been built there.

          • Sean says:

            There is more affordable housing outside of Manhattan. Manhattan is not for the working class. Anyone in any service industry job lives outside the borough.

            • dannyboy says:

              “Manhattan is not for the working class” – Sean

              But the working class have always lived in Manhattan, why the banishment?

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Sean says:

              “Manhattan is not for the working class. Anyone in any service industry job lives outside the borough.”

              the majority of people who live in Manhattan, even today, are middle class, working class, and poor.

              It amazes me how isolated you have to be from the real world to make a statement like you did above.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              further:

              the statement by Sean above is so incredible. The majority of people who live in Manhattan are simply invisible to him. We don’t exist. We don’t matter.

              “The Invisible Men and Women.”

          • Sherman says:

            Hi Bruce

            If people can afford to buy these apartments then they’re “affordable”.

            Sherm

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Sherman, according to that logic, a Bentley is an “affordable car”, and Per Se is an “affordable restaurant.” After all, there are tiny percentages of people who can afford them.

              You seem to be most concerned with provision of goods and services of the very rich. I am concerned with providing housing, food, medical care, education and other goods and services to the poor, the working class, and the middle classes. that is where the need is.

              maybe you are surrounded by rich people so haven’t noticed economic situation of the vast majority.

        • Mark says:

          I don’t think wealthy condo owners are dealing with any sort of crisis

        • JerryV says:

          Josh, The people who will be able to afford these new condos are surely not affected by a housing crisis. But you missed the point. With all of these new towers going up, kindly show me the new public transportation facilities that will support all of these people. The nearby 72nd subway station does not have enough room on its platforms now at rush hours. How much tax money from these buildings is going to rebuilding our city.

    3. Sherman says:

      This building looks like a dingy old walkup. I doubt many UWSiders have any idea who Dorothy Parker even is or that this was once her home.

      Anyway, it’s a matter of time before more of the buildings on this block get torn down. It’s a prime location full of rundown and decrepit buildings.

    4. Lyri Clark says:

      Really narrow spot. probably one unit to a floor. It was a nail place for years. The noise level will be huge for owners. All these decisions seem so odd. Anyway, it’s next door to Joseph’s, I wonder what retail will go in there and why our favorite store Joseph’s didn’t expand. it seemed like a natural move. but I understand they’re going across the street.I hope we get something useful and interesting.

      • B.B. says:

        Lack of lot line windows means developer couldn’t for various reasons obtain air rights for neighboring properties. So guess they didn’t bother even putting such windows in if there is even a chance sometime in future would be bricked over.

    5. Wendy says:

      Oh no ! How many condo resident have talent as much as Dorothy Parker did ? Too many condos in N.Y.C.. Please hire citizens, for the construction work : who speak our English language.

      • Virginia says:

        Wow Wendy. Did you see the list of people who have applied for these condos? You know that there is no one who is talented? Not to take away from Dorothy Parker, but, just how talented was she during her 4 years as a child living there? In addition, do you know how ignorant you sound when you plea to hire citizens? Furthermore, what exactly is OUR English? Again, wow!

      • Alta says:

        If you don’t know how to properly use a comma or a colon in a sentence, let’s not get too judgey about language skills.

    6. RaindogNYC says:

      I bet that’s why they moved the bus stop to the east side of W72 and Broadway. Not ideal but still Ok for M72, but bad for M57 – 72nd and Broadway was its last stop, not it stops at 72nd and WEA so everyone has to walk a block to get to the subway

      • Christina says:

        The end of the line for M72 is on 66th Street between Riverside Blvd. and Freedom Place NOT 72nd and WEA. Directly across from where I live.

    7. Peter says:

      I’m a fan of history and of literature, but if we had to preserve every single building where any author ever lived, New York would be the Petrified City.

      Which isn’t to say I’m thrilled that another building is going up that is probably ugly, won’t respect the character of the neighborhood, and will only be another collection of “luxury” condos that are really tax shelters or investment opportunities for people who don’t actually live here,

      • Sean says:

        Dorothy was born in New Jersey. Alcohol consumption played a role in her success. Today she would probably be one hell of a Tweeter. And she was a lot nicer than Lillian Hellman.

    8. Dissident says:

      Whew! When I saw the headline, I feared that maybe our commissars of Goodthink had implicated Parker in some egregious breach of current-year sensibilities…

    9. Shirley Z says:

      RealEstate developers/big money are devouring the history & essence of the Upper WestSide It’s always about the money to be made, obliterating the soul of the neighborhood!

    10. A.C. says:

      Ok, everyone saying that this building is too tall… stop it… please

      The building right next to it is 19 stories tall, the building right across the street is 25 stories, the building one block south is 41 stories. Nevada Towers is 30 stories, Dorchester Towers is 34 stories, 170 Amsterdam is 20 stories, Aire is 43 stories, Tower 67 is 49 stories. That building by Central Park West on 72nd street is well over 20 stories, the building on Columbus and 79th is at least 30 stories, the Boulevard on 86th street is 20 stories, the Bromley on 83rd street is 23 stories, every single tower in the Lincoln Towers complex is around 30 stories, 101 West End is 35 stories, and 75 West End is around that too. All but two of the Trump Towers are taller than this building. Riverside Center/Waterline Square is at it’s lowest, 35 stories. 1865 is going to be 33 stories, 3 Lincoln Center is 60 stories, 160 West 62nd Street and 175 West 60th Street have similar heights. The new dorm at Fordham Lincoln Center is 22 stories, and another new tower is due in that area that is also 22 or so stories. Ariel East and Ariel West are both over 30 stories. 222 West 80th street is 20 stories, 250 West 81st street is 19 stories. This new building is no way, shape, or form, tall, or out of context. It couldn’t be more in context with the surrounding neighborhood. 21 stories is not tall. Maybe in Throgs Neck, but surely not in the Upper West Side.

      200 Amsterdam is one thing, though, in my opinion, that’s not too tall, but this building is 21 stories, probably at most 250 feet. for the Upper West Side, that is not tall, by any definition.

    11. 72nd Street says:

      How is it that the Assembly Member who has her office on this street is not outraged by this?

      Looks like Landmarks Preservation has failed us again.

    12. Dorothy Parker says:

      Please excuse my dust!

    13. B.B. says:

      Am going to say this for (hopefully) the last time; buildings like 214 East 72nd are far shorter than current zoning allows. As such quite a lot of unused floor to area ratio (FAR) remains. That is what makes all these properties on avenues and main cross streets suddenly so valuable.

      https://www.realdirect.com/e/214.WEST-72-STREET.10023/

      The 1961 rezoning created “brownstone” blocks on the UES, UWS and parts of Greenwich/West Village were density on the side streets is limited. OTOH major avenues and cross streets are another matter.