A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 28, 2016
Political Row (East 7th Street, between Avenues C and D)

Entry in progress—B.P.

31 March 1892, The World (New York, NY), pg. 6, col. 1:
An East-Side Street Prolific of Office Holders.
It must be a very undesirable office when Political Row hasn’t got a candidate for it. Political Row is the lock on Seventh street, between Avenues C and D.

Politicians all over the city look upon Political Row with a jealous eye. It has furnished many office-holders, and there are more office-holders ad patriots who are willing to serve the city and county, the state or the country at large, living on that thoroughfare now than on any other similar stretch of highway in New York. Electioneering goes on there from one end of the year to the other.

Off the Grid (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
Did You Know? – East 7th Street
Did you know that East 7th Street between Avenues C & D was once known as “Political Row”?

Neither did we, until during the course of our East Village research we stumbled upon a fascinating New York Times article from 1902 lamenting the end of the street’s glory days. Of course, we had long been aware that the block contains a number of intact Greek Revival rowhouses; indeed, one can hardly pass by without itching to know more about those Easter egg-colored three-story homes on the south side of the street. This portion of East 7th Street was known as the “Political Row” in the mid-19th century because of the large number of influential political figures that called the street home.

Off the Grid (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
Political Row, East 7th Street between Avenues C and D
The block was mainly settled in the 1840’s, consisting of three story single-family homes, some of which are still standing. At the time the neighborhood was mainly made up of Irish, English, German and western European immigrants. There were major shipyards to the east and many of the inhabitants of the block were employed by or supplied labor and goods to the yards. Some of the residents were sea captains, merchants, factory men, and carpenters. These were people of modest means, but comfortable enough to build, rent or purchase, and inhabit a one family home. It was during the latter half of the 19th century that the block became known as Political Row. It was home to a number of the city’s civic leaders: judges, lawyers, aldermen, county clerks, bankers, congressmen, and senators. Many of these men grew up in the area. Many of these men were affiliated with the notorious Tammany Hall.

Ephemeral New York
5 houses from the East Village’s shipbuilding era
November 7, 2016
The beginning of Political Row’s end came at the turn of the century, when many of the original houses went down and tenements built in their place.

Newspapers wrote descriptive eulogies, mourning a neighborhood that was “an American District” now colonized by a second wave of immigrants.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Monday, November 28, 2016 • Permalink