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We’ve been tracking the fate of Harlem’s iconic Lenox Lounge for a few years now, hopeful that the space would be revived to its former glory. Unfortunately, we report today that demolition is nearly complete. Untapped Cities writer Lynn Lieberman (AFineLyne) has documented its demolition since work began at the beginning of May. As of this morning, we report that the facade is gone and the lot nearly empty. See photographs below:

This morning, May 15th, 2017

May 15th, 2017


May 15th, 2017

The Lenox Lounge was located on Lenox Avenue, just south of 125th Street. It was established in in 1939 by Dominic Greco. It was known for hosting the greatest jazz musicians including John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. In addition, the African American luminaries such as James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Malcolm X were regulars in the Lounge’s Zebra Room.

This morning, May 15th, 2017

As the neighborhood declined, the Lenox Lounge suffered a similar ignominious fate. During the 1990s, as interest in the area began to rise again, Madonna’s “Secret” music video and the remake of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson were both filmed in the lounge. In 2000, the Lenox Lounge underwent a $600,000 renovation and all looked bright once again. Sadly, this was not to last. As a result of a lease dispute, on December 31, 2012, the Lenox Lounge closed and the premises was gutted.

Scroll down below for more photographs of the demolition that has taken place since May 3rd:

May 12th, 2017

May 12th, 2017

May 12th, 2017May 12th, 2017

May 12th, 2017

May 11th, 2017

May 11th, 2017

May 11th, 2017

May 11, 2017, the attached commercial space, alongside the Lenox Lounge space

May 11th, 2017

May 11th, 2017, now a one-story structure

May 11th, 2017

May 11th, 2017

May 7th, 2017


May 4th, 2017. A lot of workers on the roof, and interior demolition

May 3rd, 2017

May 3rd, 2017

Next, check out the latest on the redevelopment of the historic Victoria theater in Harlem and discover 22 of Harlem’s bakeries.

 harlem, Lenox Lounge

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