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A Landmark of the City of New York on the National Register of Historic Buildings
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"A Dump with Dignity", The Ear Inn

For decades, the neon sign in front of the Ear Inn flashed "Bar."  To avoid landmarks review for any new sign, the ends of the "B" were painted over to rename the pub once only known as "The Green Door."  The new name came from the "Ear" music magazine published upstairs from 1975 to 1992.In the 1970s, the area was almost a ghost town when a group of struggling artists stumbled on the building and transformed its bar, then a seedy waterfront dive, into the Ear Inn, once described by the NY Times as 'a dump with dignity." Rip Hayman, homesteader in the house since 1973 - click to enlargeNow West Soho has been rediscovered by developers and high-tech firms, and the neighborhood is changing beyond recognition. As long as the James Brown House still stands, however, its history will not be forgotten.

Architecture, Artifacts and Virtual Tour

The keystone lintels of the James Brown House have now been restored to the original sandstone

The keystone lintels of the James Brown House have now been restored to the original sandstone

 

The old kitchen above the bar and the second floor roof deck.

 


Kitchen fireplace with draft horse shoe found in the chimney.Kitchen fireplace with draft horse shoe found in the chimney.

 

 

Stairs to the third floor guest quarters of the House.Stairs to the third floor guest quarters of the House.

 

 


The second floor parlor above the Ear Inn bar. The spruce plank floors and fireplace are originals from 1817.

 


Bar sign from the Thomas Cloke era surrounded by more recent additions.

 


Above the Ear bar stands a line of ancient bottles excavated from the back cellar.

 

Art of the Ear

"James Brown Mandala" (1979) by Sari Dienes, made from shards excavated in the cellar.

"James Brown Mandala" (1979) by Sari Dienes, made from shards excavated in the cellar.

Map by Lisa Adams

Map by Lisa Adams

4 Heads... George Macunias, Fluxus artist and once a waitress at the Ear Inn under the tutelage of Chef Jean Dupuy, 1978   4 Heads... George Macunias, Fluxus artist and once a waitress at the Ear Inn under the tutelage of Chef Jean Dupuy, 1978

James Brown House 
326 Spring Street  NYC 10013  212-219-8026
earinnvirons@jamesbrownhouse.com

Last Modified: August 12, 2006
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