10 September 2008

Faded Imprint

Few names are more redolent of New York's glorious literary past than Scribner's, the high-brow, adventurous published house that first published Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Wolfe. You can find faded remnants of the firm here and there around the city, most notably at the old headquarters on Fifth and 48th.

Here's a lesser known relic. Walk down Ninth Avenue between 44th and 43rd and look up and to the left. Huge, but faint white letters spell out Scribner's on the side of 315 43rd Street (though the "S" and "I" are now obscured by windows). This building, erected in 1907, used to be Scribner's printing plant and warehouse. Scribner's sold it 1955, but 53 years later the sign stubbornly clings on. The building is now home to the offices of several theatre companies, including Manhattan Theatre Club and the Mint Theatre Company. The Mint has, interestingly enough, performed little known plays by Thomas Wolfe and Ernest Hemingway in recent years.

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