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.
“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.