Bohemian, free-love advocate, and a writer of passionate, sometimes cynical lyrical poetry, Millay lived in various places in the Village beginning in 1917, most famously at 75 1/2 Bedford Street.
Considering how connected she is to the Village, it’s still surprising to learn that Millay, born and raised in Maine, was actually named after another Greenwich Village icon: St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Giving her the middle name St. Vincent was a way to honor the hospital that saved her uncle’s life just before Millay was born in 1892.
When he was found, he was brought to St. Vincent’s and nursed back to health.
Shortly after Millay was born, her aunt wrote this in a letter to her uncle, “the Vincent is for St. Vincent’s Hospital, the one that cared so well for our darling brother,” according to Nancy Milford’s wonderful biography of Millay, Savage Beauty.
Founded in 1849 and closed abruptly in 2010, St. Vincent’s (above, in 1931) was bulldozed out of its longtime location at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street over the past year.