ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE
Looking For The Door To 247 5th Ave. N.Y. City
KNOCK KNOCK ......
Ken Spooner .....
What Do You Want ?
Did you know the Knapps who lived here ?
No they didn't .........
??????......You mean no I didn't know right?
No ..... I mean I Know They Didn't Live Here?
hmmm I didn't know that....
Well Now You Do ....
Isn't this 247 5th Ave?
No it's not .... it's 251
Sorry ....... Do you know where 247 is?
Try across the street
Confused? ..... no more than I was in October of 2003 when I took the above picture and one below. Now the dialogue you just read never happened, but even if it did, I'm not sure I still would of known exactly where 247 5th Ave was....Why ? ...because this is what was across the street that day.
ACROSS THE STREET ...... TWO FORTY FIVE ?
And as you can see it says 245 .....TWICE ....in case you came looking for 247 I guess.... So Knowing That All The Even Numbers Were On The West Side Of 5th Ave, my logical conclusion was the next building north of this one the one in the top photo was 247 ...(I didn't see any number on it) Actually I was not expecting to find anything that might of been what the Knapps lived in when the address for Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Palmer Knapp was 247 5th Ave, NYC from about 1906 - 1920's. But the building on the north east corner of 5th and 28th street certainly looked like it was around when the Knapps lived here. It would be another 9 months before I would come across some photos in a book that caused me to rethink what I thought back then. That book is "FIFTH AVE 1911 FROM START TO FINISH....in Historic Block by Block photographs" . Its one of the great Dover Publication photo books that I have learned a whole lot from these last four years.
Looking North easterly and THERE IT IS ! 1911 is the year and 247 is the address and The Awning Is The Entrance to The Knickebocker Apartments. Is the Taxi waiting for Mr. J. P. Knapp, or perhaps his son Joseph F. (Dodi) or his stepson Archibald McIlwaine (Chip)? They all lived there along with Elizabeth L. Knapp (Chip's mom) when this photo was taken.
From West 28th Street
Looking South easterly : the building that I thought was 247 has not changed that much in 94 years.
On The Doorstep
Looking North this photo was taken about the time the Knapps moved in.
The gentleman with the paper in his hand looks like he may be going inside The Knickerbocker
JUST THREE BLOCKS SOUTH AND THEN ACROSS MADISON SQUARE PARK
The white arrow on the left is pointing to the entrance of 247 5th. When J. P. Knapp had to go to a Directors meeting at Met Life, you can see it was just a walk in the park.
THE KNICKEBOCKER APARTMENTS
New York City's First Duplex
When it was built at the cost of 1 million dollars in the early 1880's , the 11 story Knickerbocker was known as one of the finest apartment buildings in NY city. As you can tell by the rent in 1913 it still must of been mighty fine some thirty years later. This was the year that Elizabeth added on more rooms for entertaining. At Dodi's 21st birthday party she hosted 150 people. Dodi used it as his NY City address through the mid 1920's.
TOWN & COUNTRY
FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS
Out in the wilds of Mastic & Tangier, the Tollfrees lived only two estates west of Knapp
In NYC where they say people live on top of one another, they literally did !
SOME OFTHE EDEY FAMILY OF BELLPORT ALSO RESIDED HERE
ROARING 20's ON 5th Ave
In 1920 Chip got married and moved out. In 1922 J. P.s wife Elizabeth died and he moved out and then Dodi had the whole place to himself when he was not out at the end of Knapp Road in Mastic Beach. In 1925 the forty three year old building was put up for sale.
Look At Who Was Among The Sellers .
Dodi probably stayed on until the new owners started renovating it. He moved to Gramercy Park with his new bride Gertrude O'Brien. Major John Vernon Bouvier Jr. was Jackie Kennedy's grandfather.