Building History Timeline

Hart Crane

1919 through the 1920s

Hart Crane lived at the Albert while working on “The Bridge,” his famous paean to the Brooklyn Bridge. The following are excerpts from The Broken tower: The Life of Hart Crane, by Paul Mariani:

…with November [1919] and the onset of colder weather, Crane was at last forced to abandon his unheated apartment and find a furnished room at the Hotel Albert on University Place and 11th Street.

The blessed break came in late May [1923], when he was offered not one but two jobs: one with Machinery, a trade journal; the other with J. Walter Thompson, who … told him to report to the agency’s statistical department at 244 Madison Avenue. As soon as an opening occurred in the copywriting department, he was assured, he would be reassigned there. His salary would be thirty-five dollars a week, fifteen dollars less than he’d made at Patno’s, take it or leave it. Broke, and having long worn out his welcome with the Munsons, Crane accepted the position. The first thing he did was take a room at the Hotel Albert on 11th Street.

Next came a job. Cowley, employed as a copywriter for Sweet’s Catalogue Service off Times Square, found Crane work there writing scientific catalogues. The pay would be forty dollars a week, ten less than Crane’s last job, and he would have to sweat to get down the scientific jargon, but at least he could hold up his head again. As soon as he collected his first paycheck, he moved out of Jimmy Light’s apartment and into the Hotel Albert until he could find something for himself.

On March 9th [1926] Crane returned to New York for the first time in six weeks. Once again he stayed at the Hotel Albert... [working on The Bridge].

On October 28th [1926] Crane reached New York and booked into the Hotel Albert. Then he wired his mother to let her know he was safe and back on U.S. soil.

Since his drunken antics in Mexico had been reported in New York, and because he’d not yet recovered from his father’s death. Crane holed up at the Hotel Albert, his old familiar. [date unclear]