New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Two Literary Landmarks Dedicated on the Same City Block

Submitted by Rocco Staino, ALA Chapter Councilor


United for Libraries and the Empire State Center for the Book recently dedicated two Literary Landmarks on the same New York City block.  The dedication occurred on Saturday, June 18 on the 300 block of East 57th Street and recognized two apartment buildings.

320 and 333 East 57th Street were selected by the Empire State Center for the Book and were supported by City Councilman Ben Kallos.  The buildings were the homes of Erich Maria Remarque and E. L. Doctorow.  They become the two closest landmarks anywhere in the nation and the eighteenth and nineteenth landmarks in New York State.

320 East 57th Street, the 1926 Art Deco building, was Erich Maria Remarque’sNew York City home from 1951 until his death in 1970.  The author of All Quiet on the Western Front lived there with his wife the actress Paulette Goddard with his last novel, Shadows in Paradise, set in the building.  E.L. Doctorow, author of Ragtime, World’s Fair and Homer and Langley in addition to several other works lived at 333 East 57th Street from 2000 until his death in 2015.  Members of the Doctorow family attended the dedication and two childhood friends spoke about Doctorow’s early years.  One of the friends was the actor Dominic Chianese best known for his role as Uncle Junior in the Sopranos.

The Empire State Center for the Book, the New York State affiliate for the Library of Congress Center for the Book has been very proactive in declaring Literary Landmarks.  In recent years the center has be the lead in the designation of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in honor of Madeleine L'Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time, the windmill at the Southampton campus of SUNY Stony Brook where Tennessee Williams resided for a summer and in 2014 a public school on East 88th Street in New York City was landmarked in honor of Bernard Waber the creator of the picture book character Lyle the Crocodile. Lyle first appeared in a book entitled The House on East 88th Street.

A division of the American Library Association, United for Libraries is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses.

For more information contact Rocco Staino, Empire State Center for the Book, or 914-475-3857