29 October 2007

Girl on the Velvet Swing's Perch Falls

Well, these are sad tidings to begin the week.

On Saturday, 22 W. 24th Street caved in and yesterday workers demolished what was left. The building wasn't landmarked or anything, but oh what history was held inside. For this was the love nest that rapscallion star architect Standford White secured back in 1901 so that he might have his way with 16-year-old starlet Evelyn Nesbit.

The Nesbit flat was equipped with a red velvet swing, on which Nesbit would ride in the altogether while the ravenous White enjoyed the view from below. White was later killed by Nesbit's husband, nutsy millionaire Harry Thaw. The crime occured nearby on the roof of the old Madison Square Garden in front of dozens of witnesses. Thaw was acquitted on grounds of insanity, and almost no one testified on White's behalf, since everyone knew he was a notorious bounder.

I would have like to have seen the inside of that place. Sigh.


Steve said...

You forgot one very important detail (to us "architecturologists") in the story of Stanford White, Evelyn Nesbit and Harry Thaw: namely, that Madison Square Garden, on which roof garden Thaw shot White, was designed by none other than Stanford White. Oh! Irony!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I just wrote a post on Evelyn Nesbit over at my blog Scandalous Women. So sad that the building is now gone. I was hoping to make a pilgrimage. I'll have to amend the post.