And from 1940 to 1941, one house at 7 Middagh Street became home to a rotating group of authors, poets, and artists whose stars were rising (or in a few cases, falling) at the time.
McCullers had just published her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. She and Davis leased the house for $75 a month and let friends W.H. Auden (top right), Paul Bowles (below), British composer Benjamin Britten, and stripper Gypsy Rose Lee (bottom left) move in.
But like most situations involving adults sharing living quarters, things didn’t work out. Residents moved out amid disorder and excessive drinking. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 was the final nail in the coffin, with only Davis remaining from the original group.
By 1945, 7 Middagh Street was history, razed to make way for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.