7. Charlie Parker lived in an 1849 Gothic Revival rowhouse on Avenue B
The Charlie Parker Residence at 151 Avenue B is a Gothic Revival-style rowhouse that served as the home of the legendary saxophonist from 1950 to 1954. Built in 1849, the rowhouse stands four stories tall and faces Tompkins Square Park. Parker lived on the ground floor with his wife Chan Richardson and their three children. By the time he moved, Parker had achieved great fame for helping to develop bebop with Dizzy Gillespie and for releasing standards such as “Ornithology” and “Yardbird Suite.”
He continued performing with jazz groups large and small while living at the home, releasing the album Bird and Diz in 1952. He notably performed at Massey Hall in Toronto in 1953 with jazz greats including Charles Mingus and Max Roach, resulting in the album Jazz at Massey Hall. Though, not all was smooth sailing at the rowhouse; he continued using heroin, and his health started to deteriorate. He spent time in a mental hospital after the death of his daughter in 1954 from cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.
In 1955, at just 34, Parker died at the Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue from lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, as well as from advanced cirrhosis. A stretch of Avenue B from 7th to 10th Street was renamed Charlie Parker Place in 1992, and the Charlie Parker Residence was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.