Our History: Grinnell People in the News
1911: The Grinnell appeared in the New York Times  Society Column for the first time several months after it opened; on Christmas Eve, 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Gustavus Rogers announced that they would "receive informally" in the afternoon.
Credit: New York Times
1914: Trapped in Vienna at the outbreak of WWI, 13-year-old Grinnell resident Lucy McDannel guided a group of adults through the war zone to Paris, where they boarded the Minnewaska for America. In 1925 Lucy McDannel was the first woman to graduate Yale's Law School.
Credit: Washington Post
1919: The LA Times reported that Wilbert B. Garrison, 28, son of a Grinnell resident Wilbert Garrison, a wealthy publisher had disappeared. Circumstances suggested suicide, but a body was never found and the case never solved.

Credit: Los Angeles Times
1921: Residents of the "fashionable Grinnell" were surprised to recieve keys so that they could gain entry to the building after midnight without ringing and waiting for the porter.  Because of a rash of robberies, "the big iron gates" would be locked at midnight.
Credit: New York Tribune

1921: Grinnell weddings and obituaries have routinely appeared in New York's newspapers.  In April 1921, the New York Tribune carried a description of  "Miss Marie Fredericka Avery, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ledyard Avery, of 800 Riverside Drive.

Credit: New York Times
1934: The Grinnell gained unwanted notoriety in 1934, when housekeeper Catherine Phelan murdered her employer of 28 years, elderly stockbroker Douglas Sheridan.  Dubbed, the "barking dog murder" the story appeared on the front page of papers across the country and remained there through the trial.
Credit: New York Times
1937: June 17, Mrs. Elizabeth Veronica McTaminey Griffin, aged 65, died at the Grinnell of a heart attack after a brief illness.  Mrs. Griffin had eleven children, including William Griffin, publisher and editor of The New York Sunday Enquirer; Her granddaughter Jaundine Moore lived at the Grinnell until her death in 2004.
Credit: New York Times
1941: James F. Devins, a former vaudeville actor know as "The Tall Tale Teller," was living at the Grinnell when he died March 31, 1941 of a heart attack.  After leaving vaudeville in the 1920s, he had careers as a theatrical agent and insurance broker. 
Credit: New York Times
1943: Philip Mittell, an American citizen born in Mannheim, Germany was living at the Grinnell when he died January 27, 1943, at the age of 78.  He had played the Brahms 4th Symphony with Brahms conducting, and counted among his students Nellie Grant, daughter of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Credit: New York Times
1943: Miss Elizabeth T. Platt, geographer and librarian for the American Geographical Society, was living at the Grinnell when she died May 23, 1943. She had written many articles and biographical notes for the Society and edited Current Geographical Publications, a monthly periodical that she established.
Credit: New York Times
Washington Post, August 26, 1914, p 4, "She Rules War Zone"
Los Angeles Times, October 27, 1919, p II1, "MIssing; Hint at Suicide
1944: James F. McGowan, who served 54 years as the secton and undertaker at the Church of St. Catherine of Genoa on 153rd Street, was living at the Grinnell when he died June 20, 1944.

Credit: New York Times
1947: Jacob Altschuler, a Russian immigrant and violist, was living at the Grinnell when he died at the age of 77 in August 1947.  He was instrumental in the forming of the Russian Symphony Orchestra (of NY) and the (NY) State Symphony Orchestra.

Credit: New York Times
New York Times: June 17, 1937, "Mrs. William T. Griffin"
New York Tribune: January 16, 1921, p. 12, "Apartment House Gates Shut: Tenants Also Given Outside Key to Foil Burglers"
New York Tribune: April 24, 1921, Part IV, page 1, "Other Saturday Weddings..."
1950: In August 1950, the New York Times reported that Grinnell resident Ethel Foster, a retired actress, had bought her 36th ticket to see "Mister Roberts" starring Henry Fonda. She told the Times reporter that she knew all the lines and could recite them along with the actors.
Credit: New York Times
1979: Grinnell resident Sam Shaw,  photo-journalist and producer, and John Cassavetes used the Grinnell and the surrounding neighborhood for many scenes in the award-winning film, Gloria, starring Gena Rowlands.

Credit: New York Times
1952: The FBI staked out the Grinnell, gathering information on resident Alice Childress, suspected of Communist activities.  Childress, who lived at the Grinnell for the next two decades, was a successful actor, playwright, screen writer, director, and novelist. 
Credit: New York Times
New York Times: January 1, 1934, "Housekeeper Held as Broker's Slayer"
New York Times: March 31, 1941, "James F. Devins
New York Times: January 28, 1943, "Philip Mittell, 78, Teacher of Violin"
New York Times: May 23, 1943, "Miss Elizabeth T. Platt: Librarian 23 Years of American Geographical Society Dies"
New York Times: June 21, 1944, "James F. McGowan
New York Times: August 28, 1947, 'Jacob Altschuler, Set Up Orchestras"
New York Times: September 9, 1980
New York Times: August 23, 1950, p. 34 (both articles)
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Spotlight on Grinnell
News-makers Past and Present

The residents of 800 Riverside Drive celebrating community, a unique sense of place, and an architectural gem