Foley's Luck: Stories

Overview

A brilliant exercise in urban archaeology: a completely original interpretive account of the golden age of the New York luxury apartment house, a book that reveals how New York was transformed architecturally, socially, and psychologically from a provincial place to a great metropolis. With the help of 65 photographs, drawings, and floor plans, Elizabeth Hawes shows us how New York changed from a town of private-house dwellers in the Civil War years to the great city of the Roaring Twenties and the dawn of the ...
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Overview

A brilliant exercise in urban archaeology: a completely original interpretive account of the golden age of the New York luxury apartment house, a book that reveals how New York was transformed architecturally, socially, and psychologically from a provincial place to a great metropolis. With the help of 65 photographs, drawings, and floor plans, Elizabeth Hawes shows us how New York changed from a town of private-house dwellers in the Civil War years to the great city of the Roaring Twenties and the dawn of the Art Deco Thirties, when 98 percent of the population had become apartment dwellers. She shows us how Victorian New York became modern New York, how the plush decors of rich nineteenth-century New Yorkers evolved into the cool, the white, the cubist style, the modern style. We see how such memorable apartment buildings as the Stuyvesant, the Villard Houses, the Dakota, the Navarro, and the Apthorp sprang up in all their Queen Anne, neo-Gothic, and High and Low Renaissance glory out of the rubble of recently demolished brownstones...how the apartment, which began as an awkward imitation private house, emerged as a genre of its own...how the changes wrought in New York social life reverberated in the lives and work of such people as Henry James, Edith Wharton, and William Dean Howells. We meet the architects, builders, and financiers who were responsible for the triumph of the apartment house - among them, Richard Morris Hunt, Charles Mott, Paul E. M. Duboy, Emory Roth, Jay Gould, John La Farge, Henry Hardenbergh, Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore, W. K. Vanderbilt, and William Waldorf Astor. We discover how to "read" an apartment building - what its location, size, look, texture, style, and design can tell us about the life of a city. And we meet the society grandes dames, the celebrated men and women, the style setters, who made apartment-dwelling "the thing" in New York. Taking us inside the often amazingly innovative, often extraordinarily beautiful and
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An existential sadness pervades this affecting first collection of interlinked stories, which chronicle a man's attempts to take control of his life and his defeat at destiny's firm hands. We meet Dan Foley as a youngster accompanying his undertaker father ``on removal,'' during which he learns that death can reveal terrible secrets. In his subsequent misadventures, some inherently more dramatic than others, he grows up to become a Florida architect and the father of two children, yet still feels distant from his own experience. In ``Foley Returns'' a criminal cousin reaches across the years to remind Dan that the ``old routes of comfort'' and the ``soothing geography'' of family relations can simply disappear. But lessons always come too late, and he persists in trying to manipulate his fate. ``Foley's Motto'' shows him attempting to adhere to such vague maxims as ``love something'' and ``expect nothing,'' only to find that destiny has another idea--in this instance, divorce. Chiarella, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker , sets forth these hard truths in unvarnished, seemingly artless prose that assumes transcendent power. ( Sept. )
Library Journal
Chiarella chronicles the stages of his protagonist's life in a series of 11 short stories, ranging from childhood to old age. Dan Foley is an imaginative and somewhat eccentric character, not unlike John Irving's T.S. Garp. As a youth, he and his drunken brother Hank serve as indifferent apprentices in his father's mortuary. Neither son elects to take over the business. Hank leaves home without saying goodbye, creating a bit of a family schism, and Foley utimately graduates from the University of Florida with a degree in architecture. He meets Grace, his future wife, while working in a movie theater during college. They have two children, to whom Foley is devoted, and eventually divorce. A benign storyteller, Foley engages in lies and magical thinking, which sometimes get him into trouble. The tales of Foley (a.k.a. Berard) have appeared in The New Yorker , Story , and The Florida Review . Recommended for public libraries.-- Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679409656
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/6/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Old New York 1869-1879
1 Irving Place, 1869 5
2 Richard Morris Hunt 15
3 The Tradition of Houses 25
4 French Flats and Other First Thoughts 35
5 The Cooperative Experiment 53
The Gilded Age 1880-1899
6 Three New Mansions: Vanderbilt, Tiffany, Villard 71
7 Two Communal Palaces: The Dakota, the Osborne 92
8 William Dean Howells in New York 113
9 Greater New York at the Turn of the Century 129
The New Metropolis 1900-1919
10 Building the Upper West Side: The Courtyard Building, the Studios 151
11 Selling Apartments 174
12 The Conversion of the Rich: Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue 188
The Manhattan Skyline 1920-1930
13 Apartment-House Architects 217
14 A New Beginning 243
Appendix: Extant Buildings 253
Notes 257
Selected Bibliography 268
Index 277
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