Miss Moore Remembers Early Days at the Grinnell
When we came to the Grinnell, we were told by one of the tenants that in the early days the management gave dances for the tenants. Dances were given in the late spring and early summer. Dances were held on the roof; live music was provided. The dances were free.
There was elevator service for tenants and workers around the clock. One elevator was for the tenants; the second elevator was for the building's workers and for the servants of the tenants.
Few tenants had dogs; there were no large dogs.
Each side of the building had a switchboard; on the West Side of the building it was located where the mailboxes are. The switchboards were manned by the elevatormen. It provided communication between apartments.
Mail was delivered by the postman twice a day: about nine in the morning and about 3 in the afternoon. Elevator men sorted the mail and left mail for individual apartments outside each apartment.
A tailor/clothes cleaning shop was located in the basement for the convenience of the tenants.
A mail chute was provided for tenants.
A dumbwaiter collected the garbage.
One key fit every apartment.
I never went to the basement until the middle/late 1950s. In the early days only the tenants’ servants went to the basement. There were washing machines and metal containers to hold wet washing – giving it a chance to dry. In the warm weather laundry was hung to dry on the roof.
Each tenant was assigned a basement storeroom.
In the early fifties (approximate time) the building was sold to a religious congregation based in Harlem headed by a minister Daddy Grace. The name of the building was changed briefly to The Grace.
A well-known black playwright Alice Childress had the apartment now occupied by R. Johnson.
In the Great Gatsby Fitzgerald mentions a visit to a large apartment building on Riverside Drive. Some thought he was referring to the Grinnell.
We were told that there had been a murder in the Grinnell.
On May 30 (approx) window awnings appeared.