October 16, 2019

TUDOR CITY GOES TO WAR

With the onset of World War II, Tudor City adjusted to a new world of shortages, blackouts, rationing, and salvaging. Civilians were urged to volunteer for "short-notice" jobs as nurses' aides, air-raid wardens, auxiliary firemen, and so on. Even dogs were pressed into service ‒ for sentry duty.

Above, a volunteer collecting aluminum for defense in 1943. Her sign reads:
TUDOR CITY 3-Day Drive / Aluminum for Defense / July 21-22-23 / All deposits of aluminum made here will be turned over to the Mayor's Committee for Defense / Give a pot or pan / A.W.V.S. 
A.W.V.S. was the American Women's Voluntary Services organization. Other items collected for the war effort ranged from kitchen fat and nylon stockings to tin cans and short-wave radios.

War bond drives were ongoing. Above, the 6th War Loan Office was located in the lobby of No. 5.

USE IT UP / WEAR IT OUT / MAKE IT DO / DO WITHOUT was the motto of the Tudor City Laundry Service ‒ where "the clothes hangers have gone to war."

The war gave Tudor City's ad agency a new way to sell the enclave ‒ as a safe haven for the duration. "Of course, you are willing to make sacrifices to win the war," the ads allowed, "but have you considered how much easier it is to adjust your living to war conditions by moving to Tudor City?"




"Driving to the country to cool off isn't as simple as it used to be [owing to gas rationing] . . . but in Tudor City you need go only across the street to find pleasant private parks."








October 13, 2019

The OTHER 3-Hs

Some buildings in Tudor City have vaguely medieval names ‒ The Cloister, The Hermitage, The Manor ‒ in keeping with the colony's Tudor character. Then there are the 3-H's, which are named after specific English country estates. Downton Abbey, eat your heart out: here are the other 3-H's.
Haddon Hall                      Hardwicke Hall                Hatfield House
Above, Tudor City's 3-H's in 1929. And below, the three country houses they were named after. We can definitely see some resemblances.

Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
Begun around 1100, Haddon Hall underwent various additions and alterations over the next 500 years, and today is considered one of Britain's finest medieval homes. It's currently occupied by Lord Edward Manners ‒ it's been in his family since 1567 ‒ and is open for tours, details here.

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Constructed in 1570 by Robert Smythson in the Renaissance style, Hardwick Hall is particularly notable for its abundance of windows. Currently owned by the National Trust, Britain's equivalent of America's National Register of Historic Places. Open for tours, details here.

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
Built in 1611, Hatfield House is a prime example of Jacobean architecture. Remarkably, it has been owned by the same family throughout its long life, and is currently occupied by Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 7th Marquess of Salisbury. It also offers tours, details here.

October 9, 2019

BRIDGE PEOPLE

Turns out that there are more Instagrams of people posing on the Tudor City Bridge than you can possibly imagine. Here's a selection of some of our favorites.


October 6, 2019

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS to Essex House

Essex House entrance, 2018

Within the French Company, the building 
was known as the Tenth Unit.
Happy Birthday to Essex House, opened ninety years ago today, on October 6, 1929. 

The building was the first in the enclave to offer "family-size" apartments. "You needn't be single to live in Tudor City," the ads announced, "for here, in this newest building, are apartments as large as six rooms."

In addition, the colony offered a "private school for children up to eight years old, with a playground with sand boxes and shuffleboard, which is always in charge of a governess." 

In short, "Tudor City is for children as well as grown-ups."
New York Times ad, Oct. 6, 1929

An introduction to Essex House here.

October 2, 2019

Residents: WILLIAM FAULKNER

We thought our previous resident of note, Twiggy, would be hard to top. Well, how about William Faulkner? Yes, that's right, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize‒winning author resided in The Woodstock for a short time. Here is his life, in bullet points:
Faulkner in 1931. 

✶ Born 1897 in Mississippi, where he will reside for most of his life.

✶ Publishes first novel, Soldier's Pay, in 1925. Over the following decade, produces an impressive body of work in a style dubbed Southern Gothic: The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932) and Absalom, Absalom! (1936). Although The Sound and the Fury is considered his greatest achievement, it is not initially successful. Rather, it is Sanctuary (1931) ‒ the story of a brutal rape ‒ that is his commercial and critical breakthrough. Faulkner later dismisses it as a "potboiler," written purely for profit.

✴ In the wake of Sanctuary's success, the 34-year-old author visits Manhattan to confer with his publisher and work on his next novel. We'll let the New Yorker pick up the story, via a Talk of the Town piece that ran in its November 28, 1931 issue:

Faulkner's Tudor City home is a 28th-floor apartment in The Woodstock, where he lives for about a month while working on Light in August.
Light in August, first edition

✴ Works as a script doctor in Hollywood during the '30s and '40s, co-authoring the screenplays for The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not. Over time, ten of his books are adapted for the screen.

✴ Wins Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949, officially cementing his Great Author status, even if his later novels never earn the rousing acclaim of his earlier work.

✴ Dies of a heart attack, aged 64, in Mississippi.

⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺

Years later, Light in August is ranked No. 54 in the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. (The Sound and the Fury is No. 6).

September 29, 2019

PICTURE OF THE DAY / JR Edition

Detail, The Chronicles of New York City, 2018. 
Above, the Hotel Tudor sign turns up in an epic photo mural by JR, the enigmatically named French artist. Entitled The Chronicles of New York City, this mammoth digital collage portrays over 1,000 New Yorkers in a fantasy city setting. 

JR is currently having a moment, with major shows at both the San Francisco MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum, where The Chronicles of New York City will be the exhibition's centerpiece (opening October 4).

Detail of the detail.

September 25, 2019

FASHIONED IN TUDOR CITY

Co-opting Tudor City's name for product brands is nothing new ‒ in the past, we've posted about convertible couches and credit card cases named after the enclave. Now we're adding faux fur coats to the list, manufactured by Malden Mills and "fashioned in Tudor City."

Faux fur first appeared in the 1960s as an alternative to the more expensive real thing. Among the innovators in the field was Malden Mills, a Massachusetts firm founded in 1906. Although for years a conventional textile mill, it made a name for itself by developing synthetic fabrics made from polyester, beginning with fake fur. What inspired the company to name the line after Tudor City is lost to history. 

The genuine mink collar makes the make-believe otter more believable.

The coats are favorites of vintage clothing fans. Above, items for sale on eBay and Etsy.