72nd Street Condo Built on Site of Dorothy Parker’s Childhood Home Will Bear Her Name

Photograph courtesy of the Dorothy Parker Society.

By Carol Tannenhauser

“I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large…”

Dorothy Parker, the 20th Century American poet, writer, critic and civil rights activist, known for her biting wit, was wrong when she wrote those words. Her name will indeed be prominently displayed on a new 21-story building at 214 West 72nd Street (next to the Trader Joe’s building between Broadway and WEA), to be named Parker West in her honor.

The nearly completed condominium is being constructed on the site of one of Parker’s childhood homes, a five-story, gray stone mansion, where she lived from around 1895 to 1899. It was demolished in 2019, after a battle to save it before the Landmarks Preservation Commission failed.

The original building prepped for demolition.

“One potential roadblock to saving the building (was) the number of places where the peripatetic Parker lived on the Upper West Side — on 73rd, 68th, 80th (which bears a commemorative plaque) and 85th Streets, and, after her marriage to Edwin Pond Parker II, on 71st, 76th and 57th Streets,” wrote The New York Times.

“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.

ART, NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 11 comments | permalink
    1. lynn says:

      This is amazing, I’m so glad her name is on the building! I hope it’s finished soon and once people start moving in, and businesses reopen (plus we’ll have our bus stop), things will get back to as ‘normal’ as possible here. Right now the block is at an all time low, and despite the city’s best efforts the homeless encampment is still there.

    2. History Buff says:

      Ms Parker, a clever cynic, gave us:
      “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
      (hey, are you listening, Mr. Trump?)
      “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”, and many more.
      Parker was part of a group of creatives meeting daily for lunch at Manhattan’s Algonquin Hotel, including Harold Ross (“The New Yorker”), Irving Berlin (“Annie Get Your Gun”), and George S. Kaufman (Pulitzer for “Of Thee I Sing”), and many more.

      • Ll says:

        Was Irving Berlin part of that crowd? In did not know that. I know Edna Farber hung out there too.Richard Benchley as well

        And Dorothy Parker was friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

    3. UWSSurfer says:

      “What fresh hell is this?” as Dorothy Parker said. We don’t need any more luxe condos.
      We need affordable housing for the real people of the UWS, including modern-day creatives like Dorothy Parker.

      • Wijmlet says:

        Hear, hear!

        Parker would not be delighted.

      • David S says:

        How’s that supposed to work? It doesn’t cost a whole lot more to build a high-end building vs. a mid-range one, but you can get a whole lot more for a high-end apartment than a mid-range one.

        Where’s the incentive?

    4. Gretchen says:

      My favorite: “The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘check enclosed.'”

    5. JerryV says:

      I always loved the interplay between two 20th century poets and wits:
      Dorothy Parker: “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

      Ogden Nash: “A girl who s bespectacled, she never gets her neck-ticked.”

    6. Ll says:

      I did not know Dorothy Parker had lived on 85th. I loo oove the so much. So excited about this building getting her name

    7. RandyJay says:

      Happy to know Dorothy Parker will be honored on West 72nd Street. Here’s my favorite quote of hers:

      ” I like to have a martini, two at the very most.
      Three I’m under the table, four I’m under the host.”