Harper Lee in Manhattan Letter

Aug 10 2015 | 06:24 AM

To the Editor:

Re “Harper Lee’s Manhattan Roots,” Aug. 6: A few years ago, I volunteered at a soup kitchen where I became friendly with another volunteer who lived across the street from me. One day, while we were chatting on the corner, a matronly-looking woman walked by, carrying two heavy D’Agostino bags. My friend introduced her to me, identifying her as a good friend and neighbor. After the woman had gone, my friend asked me if I knew who she was. “She’s your friend, Nelle,” I said, a bit perplexed. She smiled. “That was Harper Lee.”

Harper Lee probably lived at 1539 York Avenue until 1966, when the building was part of a parcel torn down to make way for Clermont Tower, a 35-story high-rise which occupies York Avenue between 81st and 82nd Street. Her last address in Manhattan was 433 East 81st Street, just west of Ottomanelli’s. She lived there for part of each year until she permanently left Manhattan for Alabama. Lorraine Diehl