Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Plaque Dedicated at Miller's First Brooklyn Heights Residence

Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Plaque Dedicated at Miller's First Brooklyn Heights Residence

Article excerpt

Arthur Miller's experiences as a young boy growing up in Manhattan and Brooklyn were crucial in his life. After he graduated from the University of Michigan, Miller returned to live with his parents at their home at 1350 East Third Street in the Gravesend section of the borough. In 1940, when Miller married Mary Slattery, he moved to Brooklyn Heights and the couple lived in five different locations in the neighborhood, which Miller called "a leafy village" in Timebends.

Miller's time living in Brooklyn Heights is crucial in his artistic development, for his dramatic vision congealed there. He moved into the neighborhood as an unknown, aspiring writer and left in 1956 as one of the most famous literary, political, and social figures in America. Miller's dramatic reputation rests upon the four tragedies he wrote while living in Brooklyn Heights: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and A View From the Bridge. His residence in the neighborhood obviously influenced the conditions in which he produced those masterpieces.

In a fitting end to the centennial year, on 17 October 2016-the one hundred first anniversary of Miller's birth-the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center of the New York State Council on the Arts recognized the first residence where Miller and Mary lived in an apartment at 62 Montague Street.

The building has historic significance. It was constructed in 1885 as the first neighborhood multifamily luxury residence, that is, an ornate apartment building that the owners preferred to call "French Flats." The style of this building is Queen Anne and is distinguished with round rooms, towers, and cupolas. Arthur and Mary lived in a seven-room apartment that he shared with her roommates, an arrangement that seems unusual for newlyweds. However, as Miller explained: "We lived there because it was the cheapest place in New York. It was about $80 a month for the whole apartment" (Brooklyn Eagle). Today, the apartment building has been converted to cooperative apartments, whose high prices reflect the desirability of this prime Brooklyn neighborhood.

The ceremony drew approximately thirty people to the building, including Arthur Miller Society president David Palmer, Arthur Miller Journal executive editor Ian Maloney, and students from St. …

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