Monday, April 28, 2014

The Roberts Court - Racism Is A Thing Of The Past








The Roberts Court - Racism Is A Thing Of The Past 

Ossian Euclid Dodge – Divorce Clipping – New York Daily Tribune 28 January 1873 – and other bits…


Ossian Euclid Dodge 1820-1876
(public domain)



Clipping - New York Daily Tribune 28 January 1873
(original copyright expired)




Comic Song Writer and Performer Ossian Euclid Dodge 1820-1876 whose most noteworthy accomplishment in life according to his NYTimes Obit would seem to have been to pay $500 for a ticket to Jenny Lind’s first night performance in Boston. (Shades of blatant future Diamond Jim Brady self-promotion and free more than $500’s worth of publicity.)

1850 Lithograph - Ossian E Dodge (left) being Introduced to Jenny Lind by P.T.Barnum
(public domain)




Euclid Street (St. Paul, MN): Ossian Euclid Dodge, “an eccentric troubadour,” was a nationally-known  journalist, writer and song writer who once had a traveling concert troupe. He was a strict teetotaler who hoped that the public “could learn that a comic song is not necessarily a vulgar one; and that wit which has no fellowship with profanity or coarseness, will be keenly relished by the best and most refined portions of society.”    

Dodge came to St. Paul in 1862 and had a downtown house called “Alpine Cottage.” He sold music and pianos and got into real estate.  In 1873 he named the street after himself.  He was secretary of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce from 1869 until 1873. What the local papers called a “scandalous divorce” forced Dodge to flee to England in 1874, where he died two years later.


  
More on Ossian Euclid Dodge:





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“the laborer is not worthy of his hire” Michael Grimm - GOP Party Line




“the laborer is not worthy of his hire” Michael Grimm - GOP Party Line

“the laborer is worthy of his hire”  Saint John XXIII – JESUS Party Line







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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Best Man Protocol - Advice - Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1 July 1894


Brooklyn Daily Eagle Washington DC Office 1916



                                                                                                                                        (Original Copyright Expired)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1 July 1894 – page 4




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Kimball / Connell Wedding - Saint Leo's Church 11 East 28th Street NYC - 27 June 1894 - Best Man / Paul Story Kimball 1872-1896




Source of above images. St. Leo's 11 E 28th Street NYC (exterior top) (interior above) - http://sthughofcluny.org/2013/10/the-churches-of-new-york-xlvi-losses-5.html


Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1 July 1894
(Original Copyright Expired)



Gilsey House (Hotel) - 1876 (Left)
(Image - Public Domain)



Gilsey House Apartments - 29th Street and Broadway 
(Google Maps 2011)











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Canonization of Two Popes - Two Saints? - John XXIII and John Paul II - But Only One Halo!






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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jesse Ludington - Fair Haven Oyster Man - Portrait by artist George Henry Story


Jesse Ludington (1805-1886) - Oil on Canvas
- artist George Henry Story
(Smithsonian American Art Museums)
(public domain)

I have to wonder if the portrait of Jesse Ludington (1805-1886) by George Henry Story - if the subject is in his best and probably only Sunday suit and posed in best possible light or if his attire is the everyday attire of a man in the oyster business of harvesting, inspecting, cleaning, packaging, selling and shipping of the product in a major nineteenth hub of the Oyster business in America, Fair Haven Connecticut.

The direct verifiable genealogical history of the American artist George Henry Story is sketchy in the public records of the Internet.

No doubt more exact records exist on paper and in private family hands to this day but not yet scanned into the new global culture represented by that Internet.

Of the records available and researched thus far, it is a good possibility that the subject Jesse Ludington pictured above was married to George Henry Story’s older sister Julia Ann Story.

No exact record of Julia Ann as being George’s sister is documented at present. Julia is born 1810 and George's parents marriage date is listed as 1806 - a possible family tie and timeline fit.

I have researched and George’s father James died about a month after his birth in January 1835. As such and in world without social government safety nets, there was the family. That George’s vague personal history presented here and there in records is one that he himself may not have been personally aware of or saw no need to present considering he never knew his father and a great deal of personal knowledge of a family history and legacy was lost by being raised without that father. 

But then again, his mother may have raised him in separate living conditions or moved in with a daughter in a larger extended family situation and George had many adults in place to act in place of a missing deceased parent. "It takes a village..." and or a large extended family sometimes to raise a child.

Jesse Ludington married Julia Ann Story in New Haven Connecticut on March 23, 1829 and was married by Baptist minister Benjamin M. Hill.

Other sketchy records indicate that George story may have had another sister from the marriage of his father and mother, James Story and Clarissa Barnes Story. Her name is Elisabeth Story (Armstead) with dates 1826-1864.
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That tagging Jesse Ludington as a possible brother in law of George Henry Story ties in with the name of their daughter Clarissa Barnes Ludington, Clarissa Barnes being George’s mother’s first and maiden name as a point of continuity and a possible genealogical audit trail.  Daughter Clarissa Barnes Ludington by the way married a Duane Epaphroditus Newton later on.

Research shows that Fair Haven, not yet a mere “neighborhood” or district within a later in date greater New Haven Connecticut, was heavily invested in the business of oysters. That many genealogical records reference the move of some Ludingtons from other parts of New England because of the growing oyster production and harvesting industry there.

In the New Haven Directory of Inhabitants 1874, Jesse Ludington is listed as “oysters” by profession at 88 E. Pearl Street as opposed to “oysterman” by other inhabitants of his neighborhood.  I take this to mean that he is more in the upper end of the business as opposed to the dirty everyday hands on business of extracting the product from the waters about New Haven and the northern end of Long Island Sound.

Many genealogical references point to the fact that a “Ludington Buoy” still sits in the waters of New Haven to mark designated territory and state sanctioned by law harvesting rights of a product long extinct from the present region and habitat.

Not to say that Jesse Ludington did not start life in a fisherman’s life or in an oyster boat in his younger days.

That the artist George Henry Story started out his young working life as an apprenticed wood worker in the local shipping industry before moving on to his desired apprenticeship with a portrait painter.  No escaping the local economy of the sea, of fish and oysters, ships and boats I would imagine back then. No escape except by luck, karma or the tyranny of chance.

Jesse’s portrait speaks of a man who has worked with his hands and has the forehead wrinkles of a man closely related to the sea and its many distant horizons.

Also in that pose and time it is difficult to guess the age of the subject which I guess to be at anywhere from mid-fifties to mid-sixties. As such, the portrait would likely have been painted somewhere around the early 1860s and current with G. H. Story’s painting career picking up in Washington DC at the beginning of the American Civil War before his moving onto, with his wife Eunice, into the Bohemian life of a young artist amidst the glamor and excitement of the New York City in little Bohemia centered around Broadway and Bleecker Street then – part of the then "in" - “Pfaff Cellar” - crowd.

That that 1874 New Haven Directory of Inhabitants also has George H. Story, an artist, listed to 276 North Front Street right on the waterfront. The house in Google Satellite view is a rather modest wood structure with a street front that suggests a onetime shack attached to the front of the house, on the waterfront of that house and perhaps a onetime small scale Oyster processing, cleaning and packaging affair to support a young fatherless child by a strong independent self-sufficient Yankee mom? 


                                                                                                                                        (Original Copyright Expired)


That spending the summers in Fair Haven out of New York in the family house was a good time to reconnect to friends and family and during the off season of harvesting Oysters.

That possible brother in law Jesse Ludington was a father figure, or an uncle figure considering age differences etc. Family is sometimes an awkward thing to describe but perhaps George Henry Story has expressed it in a way that he was uniquely talented to express – in his painting.

The 88 East Pearl Street house of Jesse Ludington is one that speaks of a successful later nineteenth business man in the Second Empire style with its Mansard style roof that we here in America or the English speaking world would label as Victorian, like much of Story’s work – dated but a rare glimpse into a bygone and perhaps not examined closely enough as it should have been age – especially in working class Fair Haven Connecticut.






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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The (Benyon) Family - Brighton Massachusetts - Auburndale Mansion - 1872 - Artist George Henry Story


The Family - by George Henry Story
(Public Domain)


The great 19th century successful American Middle Class grand family portrait painting – “The Family” by Artist George Henry Story is said to be of the Boston banker Abner Ingalls Benyon's family, and said to be painted in 1872 in the Benyon Mansion in Auburndale Massachusetts.

Public records show the Benyon family situated in Brighton Mass. where all their children were born.

The year 1872 seems to be highpoint in Abner Ingalls Benyon’s banking career with a listing at the National Exchange Bank as both president and a director in 1872, having working his way up through the ranks first as a Paying Teller in 1856 at this same bank and along the way working as a Cashier, next step up in the banking business, in 1862 at the Brighton Market Bank in Brighton Mass..

The year 1872 saw Abner Benyon named as Vice President of a new Homoeopathic Medical School also operating as the Medical Department of Boston College. This alongside his other duties as one time Treasurer and long term Trustee of same college / university 1872-1883.

Abner Benyon, with a middle name of Ingalls that matches a middle name of the brother in law of the artist, Hannibal Ingalls Kimball, the commission for the painting may have come through a family connection.

Mr. Benyon was all the talk of the east coast in 1882 when he quickly migrated to Canada and Mexico and back to Canada after indictments of embezzlement against him were about to be delivered on him in his then position as president of the Pacific National Bank Boston.

Abner Ingalls Benyon born 1832, died in Toronto in 1888 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge Mass..



 
In Brighton –
 
Abner Ingalls  Benyon married to Ruthanna J Towne
 
Children:
 
George Henry Benyon  1857-1926
Carrie L Benyon  Dec 4 1860 – Apr 5 1866
Arthur Ingalls Benyon  Mar 17 1863 - 1903
John W Benyon – dates ?
Elizabeth Benyon – dates ?
Luther Benyon – dates ?
Abner Benyon – dates ?
 
 


Presumed Tags to Figures in Painting Above:
 
1 - George Henry Benyon
2 - Abner Ingalls Benyon 
3 - Arthur Ingalls Benyon
4 - John W Benyon
5 - Ruthanna J Benyon
6 - Baby Abner Benyon (?)
7 - Elizabeth Benyon
8 - Luther Benyon (?)
9 – Unidentified Relative
10- Unidentified Relative
11- (Presumed) Grandmother Towne (?) or Benyon (?)
12- (Presumed) Carrie L Benyon Dec 4 1860 – Apr 5 1866


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Lincoln's Favorite Humorist Artemus Ward and His Wartime Bohemian New York Crowd 1864


Source: - Artemus Ward (CHARLES FARRAR BROWNE) A Biography and Bibliography BY DON C. SEITZ 1919 (Don Carlos Seitz 1862-1935) 
(original copyright expired)


The long island of Manhattan seems at every point in history to have staked a claim on the horizon and built its boulevards and structures toward that point towards the rising, setting or noonday New York City sun. And later upward to that very same star itself.

I would guess that around the middle of the American Civil War, that Manhattan was headed toward that turn in Broadway at Grace Church around Tenth Street and headed further uptown to Union Square and uncharted points beyond, and toward those then great sheep meadows and cow pastures of Central Park.

The literary and artsy cognoscenti of the day, the then Bohemians of New York in a watered down crowd, thinned out by the ranks of war, kept up the spirits and voice of culture around the hub of Broadway and Bleecker Street and referenced below.

The spirit or flavor of the moment, the "in" people of the moment, might have been best described by a favorite of the Walt Whitman’s Pfaff cellar crowd Ada Clare defining a Bohemian as a:

 "cosmopolite, with a general sympathy for the fine arts, and for all things above and beyond convention"
                                                                                       http://digital.lib.lehigh.edu/pfaffs/p23/


“…The De Soto, a restaurant on Bleecker Street just
east of Broadway, was his favorite dining-place. Here
there was usually a coterie of choice spirits to aid in
enjoyment of the meal. One of these survives in the
person of George H. Story, the eminent artist, long
curator of paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, whose wife, Eunice Emerson Kimball, had been a
fellow-member with A. W. in the Thespian Club at
Norway, Maine, long before.

Dining here one day with Story, David Wambold,
the minstrel, Dan Bryant, and some others, one of
the unknown persisted in making some boresome, child-
ish remarks in competition with the genuine wits.
He became a nuisance, but was silenced at last by
A. W., who took out his note-book and gravely inquired,
"What is your age, sir?"

Mrs. Story was a relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson,
who had been a familiar figure in Waterford, and was
a sister of Charles P. and Hannibal I. Kimball, both
men of note in Norway when young and who later in
life had distinguished careers, the first as a great
manufacturer in Chicago and the second as the recreator
of Atlanta, Georgia.

One night the Storys went to the show, sitting well
up front. Cracking a joke that elicited much applause,
Artemus explained, much to the confusion of the lady,
that it was an old one, first used in Norway, Maine,
when he and "Eune Kimball played together in the
Thespian Society!" …

[169]

- Artemus Ward (CHARLES FARRAR BROWNE) A Biography and Bibliography BY DON C. SEITZ 1919 - https://archive.org/stream/artemuswardchar00seituoft#page/169/mode/1up



http://archive.org/stream/artemuswardchar00seituoft/artemuswardchar00seituoft_djvu.txt




(Photos - Above Link) (original copyrights expired)
 
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

George Henry Story - American Artist (1835-1922)


George Henry Story - Self Portrait 1902 - Gift to Metropolitan Museum of Art by Mrs. George Henry Story 1906


George Henry Story. Born Fair Haven, New Haven Conn. January 22, 1835, son of James Story, a sea captain and Clarissa Barnes Story. 

Died November 24, 1922, the Hubert Co-op Apartments 230 West 59th Street New York City.

Started his career apprenticed as a wood carver for three years 1849-1852 to a Mr. Northrop. Studied art under Charles Hines 1852-1855.  Then studied art in Europe for one year.

Set up a portrait studio in rented space in a corner of the photographer M.B. Brady’s business space in Washington DC in 1860 and 1861. Was subsequently asked as a favor by Brady’s assistant to help pose president-elect Abraham Lincoln for a photograph. 

From there he gained access to White House for several days to sit in on Lincoln at work to make pencil sketches which later were worked into his famous series of Lincoln portraits over the years, some 12 or so in total, one of which is now in the Oval Office, West Wing of the White House. He also painted a portrait of Lincoln's Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase.



Abraham Lincoln by George Henry Story


Married Eunice Berry Emerson Kimball June 5, 1856 in New Haven Conn.. Eunice, born June 9, 1835, daughter of Peter Kimball, a carriage maker in Norway Maine and Betsey Emerson, first cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Died Jan 14, 1908.

- Eunice was sister to a whole family of brothers, carriage makers including C.P. Kimball of Chicago and Hannibal Ingalls Kimball, the “recreator of Atlanta” in post-civil war Georgia.

- Father of adopted son Paul Story Kimball born January 28, 1872 in Newtown Mass., a nephew of wife Eunice and original child of George Franklin Kimball, a carriage maker of Boston Mass. and Lucretia J. (Wright) Morton Kimball. Died June 20, 1896, aged 24. Was model for Story painting "Dutch Cavalier" and or "Cavalier" at the Wadsworth Museum in Hartford.

Exhibited at 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia received a – Gold Medal – for his showing of three paintings, “The Young Mother” (a first version, lost, as opposed to a later 1881 version at the Wadsworth), “The Young Student” (then owned by Wall Street broker financier David Groesbeck), and “Echoes of the Sea”.

Curator of Painting at Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC 1889-1906, Acting Director of same museum 1904-1905, Curator Emeritus after 1906.

Curator of Painting at Wadsworth Athenaeum Hartford Conn. 1899-1922.

Buried in Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn with wife Eunice and son Paul.



Story Family Plot Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn New York
(Photo by Bob Collins)


April 21, 2014 - Many Thanks to Bob Collins who has provided Inscription below of above stone, a presumed final statement of love by husband George Henry Story :

Green-Wood Cemetery
Section 145, Lot 29429.
----INSCRIPTION, top and front:'


This memorial was erected to perpetuate the grateful sense of pleasure I had in the conversation of an accomplished woman, a sincere friend, and an agreeable companion.



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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Moses King New York Guide Book Cover – Inspiration for O.Henry’s short story The Lady Higher Up?




New York World Sunday Magazine, July 24, 1904, The Lady Higher Up by O.Henry


I have to thank the Internet for the coming together of ideas. Researching the latter part of the nineteenth century New York I came across the Moses King Photographic Views of New York originally published in 1892.

I cannot but help to think in the last twenty four hours looking at the cover of the King’s Tourist Guide that Bill Porter hanging around pool halls, billiard parlors and rummy saloons around Fourteenth Street, fingered his King’s Guide to New York to inspire a story for a much needed sawbuck to pay his bar tab and some back rent on a furnished room. 

That about a year and a half to two years into residence in New York City he may have been ready to toss that book - feeling like a native NYer - but instead fingered that guide for inspiration, in a copy newly purchased when he has first arrived or in a dime used copy at a bookstore outdoor stall – with the cover image of Diana the Saint Gaudens sculpted weathervane on top of Madison Square Garden - pointing an arrow at Lady Liberty - may have just been the visual inspiration trigger for the story mentioned above.  

Just a thought.







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Walt Whitman 1887





Walt Whitman 1887 - presumably in his Camden New Jersey home.

Photograph attributed to the Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins - (Library of Congress)



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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Charles Keating Lonely in Hell - Awaits His Pals Dennis DeConcini and John McCain for Reunion of the Phoenix Boys






Dear Denny and Johnny:

Missing you in Hell. Am keeping a special spot warm for each of you. 

Your Bosom Buddy.

Love Charles.


P.S. Mother Teresa gives lousy head here in hell. Not like the good ole' days in the 80s.


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Allegheny City Hall – Federal and Ohio Streets Pittsburgh – 1863-1938 – Architect Colomb Gengembre



Present site of Buhl Planetarium 
http://buhlplanetarium3.tripod.com/photoalbumBuhl.htm














Little has been written about the fifteen years Gengembre spent in Allegheny except for reports concerning the commission that turned out to be his last.  Gengembre provided the designs for the Allegheny City Hall pro bono, delivering the plans sometime between 1862 and 1863.  Donating his talent to create the city hall of his adopted home was a grand gesture on his part that was met with an offer from Allegheny Government cronies to share in the graft from inflated costs that they planned to build into the project.  Gengembre was said to be so appalled at the American lack of morals that he swore off speaking English for the rest of his life.  He died in 1863.

 Gengembre’s daughter, Sophie Anderson, was an artist who specialized in portraiture and her work is most often classified as Pre Raphaelite.  She married British artist Walter Anderson and enjoyed a successful career.   Her brother, Philip, changed his last name from the unpronounceable Gengembre to his mother’s maiden name of Hubert.  As Philip Hubert, he moved to New York City where he designed buildings that supported cooperatively owned apartments, a concept credited to him.   The Hubert Home Clubs were designed for middle class workers and owed much to his father’s brief stint working for Utopian thinker, Charles Fourier.   Hubert’s cooperative designs included the Navarro “Spanish Flats” Apartments as well as the Chelsea Hotel.



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Columbus Circle – The Hubert Co-op Apartments 230 West 59th Street – Philip G. Hubert – George Henry Story



photo - Tatzu Nishi



In Pride of the Cities, famed New York City short story writer O.Henry hinted at the snobbishness of some people in New York looking down on the west side of Manhattan in the early part of twentieth century.

"I!" said the New Yorker. "I was never farther west than Eighth Avenue. I had a brother who died on Ninth, but I met the cortege at Eighth. There was a bunch of violets on the hearse, and the undertaker mentioned the incident to avoid mistake. I cannot say that I am familiar with the West."

And although the Upper West Side of Manhattan was in full bloom of development, there were still empty lots to the right property not melded with the right building idea etc.

Diamond Jim Brady pulled up stakes in a bachelor pad apartment on 57th Street in 1900 to buy a four story brownstone off Central Park West at 7 West 86thStreet and furnished or had it furnished by a decorator in every strange dusty and obsolete item of the imminently about to arrive deceased Victorian Era circa 1901.

So too having been born around the west side docks downtown on Cedar Street, I believe Diamond Jim felt more comfortable with the professional classes that seemed to gravitate up Broadway to the Bronx instead of situated near the Uber-Rich building castles on Fifth Avenue. 

That and I think a self-made millionaire like Brady preferred not to see the rich on the East Side. He even though he did not drink alcohol he could only mingle with those 400 or so rich elite types on a temporary basis in the Plaza bar or bar at the Waldorf (hyphen) Astoria as some referred to that famed bastion of the well to do.

That in search of an identity would not come before Mayor LaGuardia, Columbus Circle as Gateway to that upper west side was more of circus in attitude and carnival appeal to tourists from the 1880s until the 1930s. 

Big anchor buildings of the modern era were not yet present in this traffic circle and lower case lower class entrance to the big park – Central Park. 

Different as night and day the entrance at Fifth and West Fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in the shadow of the Plaza Hotel compared to six dissected points of three streets intersecting – Broadway, Eighth Avenue and West Fifty-ninth Street – all wrapped around the Columbus (an Immigration / Assimilation Symbol) statue on top of its memorial stone column.

Postcards of the time would indicate this area as a tourist spot. With its entrance to Central Park near the west side Seventh Ave subway it was probably the most visited subway stop on any given weekend or Summer weekday to compete with any stops downtown, the heart of the Maritime Shipping and Financial Center of the city.


The very nature of its being was as staging area, transient lay off spot, up from the newly emerging Time Square fifteen blocks south but also as a local area of saloons, shops, entertainments, theaters to capture the Tourist Dime or Nickel. 


Touristas






                            Postcard Viewing South Along Broadway circa 1910





                              1901 Columbus Circle – Subway Construction







                       1905 Columbus Circle – Viewing North – Park Entrance (right),
                            Central Park West (N.Eighth Ave.) and Broadway (left)


Columbus Circle NYC (circa 1906)
Shadow of Columbus Statue on Monument (bottom left)
(Public Domain)





From his father he learned radical humanist ideas about harmony, balance, brotherhood and socialized land use like as in a kibbutz for some modern comparison of radical back then self-actualization - and from his grandfather he learned practical basics of architecture and engineering in the family business and or sideline of running a government owned iron foundry back in France.

Being too liberal or too intelligent to live in a dumbed down France after the shit hit the fan in 1848, the Gengembre family emigrated to America to live life with in pre-civil war pre-rust belt Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Fast forward a decade and with some U.S. Government Patent buying money, $120,000, to help the civil war effort against the southern states, young inventor Philip Gengembre did a European tour to drink in beauty, architecture and current radical thinking on the continent, and then settled into post-civil war Manhattan to raise his young family.

He attached himself to an older Architect for some polish and sabe on his self-learned architecture thing and set out a shingle in old New York to practice his desired trade.

Philip added his maternal grandmom’s maiden name (Sophia Hubert - his mother's maiden name Marianne Farey - both English) btw to his own in order for his A-merican customers that had trouble pronouncing his own – kind of like a self-inflicted cutting pre-Ellis Island nasty chalk mark so to speak to get used to the new land’s ways and all that.

Truth of the matter, Hubert had an idea to help lower middle class workers, as in the clerk class to get together, buy land, build an apartment building and share the wealth of the profits of renting out 10-20 percent of the apartment units and actually giving dividends back to the original limited shareholders that bought a right to an apartment in that building in this new radical non-bank way, use of home comfort instead of maximum profit, for people living in a land starved environment like New York.

Banks at the time did not want to be pushed out on the profit thing but the clerks with their limited means could not finance these worker projects by themselves. Exit stage left.

Then the middle class speculators took over and offered a set price on middle class co-op living arrangement in planned big spacious apartment buildings and it all went to hell as in any uncontrolled, unregulated financial situation and without banks in large part to monopolize the mortgage market so to speak.

Philip lectured on his concept borrowed from European Utopian ideas and experimentation and got the right sort of professionals, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, artists and started what were called “Hubert Home Clubs” and some of them actually started, succeeded and thrived in this new radical self-financing co-op apartment gimmick. Meanwhile at the ranch, big foreign speculators like José Francisco de Navarro were building Trump like Co-op Apartments and with Trump like pyramid financing.:



Navarro "Spanish" Flats - S.E.Corner Seventh Avenue and West 59th Street


Although first called the Central Park Apartments, they soon became known as the Navarro Flats or, sometimes, the Spanish Flats.

The buildings, each 13 stories tall, were named the Madrid, the Cordova, the Granada, the Valencia, the Lisbon, the Barcelona, the Saragossa and the Tolosa.

The sales brochure for the apartments, most of them seven-bedroom duplexes, listed them at $20,000 for corner units and $15,000 for those with only one exposure. Maintenance was $100 to $200 a month.

The architect, Hubert & Pirsson, staggered the floors so that the principal rooms, facing the street, had extra-high ceilings. It’s a comment on the times that the apartments had only two bathrooms each.

There were some particularly large apartments, about 7,000 square feet, with a library measuring 19 feet by 22 feet, a drawing room 17 by 39, a billiard room 18 by 24, and a dining room 16 by 31. “Not 10 houses in New York” have such a scale of entertaining rooms, said The Real Estate Record & Guide.

Unlike the cool beige brick and stone of the Dakota, the Navarro Flats buildings were hot-red brick set off against a wild cliff of stone-trimmed arches, turrets, gables and other features — an arrangement that Scientific American called “most unsatisfactory” in 1884. There were some Moorish details, but the buildings were also described as both Gothic and Queen Anne in style.


Eight Apartment Buildings of Navarro "Spanish" Flats
1891 Bromley Atlas City of New York


Hawthorne Co-op by Philip G.Hubert (left) Next to Navarro Flats

Looking west on northern sidewalk of 59th Street Transit System Survey – 1914 – photo by G.W.Pullis – From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York http://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWT8IGN9&SMLS=1&RW=1032&RH=505#/SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWT8IGN9&SMLS=1&RW=1032&RH=505&PN=1



Nobody has ever heard of Jose Navarro but because he, Philip Hubert, was the architect on the Big One that went down and turned speculators into “Hubert” haters ever since, it is little wonder why they have scraped his name off his buildings so to speak in the history books so to speak, that and only two or three of those early co-ops still stand in a city that consumes itself like a snake eating its own R/E tail.

Diamond Jim Brady’s brand new brownstone in 1900 got gobbled up into a typical big apartment building on CPW in something like 30 years.

Though in researching Philip Hubert, I have to wonder why so many give no mention of the one artist’s co-op on the emerging west side near Columbus Circle that was named after himself when writing about a litany of all his other dead extinct projects.

Perhaps the natural of “The Hubert” and its residents wanting anonymity, performed perfecting in that nobody was aware of it in the middle of the Columbus Circle Circus and poor people’s entrance to Central Park and general tourist chaos in hot steamy peak tourist seasons past.

Rather unassuming and looking so non-descript with what I would call Worker’s Modern – not “Queen Anne Revival with a touch of Victorian Gothic” - architecture of late nineteenth century urban America. 

With its working class thrift in exterior materials, bricks, some terra-cotta, marble trims and iron work, you have a theme repeating many times with Philip G. Hubert – or at least with his Hawthorne 126-130 West 59th Street, Hubert 226-230 West 59th Street and Chelsea (Hotel) Co-op home / apartments 222 West 23rd Street. 




The Hubert next to Gainsborough Studios on left, Circa 1920 - photo [Columbus Circle.] - From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.



Bromley Atlas of the City of New York  1922







The Hubert next to Gainsborough Studios on right, 1910photo by Wurts Bros. - From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York


George Henry Story - Self Portrait 1902
Gift to Metropolitan Museum of Art by Mrs. Henry Story 1906

Public Domain per Wiki Commons




George Henry Story – Artist – 1835-1922

I started this research on Hubert based on the Obituary of George Henry Story, one time Treasurer of the Hubert Co-op Apartment Association. His NYT Obit in link below Oval Office Photo.

Other artists listing their home address or studio address as 226-230 West 59th Street over time besides G.H. Story are: Edward August Bell, Gifford Beal and Dwight William Tryon. Also a resident was a Wall Street lawyer named Lemuel Skidmore.


President Obama Admiring George Henry Story Portrait
of Abraham Lincoln in Oval Office West Wing White House

http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/2012/05/george-henry-story-american-artist-1835.html

Story is pretty much a self taught jack of many trades who started out life in Hartford Connecticut and became a cabinet maker and frame carver. He ended up one day amidst his many travels renting space as an art portrait studio, in a corner of the Matthew Brady Photo Studio in Washington DC. That one day Brady with his hands full asked Story to help pose President Lincoln, run him through on the do’s and don’ts of posing for some minutes before an exposed negative in the camera. 

From there Story was allowed access to Lincoln in the White House to make sketches which led to what he is most famous for in his paintings, his Lincoln Portraits, a dozen or so, one of which is in the White House.

His other portraits of Lincoln’s cabinet have yet to surface in Auctions.

He was curator of Painting at the new Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for seventeen years and temporary director for two. 

There is a catalogue of responses to his letters to artists in the Met’s collection for biographical data and to catalogue all art in the collection. 


Metropolitan Museum of Art 1871

MMA circa 1880s

                                                            1903 Metropolitan Museum of Art





Philip G. Hubert with his Grandson Philip Hubert Frohman standing on the roof of the New York Riding Academy with the background of his masterpiece – the Navarro “Spanish” Flats.

April 23, 2016 Correction:

The correct identity of the boy in this photo above has been identified to me as another grandson of Philip Gengembre Hubert  who was Louis Henry Frohman, younger brother of Philip Hubert Frohman. The location of the standing place of Hubert and his grandson Louis is the roof of The Sevillia Hotel 117 W. 58th Street, a building of Hubert's design, also identified as both birthplace and childhood home of Louis Henry Frohman, son of Marie Hubert Frohman and Gustave Frohman.


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