New York Songlines: Grand Street

Varick | 6th Ave | Thompson | West Broadway | Wooster | Greene | Mercer | Broadway | Crosby | Lafayette | Centre | Baxter | Mulberry | Mott | Elizabeth | Bowery | Chrystie | Forsyth | Eldridge | Allen | Orchard | Ludlow
Essex | Norfolk | Suffolk | Clinton | Pitt | Columbia

Grand Street is so called because it was unusually wide when laid out by landowner James de Lancey Jr. in the mid-18th Century. De Lancey--who fled following the Revolution after backing the wrong side--intended it to be a stately drive through his estate leading from a central square to Corlear's Hook, also known in those days as Crown Point. By the late 19th Century, it was one New York's major shopping districts. It now serves as a connection between SoHo, Little Italy (now largely incorporated into Chinatown) and the Jewish Lower East Side.

In "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again," Bob Dylan describes Grand Street as being "where the neon madmen climb."



75 (block): The Holland Plaza Building, a 1930 Art Deco structure designed by Ely Jacques Kahn for the printing industry, now houses the Manhattan Center of Adelphi University, founded in 1896 as New York's first co-ed college, as well as the Metropolitan College of New York, founded in 1964 by Audrey Cohen.



S <===     VARICK STREET     ===> N

South:







S <===         SULLIVAN ST

Duarte Square

NYC - SoHo: Duarte Square - Juan Pablo Duarte statue by wallyg, on Flickr

This small plaza is land left over from the extension of 6th Avenue through the South Village. It's named for Juan Pablo Duarte, considered the liberator of the Dominican Republic. The statue, by Italian sculptor Nicola Arrighini, was installed in 1978.

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80 (corner): This was the shop of Charles H. Fletcher, promoter of Fletcher's Castoria, a root beer-flavored children's laxative.



















Corner (101 6th Ave): 101 Avenue of the Americas, a 1992 25-story tower that's the headquarters of the Building Services Employees International Union.


S <===     6TH AVENUE     ===> N
The western edge of SoHo

South:

IMG_1253 by Lawrence Sinclair on Flickr

Corner (80 6th Ave): This was the site of the Moondance Diner, a famous pre-fab restaurant installed in the 1930s, when it was known as the Holland Tunnel Diner. (The rotating moon sign went up in the 1980s.) Mary-Jane Watson worked here in the movie Spider-Man, as did Monica on the show Friends. In real life, Rent author Jonathan Larson waited tables here for 10 years. In 2007, the diner fell victim to rising rents and was sold to La Barge, Wyoming, where it has not fared well.

Corner (17 Thompson): Naked Lunch, bar named for William Burroughs' novel, whose title the author paraphrased as "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork."

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28: Was Palacinka, creperie

30: Glowlab, art gallery with a special interest in psychogeography.

32 (corner): Cafe Noir, Moroccan


S <===     THOMPSON STREET     ===> N

South:

35 (corner): Pfiff, New American, replaced Abyssinia, Ethiopian that opened in the 1980s.

43-45: John De Lorenzo & Bro., Iron and Sheet Metal Contractor




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42: Grand Street Deli

46: 46 Grand, small lounge, was Denial, sake bar opened 1998.

Corner (340 West Broadway): Felix, Parisian-style bistro


S <===     WEST BROADWAY     ===> N

South:



55: La Jumelle 55 Bistro

57: Toad Hall, bar named for the crazy mansion in The Wind in the Willows Lucky Strike - Soho, NYC by plugimi, on Flickr

59: Lucky Strike, one of Keith McNally's first restaurants






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west broadway and grand by stewsnooze, on Flickr

Corner (337A West Broadway): Namaskaar, affordable, tasty Indian


60: The roof of this building features the sculpture Water Tower, a translucent cylinder created in 1998 by Rachel Whiteread.

66: Seven-story cast-iron building

68-70 (corner): A cast-iron building with a prominent cornice, designed by George DeCunha and completed 1887.


S <===     WOOSTER STREET     ===> N

South:

71-73 (corner): An outstanding cast-iron building with large plate-glass windows was completed in 1888, though the brick facade facing Wooster dates back to 1879. The architect for both sections was Mortimer C. Merritt, who designed the Hugh O'Neill department store on 6th Avenue.

79: Henry Built, furniture and kitchen design

81: Ernst Neizvestny Studio 85 Grand by charles.hope, on Flickr

83-87: An 1872 cast-iron silk warehouse, designed by William Hume in a modified neo-Grecian style. Team Gallery is at No. 83; Boffi Soho, showroom for modular kitchen and bath components, is at 85.

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72 (corner): Another cast-iron building by George DeCunha, dating to 1885.

74: Also DeCunha, 1885.

76: Deitch Projects, gallery that has transformed its small building for various installations

78: Cast-iron building from 1882 by Robert Mook






80-88 (corner): An 1873 cast-iron building by B.W. Warner, built for an importing and commission merchant.


S <===     GREENE STREET     ===> N

"A puzzled pedestrian after nightfall, losing his way where Greene Street now crosses Grand, stepped into a deep pool and was drowned."-- John Fiske

South:

89 (corner): Ingo Maurer, designer light fixtures

91: An 1869 cast-iron building by John B. Snook, designed to resemble masonry. Currently houses Belenky Brothers jewelry gallery.

93: A similar 1869 building by Snook houses Buckler.

95: Gilles Lorain

103 (corner): Yohji Yamamoto, "starkly elegant clothing that blurs the line between fashion and sculpture"

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Corner (38 Greene): Lucky Brand Jeans






100: Le Pain Quotidien (''Daily Bread''), local bakery chain



104 (corner): Facial Index, avant-garde eyewear


S <===     MERCER STREET     ===> N

South:

Mercer and Grand, Soho by Alexandra Moss, on Flickr

107 (corner): A 1915 building that houses Ted Baker London, quirky men's clothing. On the third floor used to be the offices of Razorfish, interactive ad agency, now a subsidiary of Microsoft.





broadway-and-grand-street by dandeluca, on Flickr

Corner (459 Broadway): The Devlin Building, a five-story cast-iron built in 1861 to house a branch of Devlin & Co., a clothing store founded in 1843. This branch closed in 1879. Bway.net, the local Internet provider, was based here for a time.

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Corner: Lord & Taylor had its department store here, in a building by Griffith Thomas put up from 1860-72. The store armed its employees against draft rioters in 1863. The company moved up to Ladies Mile around 1900; this building was demolished after a 1967 fire.


S <===     BROADWAY     ===> N

South:

Corner (458 Broadway): This 9-story building, built in 1896 and designed by Alfred Zucker, has been home to Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and author Olivia Goldsmith. Previously, this was the site of the Singer sewing machine company's first headquarters and showroom, built 1857.




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French Culinary Institute

inside by roboppy, on Flickr

Block (462 Broadway): Students here show off their skills at the restaurant here, L'Ecole. There's a Daffy's branch at the same address.

The building is an 1879 cast-iron design by John Correja, made for the linen and lace importing firm Mills & Gibb. Earlier, Brooks Brothers opened a store here in 1858; during the Civil War, the company supplied uniforms for Union troops, and was a target of draft rioters.


S <===     CROSBY STREET     ===> N

South:

133 (corner): Grand Food Market

141: Thai Angel Cuisine

143: Bun Soho, Vietnamese noodle bar

145: Maple Fashion

147-149: Two red-and-white four-story tenements

Corner (162 Lafayette): Grand Lafayette Variety Store, Tai Fortune Food Market

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134-140 (corner): This cast-iron building went up in 1870, built by clothing maker Charles Hastings to a William Field & Son design on the site of the Grand Street Presbyterian Church. It's seen better days; in 1879, a fire across the street destroyed much of the Crosby Street facade, and the ornamentation was stripped off the mansard roof in the 1960s. A 1937 remodeling planned by Eli Jacques Kahn was never carried out. The building was seen by 2004 as a remainder of SoHo's funky, artist-friendly past. Until recently, Beau Labels printers were on the ground floor.


S <===     LAFAYETTE STREET     ===> N
The traditional border between SoHo and Little Italy

South:

Corner (161 Lafayette): Long Double Star Trading, Lafayette Lounge

155: Foo Wah Bakery IMGP3454 by amg2000, on Flickr

159: SoLita SoHo Hotel was built on the site of the Phoenix Poultry Market, a 19th Century relic demolished in 2002.

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Corner (175 Lafayette): Rudolph Bass Woodworking Machinery & Supplies, founded 1918

158: Landmark Cafe and Restaurant













S <===     CENTRE STREET     ===> N

There used to be a hill here called Bayard's Mount, near the home of merchant William Bayard. Revolutionary forces fortified it before the British invasion in 1776. On July 23, 1788, it was the endpoint of the city's first grand parade, in support of ratification of the Constitution (which happened three days later).

South:

Odd Fellows Hall

Centre and Grand Streets 1987 by amg2000, on Flickr

165 (block): This landmark building was built in 1847-48 for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization whose New York branch was chartered in 1844. (The idea behind the name was that it was a guild for workers who didn't fit into other guilds.) The architects were Joseph Trench and John B. Snook; it followed the Italianate model Trench had recently pioneered with the A.T. Stewart store on Broadway. li hua | nyc by nchoz, on Flickr

171: In the same building is Li Hua, Korean, formerly Lucky China Lui One Bakery.

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Police Building

Police Headquarters by rollingrck, on Flickr

Block (240 Centre): This Baroque palace, designed by Hoppin & Koen, was the headquarters of the NYPD from 1909 until 1973. It was converted into luxury co-op apartments in 1988. Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista all bought lofts here; Steffi Graf and Winona Ryder are also said to have lived here.













S <===     BAXTER ST / CENTRE MARKET PL     ===> N

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181-187: This compact three-story building, painted red with green trim, closely resembles its four neighbors to the east, including the Banca Stabile building on the corner. Houses Dolce Vita Restaurant. guns by squishyray, on Flickr

183: John Jovino Gun Shop, opened 1911, is the oldest gun store in New York City; it's the sole survivor of a gun district near the Centre Street police headquarters. A 2003 study found that nearly 1 percent of traceable guns used in New York City crimes can from this shop.

Italian American Museum

185-189 (corner): Banca Stabile, a bank operated by the Stabile family, operated out of 189 from 1882 until 1932, serving as the neighborhood's financial center. It was something of a time capsule until 2008, when it became home to a museum of Italian immigration.

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174 (corner): Onieal's, longrunning eatery that dates back at least to 1909, when it was a speakeasy, gambling den and brothel connected via secret tunnel to police headquarters. (The tunnel now serves as a wine cellar.) Onieal's appeared as the Scout Bar on Sex and the City.

176-178: Lendy Electric Equipment & Supply; Agrest & Gandelsonas Architects












Mulberry & Grand Streets - Little Italy - New York by jenniferrt66, on Flickr




161 (corner): Salumeria Italian Food Center


S <===     MULBERRY STREET     ===> N

South:

by antiparticle, on Flickr

191 (corner): Rossi Imports










Ferrara's

Ferrara's Pasteria by capnsponge, on Flickr

195: Legendary pastry shop opened in 1892 and now run by Antonio Ferrara's great-grandnephews. They say the secret of their shop's success is frequent baking. Enrico Caruso is said to have been a fan.

203 (corner): Twins 99 Cents Plus, Manhattan Grand Optical are in a building with a beautiful entrance.

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IMG_2441 by PamelaVWhite, on Flickr

188 (corner): Alleva, opened in 1897, is said to be the oldest cheesemaker in the U.S.--specializing in ricotta and mozzarella.

192: Florio's Restaurant; 3 Little Indians

194: Nyonya



DIPALO'S by Lulu Vision, on Flickr





200 (corner): Di Palo's Fine Imported Italian Cheese. Also in this building was Pearl River Emporium--not the famous one.


S <===     MOTT STREET     ===> N

South:

209: B&J USA Trading Inc.


211: Kwamwo Herbal Pharmacy


213: 213 Grand Street Gourmet Restaurant


215: Bogdanow Partners Architects

217: Grand Manna Bakery

219 (corner): Wing Fat Company Inc. is in a handsome five-story red-brick building. When Grand Brass Lamp Parts Inc. was at this corner, until 2004, it was numbered 221.

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NYC Feb. 2006 - Mott and Grand by OliverN5, on Flickr

206 (corner): Yue Fung Enterprises; Yong Qiang Fashions

208: Mon Fung Co.

210: Kwong Wah Cake Co.

212: Food Street; Mon Wong Restaurant

214: Good Dumpling House was Fay Da Bakery.

218 (corner): Good Taste Villa


S <===     ELIZABETH STREET     ===> N

South:










229: M. Kessler Hardware is in a five-story building with an interesting Gothic window design on the top floor.

Best Western Hotel

231 (corner): An existing office building was expanded to make this franchise branch in 2007. It's owned by the Wok & Roll restaurant group, which is also building the Comfort Inn on Chrystie Street.

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Bowery Savings Bank

NYC - Chinatown: Capitale (former Bowery Savings Bank) by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: This 1894 landmark was designed by Stanford White; it's thought to have started the fashion for banks that look like Roman temples. It replaced the original Bowery Savings Bank, built here in 1834. Now houses Capitale, an event space with 75-foot ceilings.

230 (corner): Stanford White's Bowery Savings Bank by mkuhnert, on Flickr
This building was built in 1902 as the Bowery Bank. You might confuse it with the similarly named Bowery Savings Bank, which wraps around it in an L shape. Among other businesses, it houses Tung Woo tofu, Double Crispy Bakery and Tu Quynh Pharmacy, recently a Citibank branch.


S <===               THE BOWERY               ===> N
The traditional border between Little Italy and the Lower East Side

South:

Moisha's Luncheonette - 1987 by amg2000, on Flickr

237 (corner): Grand Street Optical, Quickly Shabu Shabu (soup cooked at your table), Grand City. This corner used to be Moisha's Luncheonette. On the Bowery side of the building is the entrance to the Providence Hotel, a flophouse that dates back to 1895.

239: Grand City

241: Bor Kee Food Market. This and 239 are part of the same building at 237.

243: Grand Sanky Bakery Grand-Street-Vegetable-Market-088 by IronMal, on Flickr

245: Nam Son, Vietnamese (was Pho Tuong Lai Restaurant?)

247: Ken Hing Food Market, Vietnamese grand street - chinatown by nicolas.boullosa, on Flickr

249-253 (corner): The Hai Sein, Tan My My Market

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Bowery and Grand Street by amg2000, on Flickr

Corner (240 Grand): Kong Kee Food Corp.--tofu, soy milk etc.--was Winner Coffee.












246: New Wing Wah Bakery moved here from 244 next door.

248: Chinese Evangelical Mission Church (was Grand Station Noodles?)




Grand-Street-News-Stand-086 by IronMal, on Flickr

250 (corner): Ocean Star Seafood Market


S <===               CHRYSTIE STREET               ===> N

South:

Sara D. Roosevelt Park

titian sleuth: color blocks by romanlily, on Flickr Named for FDR's mother, a formidable woman who took credit for her son's political success, and who was something of a terror to her daughter-in-law Eleanor. The park is the result of massive slum clearance in 1929; it was supposed to be replaced with public housing, but corrupt city land deals made the price prohibitive. One block wide and seven blocks long, this park is cited by Jane Jacobs as an example of unappealing park design, though it's been improved lately.





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Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the a.m. by Ara Alexis, on Flickr

Part of this section of Sara D. Roosevelt Park was leased to commercial vendors in 1994 in an effort to get them off of Grand Street. The project, known as Dragon's Gate, did not thrive, and the vendors were kicked out after the city accused some of erecting permanent structures. The space is now used for basketball. Sara D Roosevelt Park by hi-lo, on Flickr


S <===               FORSYTH STREET               ===> N

South:

_7062552.jpg by Kevincart, on Flickr

271 (corner): Egg Custard King Cafe was Hing Wong House

273: Guan's International Trading

275: Wing Wong Variety Store

277: Pho Grand, Vietnamese; formerly Grand Seafood

281: Lucky Food Market

283: UT Trading was Fabricworld


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272 (corner): Fairtown Trading Inc., Grand China Meat Market. Was Penchina Textile Corp, wholesale dry goods distributor, until 1993.


276: U-2 Video Depot

278: Metro Video American Durian II by 12th St David, on Flickr

280: Lucky King Bakery was Fortune Stars Bakery

286: Tai Jiang Market


S <===               ELDRIDGE STREET               ===> N

South:

291 (corner): HK Manpolo Market; Higher Learning on 2nd floor

295: Grand Bakery, fried chicken and baked goods, was CAB Seafood Restaurant

297: Beijing Co.

299: C.T.C. Shoes




303: Tai Cheung Kitchen Supply

305: Maxime Furniture




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290 (corner): Lok Sing Chinese Restaurant

292: Hong Kong Furniture

294: M&A Decorators, M. Karfiol & Son

298: Chinatown TV is with 300 a two-story building with dormer windows.

300: Hong Wong Restaurant was MK Chinese Restaurant grand-and-allen-streets by dandeluca, on Flickr

302-306 (corner): Grand Home Center; Rui Hui Books; Sunny Fashion Trading


S <===               ALLEN STREET               ===> N

South:

Corner (62-70 Allen): This building, an 1876 French Empire structure, was E. Ridley & Son, which claimed in 1886 to be the country's largest retail store, when Grand Street east of the Bowery was the place to go for women's fashions. Founded as a small dry goods store in 1850, Ridley's moved uptown in 1901, and a fire badly damaged this building in 1905; one side was removed for the 1932 widening of Allen Street.

On November 23, 1859, No. 70, the corner address, was the birthplace of Henry McCarty--better known as Billy the Kid. McCarty moved west with his family in 1865, where he later killed 21 men under the name William Bonney.

315: Rococo Products

317: Elegant Home; Good Locksmith Inc. fashion by marceline, on Flickr

319-321 (corner): Modern Decor and Jodamo Hi-Fashion Men's Clothing is in another part of the former E.S. Ridley Department Store, built c. 1870. It left here in 1901, but in 1964 a letter was delivered to this address, complaining that the Ridley's catalog had not been delivered "for some time."

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314: Fishkin Knitwear
































Corner: Zahir Fabrics


S <===               ORCHARD STREET               ===> N

South:

323 (corner): Manhattan Chinese Cultural Services (MCCS) Day School; was Rice & Breskin clothing. Describing the style of the romance magazines at which he learned his trade, science fiction writer A.E. Van Vogt said: "You don't say, 'I lived at 323 Grand Sreet.' You say something like 'Tears came to my eyes as I thought of my little room at 323 Grand Street.'"

325: Was Friedman Hosiery

327: Espy Display was Montgomery Stationery

329: Teng Fei Grocery was Amy's Grocery

333: DigitMine Computer

335: Eastern Super Market

337: Fortune Home Grand Street, Lower East Side by x-eyedblonde, on Flickr

339 (corner): Ideal Hosiery has been run by the same family since 1950.

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322 (corner): Vogue Beauty Spa

324: At Home Concepts









328: Mawin Furniture

330: Grand Lingerie

332: Sultan Bras & Girdles




Boarded up by spinachdip, on Flickr

334 (corner): Was Lismore Hosiery. The original four-story building here had three stories added in 2008.


S <===         LUDLOW STREET         ===> N

South:

Corner (56 Ludlow): Lou Reed and John Cale lived together in a loft here in 1965, when they were forming the Velvet Underground.





345: Grand Sterling Silver Co.









349: Peter's Japanese Restaurant

351: Dragon's photo lab

353: Golden Forest Restaurant, Chinese Nueva York by Manuel Delgado Tenorio, on Flickr

355 (corner): Flowers cafe has benches outside labeled "for our customers and the elderly."

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Seward Park High School

Alphabet/City: Seward Park High School by litherland, on Flickr

350 (block): The school was built on the site of the Ludlow Street Jail. Victoria Woodhull, who in 1872 became the first woman to run for president, was jailed here that Election Day for publishing an account of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's affair with a parishioner. (As a woman, she would not have been allowed to vote anyway.) This jail was also home to William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, after he was convicted of misappropriation of funds in 1873. Though he escaped to Spain at one point, he was brought back and eventually died here on April 12, 1878. Bernard Tschumi's Blue building from Grand & Essex by hragvartanian, on Flickr

The school dates back to 1929; famous grads include Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Zero Mostel, Jerry Stiller and the songwriter Sammy Cahn--not to mention both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Today the New Design High School, an art-oriented magnet school, is on the fourth floor.


S <===         ESSEX STREET         ===> N

South:

357 (corner): Law & Tax Offices

359: Shalom Chai Pizza Falafel Ice Cream, kosher dairy restaurant East Broadway Kosher Bakery on Grand by roboppy, on Flickr

363: East Broadway Kosher Bakery

365: Isabella's Oven


Kossar's Bialys

NYC - LES: Kossar's Bialys by wallyg, on Flickr

367: Founded 1936. A bialy is something like a holeless, oniony bagel--and these are widely considered the best in the city.

377: Amity Studio Photo and Custom Frame

Doughnut Plant

NYC_20070301-3 by Chieee, on Flickr

379: These are the best doughnuts on the planet. It's not just me who says so-- Martha Stewart does too.









389: Grand Spa Seward Park Liquors by 12th St David, on Flickr

393: Seward Park Liquors

399: Noah's Ark Original Deli is a spinoff of a deli in Teaneck, N.J. Grand Street, Lower East Side by Matthew McDermott, on Flickr

409 (corner): Congregation Emanu-El, New York's first Reform congregation, originally met for services on the second floor of a building here from 1845-48. It's now the address of Roots & Vines, a cafe and wine bar.

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Block (56 Essex): Seward Park Community Center













NORFOLK ST         ===> N

Corner (50 Norfolk): Hong Ming Housing for the Elderly, federally subsidized apartments sponsored by the Chinese-American Planning Council; the name means "good health." The 14-story building was designed by Harold Edelman and built in 1982; the Chinese characters on the building read "Health Peace Quiet Serenity."




by the real janelle, on Flickr

384 (corner): Two Boots Tavern (formerly Two Boots LES), the southern outpost of the local pizza chain whose name evokes Italy and Louisiana--its culinary inspirations. Also here is (or was?) the Grand Bakery.


SUFFOLK ST         ===> N











402: Express Shoe Repair is in a three-story building with the upper stories boarded up.








S <===               CLINTON STREET               ===> N

South:

Seward Park Co-Ops

Seward Park by themikebot, on Flickr

Part of Co-Operative Village, these 12 towers were designed by Herman Jessor and built from 1957-60. The Hatters and Painters unions' pension funds helped pay for the development. The complex features Socialist Realist-style murals by Hugo Gellert depicting Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Einstein, painted in 1959. In 1996, seward park by bondidwhat, on Flickr the co-op board tried to have the historic murals removed, but they reversed the decision after appeals from art historians and union leaders.














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410 (block): A 26-story building from 1972.

414: The Arbeter Ring, or Workingmen's Circle, a socialist fraternal order, held its first national convention in a meeting hall here in 1901.

424: In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this is the address of Lacuna Ltd., the memory-erasing firm.


ATTORNEY ST     ===> N

St. Mary's Catholic Church

NYC_divers 046 by L'Hibou, on Flickr

438 (corner): This is the third-oldest Catholic parish in New York City, after St. Peter's and Old St. Patrick's. Its first church, a wood structure built in 1826 on Sheriff Street, was burned by anti-immigrant arsonists; this replacement, built of fieldstone, reopened in 1833. (The red-brick Italianate facade was added in 1871, designed by prolific church architect Patrick Charles Keely.) NYC_divers 042 by L'Hibou, on Flickr

460 (corner): Compre-hensive Center for Rehab-ilitation


S <===         DICKSTEIN PLZ / PITT ST         ===> N

South:

Block (465 Grand): This four-story building, which houses an Emigrant Savings Bank branch, went up in 1963.





































































W <===         E BROADWAY

503 (corner): 99 Cent Plus Discount Store

505: A 1 Pizza Shop

511: New Wing Hing Chinese Restaurant is in a two-story Federal-style rowhouse with dormer windows built c. 1827; it was landmarked in 2007.

513: A similar townhouse built at the same time as 511.

515: LES Sushi

523: Hill Top Grocery Corp.

525: Pizza Shack

527: People Choice Pharmacy


W <===         HENRY ST




S <===         JACKSON ST

551 (corner): This triangular block is the site of the Ralph Lippman Auditorium, a theater from the 1940s that is the new home of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. It's been defaced some by the Fine Fare supermarket on the ground floor.

557: Wa Lung Kitchen by minusbaby, on Flickr

565 (corner): Grand Express Deli, formerly American Flagg Deli, aka Cozy Corner


W <===         MADISON ST

East River Houses







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North:

Abrons Arts Center

466 (block): Entrance of the Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Art Center by hragvartanian, on Flickr

This arc-shaped complex was built in 1975 to provide the community with art facilities, including spaces for dance, music, drama and visual arts. Lo-Yi Chan was the chief architect on the project.

The center was built around the Harry De Jur Playhouse, established in 1915 as the Grand Street Playhouse and later known as the Neighborhood Playhouse. Founded by sisters Alice and Irene Lewisohn, who directed community drama clubs for the Henry Street Settlement, the theater was designed by Harry C. Ingalls and F. Burral Hoffman Jr., who based the Colonial Revival plan on their own Little Theatre (now the Helen Hayes) on 44th Street, which went up in 1912. NYC_divers 038 by L'Hibou, on Flickr

The theater showcased experimental drama and featured new work by Eugene O'Neill, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce; Stravinsky's Petrouchka, a ballet with life-sized puppets, had its U.S. debut here in 1916. After the Neighborhood Playhouse moved out of the neighborhood (to the Little Theatre, its original home's architectural model), serious drama continued here, notably Aaron Copeland's opera The Second Hurricane, which premiered here in 1938 in a production directed by Orson Welles and starring Eartha Kitt. The Folksbiene Yiddish theater company also got its start here. NYC_divers 039 by L'Hibou, on Flickr

This stage has featured the likes of James Cagney, Ethel Barrymore, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. Aline Bernstein, a founder of the Met's Costume Institute, began her career in costumes here--and began her eight-year affair with novelist Thomas Wolfe on a couch backstage.


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Hillman Housing

500 (corner): Part of the Co-Operative Village neighborhood, these buildings went up from 1947-50, sponsored by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, whose president was Stanley Hillman. They were designed by Herman Jessor of Springsteen & Goldhammer. This unit is named for Edward Filene, founder of the credit union movement. Zafis Luncheonette and East Side Glatt are on the Grand Avenue side.

Amalgamated Dwellings

Lacuna, Inc. front view 4 by dahveed76, on Flickr

504 (corner): The oldest project in Co-Operative Village, this Art Deco apartment building were built in 1930 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, designed by Springsteen & Goldhammer to give direct sunlight to each of the 236 units.

They were built on the site of the most violent anti-Semitic riot in U.S. history. In 1902, workers at the R. Hoe and Co. printing press here threw bits of iron and wood down on the 50,000 mourners in the funeral procession of Chief Rabbi Jacob Joseph. The Jewish mourners started throwing the debris back; when police arrived, they sided with the largely Irish workers and attacked the Jews, some 300 of whom were injured. An inquiry ordered by Mayor Seth Low criticized police anti-Semitism.

The building served as the exterior of the Lacuna company in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


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Hillman Housing

Lacuna, Inc. front view 3 by dahveed76, on Flickr

530 (corner): Another unit of Hillman Housing, this one named for Meyer London, a Socialist who represented the Lower East Side in Congress. He opposed World War I and was a critic of Zionism.

550 (corner): This Hillman house is named for Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court, who advocated for the right to privacy and freedom of speech.


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East River Houses

The furthest east section of Co-Operative Village, these were built in 1956 to a design by Herman Jessor, described by the AIA Guide as "carven brick monoliths." (They mean that as a compliment.)

They were originally named the Corlear's Hook Houses, after a peninsula near here that was a fishing spot known to the Lenape Indians as Nechtanc ("Sandy Point"). It became the farm of Jacob von Curler, who gave his name (sort of) to the area. It w


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East River Park

East River, NYC by nydiscovery, on Flickr

Robert Moses built this park on landfill and former docks in the 1930s, during the construction of the FDR Drive.







What am I missing on Grand Street? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

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