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THE SUN, SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 1913.
A BIT OF OLD NEW YORK ON THE 1913 STAGE The Brevoort Figures in. "Romance" and Nar rowly Escaped Being Seen in "The Conspir acy" Also T THEN the curtain rises on the, X last net of "Romance" a Y Y large percentage of the audi ence always turns In Its cats, exchanges dances ami says, half under Its lircath: "The dear old nrevoort!" for those In the know never call It anything hut ttiat. The Fifth Avenue Hotel, the Brims wick. Windsor, tlllsey. F.vcrett. West minster and a score of others, some of which antedated the ltrevoort. some were contemporary and some later, have been destroyed; but this institution of an older New York stands fasi. Oc casionally It gets a new coat of ulnt. Sometimes Units wave from the windows and the habitues passim; along stop nnd say, "Oh, yes, It Is ltastllle day," and point to the tricolor Haunting from the white facade with the blue-green trim mings. The old cab line has Bono, dis placed by the noisy taxis. That Is the sole change. As you stand on the front stoop, as thev said In the Knickerbocker days, when It was built, In the late afternoon and look down through the Washington Arch you see the pale amber anil mauve shades of the twlllt sky. In the park re pedestrians passing leisurely alone children playing on the walks, tired mothers stopping to exchange civilities, the greater number of the throng be longing to the Italian population. Near at hand are residences once oc cupied by families bearing historic names. They are all built on parcels of what was once the old Brevoort farm, when a farm meant acres of land right 1 . tn the heart of Manhattan. The cross1 , of the Judson rises above the black tree I stems. Within hailing distance Is the Benedick, the old bachelor hcadiiar- ters, chambers In which were once con i aldered a necessary introduction either ! lo matrimony or fame. There Is the Rhtnelander mansion and the Sickles ; bouse In n deep shadow. The old resl i dent will tell you that "the square has never been the same since the unl 1 verslty was torn down" and with a sigh will point a protesting thumb at the south side with Its ramshackle build i tags, where artistic restaurants used to I flourish and which now nre to be re I moved. No one can fall to be struck with the jplck nnd span appearance of the Ure voort's surroundings, which painters and writers declare to be the only t neighborhood left with a particle of atmosphere In the whole great city There are those who retort that the so railed atmosphere Is due to nothing else . but liberal applications of soap and water In connection with age and re spectability. For there exists below Fourteenth street what Is known ns the Neighborhood Club, which makes ren dezvous at the Brevoort nnd talks over ' -Kays and m ans. This clul) Is very conservative. It will not stop to pick up paper outside el the door of any one who does not belong to the club, and It does not ' visit back nnd forth with the Philis tines nbove the stated limit. But within Us territory It Is grnclousness Itself. The Neighborhood Club has done more than anything else to preserve this part of the city from commercial encroach ments. The streets are kept clean, there Is special police protection, ped lers nre made to feel unwelcome, olllce buildings nre shooed away, cruller and ipple parties are given now and then at the homes of the members. The list ot members Includes well known names such as De I'eyster, Whltrldge, de Forest, Blddle, Auerbach, gden and Partridge. Several other clubs rendezvous at the nrevoort. The Pleiades, which, like the constellation after which It Is named, 6Ck'. I? II go of before 1 tan 1 1 . . .' " Copyright by The Sun Printing and Publishing Association. Extract from a Letter. "Dear Joe. HJ lHlNRHk rH' .tH Ftf&tB 7fjHr lIssssssssssssssH U HKH ssssssVsss liil THE OLD has an all star cast ; the St. George So ciety, which comes without a dragon, the Alliance Francais", which can make the waiters understand when ordering the dinner in French Society ha-, in the cycle of change, again chosen the Urevoort for a rallying point and sev eral smart functions have been held there this season. Mr. Harry Payne Whitney gave a dinner dance there and Mrs. Birlett followed suit. Inside the Urevoort House there is even less -change than on the outside. A few partitions have been removed downstairs; that Is all. Some of the old furniture has tieen sold, some burned A few old prlntH In old frames delight the eye of the antiquary. In a dark corner of the entrance hall are a framed manuscript and a couple of menus of dinners, given there when the Prince of Wales was in New York in I860 The manuscript and menus were found In the back of an old clock, and the writer had apparently more faith than pro phetic power, for it commences: "To whom It may concern. When some two .v get it dawn soft." 7. "Me for the tall - li. "Stvng agin!!!" By the time this reaches you 1 will be BREVOORT HOUSE AS SHOWN IN thousand years hence, these papers may be found, &c." The royal menus are like old fash ioned dancing cards, with glazed sur faces and delicate engraving enclosed In a garlended border. The mnnngement explained its lack of historic data by saying with a French shrug of the shoulders that when the Urevoort House was in Its zenith It did not need to have attention called to It; iimw that It is outranked by skyscr-r-r.i-per-r so-r-rt what good would it do anyway? The French shrug Is quite In keeping with the spirit of the place, where the cuisine, service and sentiment are of the same Imported variety. It does not lend Itself too readily to American ideas unless they, in turn, are In harmony, which frequently happens. For example on carnival night, as New Year's eve has come to be called, the old ltrevoort Is like a bit of transplanted Paris. The plain Interior is like the average back ground of the French capital's cafes, whete the decoration Is furnished by the 3. UrfH . ' timber." 8, mm 13. in a belter world. I am going to some THE LAST ACT OF "ROMANCE" NOW guests. Hlotlng, conspicuous In many uptown hotels. Is absent here. The spirit of camaraderie prevails. Stran- gers exchange greetings, toasts and sou venirs are passed from one un acquainted hand to another. There Is plenty of freedom, but no license. Strangers who come to the Bre voort to dine remain upstairs In some one of the several dining rooms, but the hnbltues either enter the basement door or stumble down n dark winding stair way In the rear of the reception rooms to the grill. Here foregather every night nrtlsts, writers, sculptors, Journalists. At one table a famous caricaturist ex plains his cryptic sketch of the day. at another, a young lawyer holds forth; a mural decorator finds fault with the ladles' futurist hnts nnd. the Urevoort ducks, both of which he explains are umi'sthetlc. The ducks, it may be men tioned, are Hocks of tame porcelain birds, which always seem to lie Hying away, but never get far from the bar. On the night of the Tiffany fete guests dropped in to show the uninvited "Ore! Chimmic. let i wipe dot wit-taie!" "Come on. Shorty. You're too slow." If '-M 7 Pi " ', so long, ealfy.'" THE SUICIDE, BY A. B. FROST. secluded spot, with a suitcase containing PLAYING AT THE MAXINE ELLIOTT there was no hard feeling. At no hour 1 of the night or early morning Is the grill absolutely unattended; there is always to be unearthed a sleepy garcon who will throw u cloth over a tables and bring out a cup of cold tea for tho thirsty homegoer. Those who pretend to know all about such things say that tho Brevoort grill is tho last 3tanJ of genuine old fashioned gossip, and that It Is served here so spicily that no palate, however callous, but rejoices at its appetizing quality. The Urevoort has never questioned the propriety of a woman's smoking; the only Impro priety, It contends, would be In that question; so It wisely does not see. It treats the suffrage question In the same absent eyed way, and on the night of last year's great parade, when other hotels looked askance at decorated and unescorted femininity. It provided wel come and blandly assumed that the wide sashes were the latest spring adornment for the Jackets. Possibly it Is little touches like these that have endeared the old time house to Its clientele. H .1... 4. "Say, Shorty, dat was easy!" 9. "Ifere't where we loop the M.' "Gosh! Something must dynamite to be exploded by clockwork. THEATRE. In the late '50s and early '60s the property In this neighborhood repre sented the wealth and culture of the city. The simplicity of the Urevoort House and Its neighbors shows the gcnaral architecture of the times. There wero thick walls, big entrance halls and stnlrways and high cclllnged rooms with deep alcoves. Even to-day remain hero and there fan topped doors of Co lonial design, many paned windows, Doric and Corinthian columns. In the early days of the Brevoort House everybody of prominence camo to It, cither for the afternoon tea or coffee, preferably coffee at that time. Men stopped there for a chat on tho way home. Among Its, old time guests were Ferdinand Lawrence. Henry Phelps, William dually Sir William) Jephsou, Gullan Verplnnck, James F. De Peyster, Bayard Rogers, known as Beau, as he always stopped to help a lady In or out of her carriage and even to a stranger his act was so courteous it never caused annoyance; Dr. Ward, who had a private theatre In his house; 5. An inftrnal machine ft" 1 1 i n:uz loop." 10. "Come have gone wrong," 15. "Hanged I will put a handkerchief soaked with fi x i Noted Hostelry With History Reading Back Into the Palmiest of Old Knickerbocker Days Kllian Rensselaer of Albany, the Va troon; Editor Brooks of the I'.xprcir., Nelson Blcecker, Gen. Dlx, William Coventry Waddell, lineal descendant o the Earl of Coventry; William .Stuart O'Shnughnessy In the old count ry who acted as social sponsor for tin English people registered there and wa a regular correspondent of the London Spectator nnd Truth. Once before this winter the old Bre voort House nearly arrived at tho dls- Unction of a mage representation. Whet' Mr. Frohman put on "The Conspiracj tho scene of the murder was laid then My, but that would never do! Th mauagemeiii Bcuineu luuunu nun nai standing on end. They consulted tli old guard, who threatened to leave tli grill forever If they could not drlnl their malted milk In pence without the shadow of n grewsome murder Imverltir . near. The Frohman management was approached with much diplomacy. "What Is It to move a murder?" Mr. Ortelg murmured In his best maimer "7m murder Is easily moved, but unci' move away our clientele, how shall we get It back?" Possibly the Frohman management had lunched at the Brevoort House some time In Its existence, mayhap dined there. At any rate It went Into secret session and llnally announced to tin- French delegation that the murder should be placed where It coull do n' culinary harm to New York. So a fic titious hotel was built letween one re hearsal and another, entitled the Hottl Beaumont and there the murder was committed. Scarcely had this difficulty adjusted Itself when another arose. Should they or should they not allow a monkey t" be registered at the Brevoort, even In a dramatic representation? There was no evidence among Ui dusty books that a monkey had eve been registered there; on the othi hand there was no evidence one ha 1 not. The Shubert management coul not cut the monkey out of the cast i "Romance," for It was too lmportati and In several scenes divides attention with the star. So having got rid of th murder. It was decided by the managi ment that the monkey might remah nnd the rising of the cttrtnln disclose: In the last act of "Romance," a suite u rooms In the old Brevoort, a monkey' crib, chair and little trunk, all read to be packed for leaving, as are th larger trunks of the prima donn; whose contents nre scattered on th old chairs and horsehair sofas. Nearl any day you may hear a hand orga playing somewhere In the nclghborhoo of the Brevoort and Tommaso, with hi scarlet cap and green coat gave an at of verisimilitude to the scene that th playwright should be complimented fo' At the time when "Romance" brlns the Brevoort Hoilse to the attention a: theatregoers men wore brown cutawaj coats with brown silk velvet collar, stocks of black silk or fine bomhazln wound about their throats, close fittln trousers and narrow brimmed hats, which they doffed with elaborate cour tesy when they met the ladles. Peoph came to and fro In carriages. The co? tumes of the ladles nre delightfully pre sented by Miss Doris Keane's wardrobe for then, as now, apparently, the stain celebrity was as well the glass of fash Ion and the mould of form. It was th time of hoopsklrts, the crinoline day In the Graham Manaslnc of the tlmi you can find duplicates of the "Ro mance" gowns In the colored fashion plates, skirts ruffled to the waist, curl hanging In regular rows at either sM of the head, dropping shawls on droop lng shoulders, embroidered capes will' bows having short loops and long end- in, de water's fine " if I see how that suihtase got ovtr here. chloroform over my face and go off easy. f