by TOWNES COATES
Our friends the Trustees of Gramercy Park, hardworking and vigilant, have long protected the lush and serene setting across from our landmark home. If you have visited our clubhouse or joined a Player or neighbor inside the park, no doubt you have noticed the “turn right” directive on the South Gate? It is more than a helpful hint.
88 years ago, The Bulletin reported an intruder from Yale (the University, not the Club) made an unplanned visit to Mr. Booth’s statue after an evening out a few blocks away.
Twenty-year-old William Pattison was apparently not expecting a park—or a fence—as he drove swiftly north on Irving Place in the early morning hours. The young man managed to flatten the south gate and enter the park with neither permission nor a key. Mr. Booth as Hamlet, at the time a park landmark for less than 20 years, escaped unscathed. The driver was let off the hook, as well, facing only substantial car repairs in consequence of his park incursion.
Townes Coates is a producer and writer. He is Chair of the Managing Committee at The Players. Drop him a line here.