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THIS TOWN IS NO FIT PLACE FOR AN ARTIST
By ROBERT NEVILLE Illustrations by ALBERT LEVERING There Are Studios in Plenty, in Greenwich tillage and Environs, but Where is the Artist Vrlio Is Rich Enough to Rent a Studio? PROBLEM confronts the dwellers Greenwich Village , all except the . maire manufacturers and their commercial brethren. "Where do we go from here?' they sing in consternation. Go tl : must. The last link in the circle bringing Washington Square and the domains adja< ;nt back to the social prestige which they enjoyed seventy years ago has been forged by the artists. They have learned the truth of 0. Henry's assertion that Bohemia is a land of illusion and that if you seek it it will flee v m you. rhe original rich departed fifty years be? fore th art colony arrived. The bourgeoisie came and went. The humble workman left his ?he wall, and following him came the immigrants. The glory that was Macdougal St eel and the grandeur that was Washington Square faded. By economic deduction there remained only the artists to share in its crumbling past. They entered and took possession. Their kingdom became a rendezvous of artistic en? deavor. It attracted attention. Slummers discovered it. Keen-eyed persons with bobbed hair opened restaurants and pseudo art shops. Within a year the neighborhood was commer? cialized. Landlords were at work buying leases. Showing their hands slowly, they per? mitted the artists to make habitable and at tra tive the tumbling homes they had rented. They raised rents gradually, spreading the artists further and further away from the lare. Slowly the moth of art realized the situation. Its chrysalis had become of greater value than th? prospective butterfly. Wash? ington Square had traversed its circle and was once more in the hands of the well to do. There are no apartments to be had in the central part of the Village for less than $75 a month, and there a>-e few at that price. Ten years ago, when the district deserved its tit! 7 - f the "Latin Quarter of New York," the best ?oor in Washington Square ?South was to be had for $40 a month. A room overlooking the nark scenery and filled with atmosphere was So. Now a room without a privat-:' bath is $6C or $70 and a whole floor, if you can get or.--, will cost you in the neighborhood of $160. Washington Mews was filled with stables that the owners were glad to let for $30 or $40. Last year one of these stables was held at $4,000, and the agents informed inquirers that tenants would have to invest at lea t $500 out of their own pockets in repairs 1 efore they could take possession of the place. A certain noted Dutch painter to k over one 7:" these places four years ago at a rental of 52,000. He stuccoed it and made it charm? ing and hahit3.v?ie. with the result that his -? - * as used ' $3,000 the next y iar He pa: ? th? - . 1 the /? a ? -'? '. .-.-.' _- they trie i t ? charge him $6,01 0. That portion of Eighth Street backing on the M **.- ; as r. '??? n c : v ;rti ; inf i ps< a '. Italian mansions and the rents raised to $160 a month for one-half a floor. Macdi ugal Alley was the first portion of Boh mia to le elevated out of the reach of tne ordinary artist. A wealthy amateur arr ist at, bul not inter. A Unaavory M'metta Lan*:, which may be the last .?and of the Greenwich Vil? lager in hit retreat before ad verneine; rents The presence of an artist in ::i^dio neighborhood .roves almost too much for the patience of the moneyed residents Hov "??? er, shrewd owners and agents did us< her presence to raise artists' rent right and left. There ;? one known incident where a young artist rented thre< h.ous s and was ejected from them in suc ?ion just after he had put in weeks ? f hard labor d.cc rating them. Macdougal and Fourth streets next cam nto prcmir ence. 11 re ? c leap An artist wa abb to eat, as well as pay rent Lit to- lay ?'.. .. ' owi . 3 ai e paying same rent in thi tie tl at i. ;. ar paying on Washington Square, Ninth, Tenth, Elev? nth ai Twelfth streets had retained through all the influx of v. ri? us ?? kisses an air of ind gent aristocracy. They made wonderful hunting grounds fo he ?' ' . rais( . ?-. A floor in these street? will Sr>me are wondering if the artists, like the early Christians _/ Rome, wi.if have to practice their rites in secret a" . '.? - .a . ruiivid lal ?"_ So v . Id that there is :' with a pr ? ting, enting two hou ' buying and tun ?ng them into ap irt its, full i: ti,, y ur 1 . - 01 Barro x _ ?ar Hudson Street v ? ?? ?? ?d. Th? s es occupi . ?urt and were r i ? d orig ?nally foi . i tt le. Th< y were al: rented at Greenwi h Village prices befor ; epairs ever '??? ere .tari id And o it goes 1 it 1 he di Every availal :-' bu . i ng has hern seized an . converted. So mil . plac? < were prepared during the winti r and at, d te I i th. summer exodus of the millionaires, about two hundn d la; ; t! il the seas >n Have the renta gone down? They have not. Thi i ..."r-; an making ?o much money thai they can take the I ... 3 ,.a ?s be ginning to h? ! .. .- - i tia iiucl Bohei ha ii lost virtu restored, it . : appear 'espectable. So ": ieen br< ught to hear, with the r ?sull I ..;* ce halls 1 en icens has beei a te il to the ' 11 ige parasites, bc-caus the; -. ay to .'.:*? ;alth [< w a - Ian - that brought the slummcrs town to look o . er the village u ; ?' . ? led ? ustom ?j s for ? amateur-mad ; batil he painte i woo len : ?'ads and :l- ? ?:;'..-. ?? .?. -fa tun i . moi i. What this : leans to the ommen ial el ? uent can be judged whe the writer statei al know ledi thai ?? - of ? ?? of lance ha ? ar more I in $400 a week during : m> first winter he wa in busi ?* Of cour e, I he real Vil feel that these people \ ?? trumental in running them out of their "quartier," bul they are not, generally speaking, well treated 3 lievi large, ara; h ... ison with the slummer : - ons ered poor business ? 'or sequen tly, a _<? staura: I r his pat? ronage for ? purp? of ? iv till its uptown cliei tele Then i ?lot ?rd - ived .he Ita a rest; r f th? (uar-3 form? ntirel lent m the a rtist ' o ... '! here are o ?-, eral of ; '?? . hich - fe ' ?ay c eared tro md a qu r pro, prietors. If ; : '.. ? I o into one of places i m up a bill of ?ass tha?i : ?. several d? la a waiter would spill a . h :' o:.-. di his shirt fr< i [n the ' ' ' irtists are homele - Some i . 'o- m have forsal - arl f ,,,....,.., .a, work " ' ? "' '? n in I Even the horse at the Minetta Lane mithy seems to acuse the art atmosphere. Note his dx~vil-may-%\"re manner of leaning against the door When Nobody Else Wants a House an Artist May Live in It. There He "Creates an Atmosphere" Which Finally Smothers Him ..* and pay theif rent. Others, reekon ing wisely, have ???? aces deserted by the uptowners, and exchanged places Kith them A colony has migrated to the ? .-7 of Spuyten Duyvjl. A large group crossed the river to Brooklyn and has n up its abode in the forme: aristocr I i Heights section. Villagers, as a whole, however, scorn this - move. Columbia Heights bears too much in common with Washington Sonare. There o. i? permanent "quartier " *. that now confronts m i-:- Shall they take over Minetta Lane I ing '. with Blec7 Street, knew n as A1 ine1 \i A' From the artistic angle, or rather, the angle artistic atmosphere, it is perfect. Th?.? lane s narrow and winding, and faced by i ihioned houses. The alley gives to tl - south on the ?'hi yellow cathedral standing in Bleecker St rev. There are numerous covered passages lead rig to 'rack courts, in which stand isolate?.: tenements which would delight the soul of anj ; respective dweller of artistic tendencies. Farseeing real estate people who have ol served the profitable changes made in ck bounded by Macdougal, Bleecker. Sulli H7 and Houston streets, only a few yards away, have tried to invade the Minetta dis trict. The villagers would like to replace the pr?s dwellers in Minetta Street, but they know at lynx eyes are watching them. They cal ate sadly that they could last one -?.-.-?? n ? i two at the most before they would be dis sessed to make room for the magna-? -. Some are wondering if the artists, 1: ? early Christians of Rome, will have to pra? tice their rites in secret. Of course, the vicious circle is grea purposes of social reclamation, but one has t admit that it keeps the artist on the jump. If he spends all his time home seeking and home decorating when he will paint his pictures ano whence will come America's contribution to art? A solution cannot be found in d< - New York for some less commercial city. Th* parasites will follow or grow. The landl will awaken to their opportunities, and th? hist -y ? the Xew York colony will be r< peat? d. The old French quarter of New O ?een converted by the artists of that city . a rare and charming Bohemia. But there art mspici? that real estate peop dty are behind the scheme, working t ? autiful and a irtei to its former grandeur. m elsewhere, lie will have * fight in America. And the Gre? ril?agi r will '?..-.' ; 1 in New York. A ? ' ere" competitive effort. ? it be Mir Street for a year or two? Will it be the cata :ombs? Or must the art of the n> ation die in th? larval stag ? use th? coc? tioi appreci ated than the potential ;.,:,-"t--:!v?