Cemetery 24 Mowery.jpg


Eldred Mowery Jr. (1926-1993).

In the 1950s and ’60s, the large residential building at 535 Commercial Street was known as the Waterfront Apartments, owned and operated by Mowery, who’d been a classmate of Robert F. Kennedy at Harvard. Besides running the Waterfront and the Sail Loft restaurant (as Fanizzi’s used to be called), Mowery worked as a builder in winter months and served at one time as president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was also not above more than a bit of misadventure. In December 1966, he was involved with the theft of 41 paintings from the former Hans Hofmann residence at 76 Commercial Street, in what was apparently to have been an insurance scam until it was broken up by the F.B.I. Mowery is best known as a friend and collaborator of Norman Mailer, who stayed at the Waterfront in 1961 and 1962. They are buried near one another. In Ptown, Peter Manso describes the head-butting contests they used to conduct in the front window booth of the Old Colony Tap. Beginning in 1964, Mowery and Mailer worked together on an enormous scale model “Vertical City,” a six- or seven-foot structure made of thousands of Lego blocks, each of which was meant to represent an apartment. It occupied Mailer’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights until 2004, when it was taken down.

¶ Last updated on 15 July 2017.


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