Neighbors often spotted Eddie Merrill, illuminated by candlelight, sitting beside the center window on the third floor in the only room in his building not yet gutted. The other half-dozen tenants at 331 West 22nd Street, pressured by owner Margaret Streicker Porres, all vacated. Merrill, alone in the building from autumn into last winter, refused to leave. He was in his seventies, diabetic, and had a weak heart. Merrill returned in December from a hospital stay to find the bathrooms demolished, the electricity cut off, and a boarded-up door in the lobby... More >>>