FRIDAYS ARE FOR FRANK: “Swinging On A Star” | Sinatra Memorial Returns to 415 Monroe Street
(images courtesy of John Heidenry)
Francis Albert Sinatra was born at 415 Monroe Street in Hoboken on December 12, 1915.
The house itself is long gone—all that remained was a vacant lot and a sadly scuffed-up bronze star on the sidewalk. The dilapidated remnants of the short-lived Sinatra museum “From Here to Eternity” sat next door, simply rotting out from neglect since the devastating floods of Superstorm Sandy.
Last year, the properties were taken over by the aptly named Chairman of the Board, Corp., with plans to develop the properties into luxury condos.
With construction scheduled to be completed in June, 415 Monroe is ready to add one vital touch to its front-facing façade—today installing a restored version of the star that marked the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.
With work done by Hoboken resident and Sinatra aficionado Tony Pignotti, the star now shines a heck of a lot brighter, as the former sidewalk-mounted version was basically illegible.
“I got Tony’s name from Robert Foster at the Hoboken Historical Museum,” said developer John Heidenry, of Chairman of the Board Corp.
Given the significance of this address in the history of Hoboken/Hollywood/The World, it’s great to see this beautiful monument to Frank Sinatra in place once again—back where it all began.
Designed by MVMK Architecture and built with Red Bridge Condos, 415 Monroe Street in Hoboken will offer seven luxury homes, starting at $1,100,000—according to Joe Stingone of VUE Realty Group. A unique feature of the building will be the common roof deck which will have direct elevator access, grilling stations and lounge areas with “New York, New York” views.
The 7-unit building will feature one 4-bedroom and six 3-bedroom units, with on-site parking. There will also be two private rear yards, three separate entertaining areas and two outdoor kitchens.
“Swinging on a Star” was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke, first sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 film Going My Way, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.
On the topic of housing, Sinatra and Van Heusen were roommates for a time. While Sinatra’s swinging days are the stuff of legend, Jimmy had his dalliances with the ladies as well—though he never married until he was 56.
In his book Frank: The Voice, author James Kaplan wrote of Van Heusen, “He played piano beautifully, wrote gorgeously poignant songs about romance…he had a fat wallet, he flew his own plane; he never went home alone.”
Jimmy Van Heusen passed away in 1990, buried near the Sinatra family plot. On his headstone, it reads, “Swinging On A Star.”
Arguably one of the catchiest tunes in pop canon song was later performed by Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello in the cult-classic/cinematic head-scratcher Hudson Hawk (1991), which was panned by critics for its offbeat delivery… but it’s partly set in Hoboken—so who gives a damn what the critics say.
To celebrate the return of this stunning monument, here’s the former resident of 415 Monroe Street, “Swinging On A Star”: