Nyack’s most famous house on North Broadway was once home to the First Lady of American Theatre. On Sun May 5 you can take a rare tour of Helen Hayes’ storied house on the Hudson, Pretty Penny, to benefit Nyack’s Edward Hopper House Art Center.
Tagged: rosie o’donnell
by Bill Batson
Legend has it that when Helen Hayes MacArthur first saw this fine example of Italianate architecture on North Broadway, her husband, playwright Charles MacArthur told her it would cost them a Pretty Penny. The name stuck. From 1934 until 1990, the actress who was known to the world as the First Lady of American Theater lived here in the Village of Nyack as a mother, wife, neighbor and civic leader –not as a celebrity. This week’s sketch log is composed almost entirely from remarks made by Mrs. MacArthur in a private home in Nyack sometime in the 1980’s.
“Architecture is one of the most enduring clues to history,” says Win Perry, the President of the Historical Society of the Nyacks. “It helps us visualize how people of various periods lived, what delighted them, what was fashionable, what they could afford, and how they chose to express themselves.” Nyack’s rich architectural history is the focus of the historical society’s Winter 2012 edition.