Preserving F. Scott Fitzgerald's Birthplace

My book club took a little F. Scott Fitzgerald tour in St. Paul a few weeks ago.  We walked around the neighborhood where he was born and grew up, taking in his various residents and hang-outs and staring as so many Fitzgerald pilgrims do at the house where he was born at 481 Laurel Avenue.  (See my previous post on the St. Paul Fitzgerald tour. We gathered just off the front porch and gazed up like a bunch of tourists and in a few minutes one of the people who live in the building, Richard McDermott, saw us and called us in for a little talk about the building, which was a real treat because he was instrumental in preserving the building. I was sad to see in the Minneapolis Star Tribune an article about him and the fact that he has terminal cancer.  He has done much to preserve Fitzgerald’s heritage in St. Paul and had regaled visitors from around the world, including Azar Nafisi, with stories about the building. Here’s an article about the charming Mr. McDermott

6 thoughts on “Preserving F. Scott Fitzgerald's Birthplace”

  1. FYI: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will be having free public book tours on “The Great Gatsby” in January 2013!

      1. Hi Terri – I think I tried sending you a reply via email and it bounced back. Here is what I said:

        The MIA gives free public and private book tours (to groups of 10 or more) based on themes in a chosen book of the month. In January, 2013 the book is The Great Gatsby.

        These tours could be based on the era, the personalities in the book, the location, or themes within the book and how other artists have interpreted them. It varies depending on who the docent is that is giving the tour. They are fun, you don’t need to have read the book to enjoy them and they are free. The public tours are every Tuesday at 11:30 and every Thursday at 6:30. Book groups can schedule their own private tours at times that are convenient for them.

        Here is a link to the MIA book tour site (such as it is – you have to look hard for the link…)

        Private book groups can also request a tour on any of the past books we have done although no such list exists as yet. Feel free to give me a call to get more details about that or any questions you might have. These tours have been going on for two years so the list of books is significant.

        Thanks for your interest! I am a docent there and have been active in trying to get this program out there.

  2. Joy – Are you leading the tour? I am in one of Terri’s book clubs, and this would be a great thing to do in acknowledgement of a favorite son of St. Paul.

    1. Hi Lyn, I don’t know who will be leading the tours but it is scheduled for January as a public tour. It was scheduled to coincide with the movie release but we found out that the release isn’t until spring… Oh well. It will still be a fun book to tour.

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