Sweet Smell of Success: Brill Building Landmarked

According to the New York Times, the Brill Building has been designated a landmark. It’s safe from greedy real estate developers and university boards of directors.


There’s plenty of history in the Brill Building. In the early 60s it was famously home to the cadre of pop songwriters employed by Phil Spector, Don Kirschner, and others. Many of them actually worked in 1650 Broadway, but the Brill was the center of activity. The result is “the Brill Building sound that gave us — among other things– Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, and “The Locomotion.”

The Brill Building figures in movie history, too. It’s the building where Burt Lancaster’s J.J. Hunsecker lives in “The Sweet Smell of Success.” It’s been altered for the film, but that’s the Brill starring in one of the best movies of all time.Woody Allen also used it for the title character’s office in the brilliant, “Broadway Danny Rose.”

Also landmarked, according to the Times, Lexington Avenue between 71st and 75th Streets. It’s about time. Real New York keeps eroding, or being stolen. If only the commission could have stopped New York University from raping Greenwich Village. But that’s another story.

PS The Brill Building remains vibrant: it is now home to the beloved Broadway Screening Room, and to Lorne Michaels‘ Broadway Video.

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