327 East 17th Street, New York City.
Façade of house where the Dvoraks lived from 1892-95
Maurice Peress, American conductor and college professor, described his 1990 visit to the house:
"Not surprisingly, in the hundred years since Dvorak lived there, the building underwent some modernization, the most radical change being a circular staircase between parlor floor and the ground floor, and the removal of the exterior stoop. But the principal rooms, which overlooked the rear garden and the street, retained their original marble mantelpieces and much of the woodwork survived as well. The window shutters were still folded into their paneled boxes, and the massive doors and window frames were intact.
"I could imagine where Dvorak set the piano that William Steinway sent over from his 14th Street showroom ... in the back room near the garden window, with the north light coming over his right shoulder. I envisioned the Kneisel (string) Quartet during one of their visits, set up in the corner next to the fireplace, and Dvorak's children gathered round the piano playing the Sonatina. I wondered, In which room did Burleigh sing to Dvorak?
"I joined the battle to save the Dvorak House. We gave concerts, formed a committee of distinguished 'friends' and lobbied local and national politicians. But within fourteen months of my first visit, the house was no more. For one brief period our efforts seemed to have been rewarded when the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission officially designated the Dvorak House a cultural landmark on February 26, 1991, but four months later the designation was overturned by the City Council — the first reversal of its kind by that body. In the interim we enlisted William Warfield to sing 'Goin' Home' at a City Council public hearing. The hospital countered, calling upon its deepest political connections and convincing Isaac Stern, savior of Carnegie Hall, to declare on television: "We have the music, Dvorak was there for only a short time, why keep a building that has changed beyond recognition?" To my naive surprise the New York Times came down against us. An editorial appeared with the heading 'Dvorak Doesn't Live Here Anymore,' on March 7, 1991. It was an embittering experience, my first real encounter with city politics and with raw, arrogant power.
"I was heartsick over the destruction of the central icon of Dvorak's American period, and mortified before my Czech friends who - coming from a country where historic churches, synagogues, and houses both modest and grand are cherished and lovingly maintained - could not understand why the United States would allow such a desecration. I was also particularly saddened for Jarmila Novotna. Having sung at the dedication of the plaque fifty years earlier, she was more than another concerned artist. Novotna was, in the greater sense, a trustee. And knowing that she had been there with Burleigh, Kovarik, Kreisler, and others who worked with the master made the hundred years between myself and Dvorak almost fathomable.
"One of the most devoted Dvorak House proponents, the architect Jan Hird Pokorny, made arrangements to have the bas-relief plaque and the parlor–floor mantels removed and placed in storage at the Bohemian National Hall on Manhattan's East 73rd Street. The building was erected in 1895/97 by the Czech community with the help of Dvorak, who raised money for it when he first arrived in New York. These elements have become part of the Bohemian Hall's planned Dvorak Room. Had the battle to save the Dvorak House taken place a year later, when the 100th anniversary of Dvorak's American adventure got underway and a cascade of Dvorak articles and celebrations descended upon us, I firmly believe the house would still be standing. Maybe a Dvorak Museum on Stuyvesant Square park would have had a chance."