Post tagged with


Salvation Army ‘Girls’ Home’ Turns 82, But Some Aren’t Celebrating

P1070818Martine Mallary An actress plays Evangeline Cory Booth at the Markle’s 80th anniversary in 2010.

The Salvation Army’s Markle Evangeline Residence for Women, which celebrated its 82nd anniversary yesterday, is one of the last of the city’s “girls’ homes,” and an odd bird: incoming tenants pay $1,650 to $1,735 a month for a single room that comes with perks like weekly maid service, two meals a day, and access to a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. At the same time, they’re forbidden from having alcohol in their rooms, or bringing men back to them, and the building is run by staff members with titles like major and lieutenant colonel.

General Evangeline Cory Booth, daughter of the Salvation Army’s British-born founder, envisioned the residence as a safe haven for young single women of modest means. When the cornerstone of the 17-story art deco building at 123 West 13th Street was laid in 1930, one of its first residents beamed, “already it has the atmosphere of a real home. There are 325 girls overjoyed to be living here.”

But as the Markle observed its anniversary yesterday in a basement space that once held a swimming pool and is now used as a dining room, not everyone was so overjoyed. Last month, Marion Jeeves jumped from the window of her small apartment and died at the age of 57. Friends said she was a poet who had been depressed over long periods of unemployment and financial difficulties.

Others have left the building under less tragic but still bitter circumstances, complaining that the residence no longer caters to those of modest means. Read more…