Bowery Bummer

Downtown Plan Will Make and Break History

Millett was in a similar situation in the late 1970s, when the city moved her out of a Dutch-era house it owned at 307 Bowery, declaring it unsafe. She was relocated to 295 Bowery, and now looks daily on the empty lot where her old home stood. "The last time this happened to me, I went into a terrible depression and didn't fight," Millett recalls. "I lost two years of my life. In fact, I almost lost my life. This time we intend to chain ourselves to the door to save what is our home and this last piece of the past."

Last week, Keir made her pitch to the LPC, but chief of staff Terry Rosen Deutsch told the Voice, "It's unlikely that the agency will battle for landmarking," since demolishing the building has been long debated and since HPD wants to move forward.

As for McGurk's, its memory was revived in 1992 when author Luc Sante's Low Life recalled waiter Short-Change Charlie, bouncer Eat-'Em-Up Jack McManus, and prostitutes who suicided with carbolic acid. Sante, who has issued a statement favoring landmarking 295 Bowery, wrote in Low Life that reform mayor Seth Low shuttered the joint in 1902. Archival records show that when John H. McGurk's saloon closed down, he changed professions. He went into real estate.

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