What does it take to throw Jazz Age parties like Scottie and Zelda? Bathtub gin? A Victrola playing the Charleston? How about their very own Baltimore town house?
From the photographs, it looks as if the town house has retained many of its early 20th century appointments. It’s easy to imagine that it looks much as it did in the 1930s when Fitzgerald lived there; it was his home from 1933-35.
Zelda was with him only part of the time. It was their second home in Baltimore, where they had moved so she could receive psychiatric treatment -- the first was damaged in a fire Zelda set when burning papers in a fireplace.
Fitzgerald was also in a bad place; living in Baltimore meant he could dry out at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which he tried to do more than once.
While Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is often called the Great American Novel, at the time Fitzgerald was feeling a failure. When his follow-up, “Tender is the Night,” was published in 1934, it didn’t sell as well and wasn’t well-received by critics. Around that time, Fitzgerald wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, “I have drunk too much and that is certainly slowing me up. On the other hand, without drink I do not know whether I could have survived this time.”
The Park Avenue town house carries more Depression-era heritage -- to say nothing of depression -- than Fitzgerald’s earlier high-flying Jazz Age party life. Nevertheless, it was a home where he lived, and a fairly grand one.
Built in 1900, the town house has four bedrooms over four levels, including a basement. It has porches in the front and back, two full bathrooms, two half baths, at least three decorative fireplaces, a carriage house/garage, built-in bookshelves and a decorative plaque that notes F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there.
The house has been on the market for four days. There will be an open house Feb. 3.