By Janet Dodrill
Did you know that there is a popular restaurant in New York CIty with a collection of thousands of pipes? Keens Steakhouse (formerly Keens Chophouse), founded in 1885 in Herald Square Theatre District (now the Garment District), houses more than 90,000 smoking pipes.
How did I learn about this? In documentation written by my late mother about my great-grandfather, Hugo Max Schmitz. I have been researching him and his art career as well as the company he co-founded in 1905 and ran, the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. According to her statement, Hugo was one of the first Greenwich Village artists in the last 1800s. In New York, he had a prize-winning portrait painting exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also had a pipe hanging at Keens Steakhouse!
Hard clay churchwarden pipes were checked-in and returned to patrons from storage by a pipe warden. Their pipe club included such names as Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Will Rogers, General Douglas MacArthur, Robert F. Kennedy, and Buffalo Bill Cody. More recently, online photos show that celebrities have left behind autographed pipes.
Keens Steakhouse www.keens.com
1000 Things NYC www.1000thingsnyc.com
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