Tuesday, March 16, 2010

At the Dakota: Homage to Jo Mielziner

From a brief history of the Wake Forest Fine Arts Center, by Harold C. Tedford: a link between Wake Forest and the Dakota apartment building in Manhattan.

Tedford then replied to Mielziner's letter requesting a late January interview with Mielziner in New York. The interview was scheduled to take place at noon on January 28, 1970 in his studio in the Dakota on Central Park West. This date fell during the semester break and Tedford traveled to New York by train with a group of students intent on seeing plays...On the morning of January 28, Tedford walked over to the University Club where President Scales was staying and they took a taxi to the impressive Dakota. They were told by the doorman how to find the first floor studio and walked through the mahogany-paneled halls to the door. They were...ushered into his studio. On the walls of the studio were designs of some of Broadway's most successful shows and Mr. Mielziner sat at his drafting table working. A gracious and civilized man, Mielziner welcomed them and they talked about the dream that had brought them to New York. After a half-hour they went up to Mielziner's second floor apartment for a lunch prepared by his Irish maid and cook.

an interesting account of life at the Dakota that references Mielziner from the Reading Eagle, October 8, 1979 (use the hand tool to read the entire article). Jon, note that the Wikipedia entry on the Dakota does not list Mielziner among its "famous residents." I think you should edit the Wikipedia page to add his name. It is a historical curiosity that both Jo Mielziner and John Lennon died at the entrance to the Dakota.

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