In my recent story on a few famous architects and the scandals that plague their names, I purposefully omitted one juicy detail from the Stanford White saga: the bit about the red-velvet swing.
Rumor has it that the young Evelyn Nesbit—his mistress and the woman linking White to the man who would eventually murder him—swung from a red-velvet rope swing suspended from White’s New York City apartment in the Flatiron District. The building, which sat on the lot at 22 W. 24th Street, is long gone; today, a developer plans to put a condominium building on the site, to be designed by architect Carlos Zapata, The Wall Street Journal reports. Construction will begin on the 23-story building in about a year.
I omitted the salacious detail because it is somewhat trite compared to other lesser-known facts surrounding White’s murder. (Fun fact: Marilyn Monroe was asked to play Nesbit in the film “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” but she refused the role. Joan Collins then played Nesbit instead.) But all that hardly takes away from the history of the site in the Flatiron District where Anbau Enterprises plans to build. Not many developers can say, “Stanford White slept here.”