Housekeeping

From a New York Times article on the rebuilt house at 18 West 11th Street, NYC

Houses have personal histories. As they pass between owners, they become carriers of family chronicles. The house at 18 West 11th Street and those surrounding it, beautifully matched four-story town houses of Federal design, were built in the 1840’s by Henry Brevoort Jr. and were known as the Brevoort Row. Early in the 20th century, No. 18 was owned by Charles Merrill, a founder of Merrill Lynch & Company. His son, the poet James Merrill, was born there. (…) Every March 6, people place flowers around the tree in front of the building. One day in the early 1990’s, Francis Mason invited James Merrill and his mother, Hellen Plummer, to see the house that had replaced their former home. After her son’s death in 1995, Mrs. Plummer, then 95, reminisced about the original house at No. 18. (…) ”We were happy there,” she said. About returning to the site, she added: ”It didn’t feel like our old house. It was totally different architecture. But it was soothing to us that someone cared enough to put something else on the property.”

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