3. Dvorak House
What stands on the site of the former Dvorak House
The Dvorak House, which served as the home of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak from 1892-1895, was located at 327 East 17th Street near Stuyvesant Square Park. While living here, Dvorak composed his Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” which integrated Native American and African American music with classical music. Dvorak also served as director of the National Conservatory of Music while in the United States.
On the afternoon of December 13, 1941, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia Jan Masaryk spoke at a dedication ceremony in the house. Due to efforts by many members of the music community, the house was designated a New York City landmark in February of 1991.
Dvorak Statue in Stuyvesant Square Park
However, Beth Israel Medical Center purchased the house in 1989 and planned to demolish it to build an AIDS hospice center. The New York City Council reversed the LPC’s designation and the hospice center was soon after built. In 1997, a statue commemorating Dvorak’s contributions to American music was placed in Stuyvesant Square Park. According to a New York Times article, “The monument is not a substitute for the Dvorak house, but it is, finally, a recognition of the genius that house sheltered and nourished and the greatness that poured from it.”