On Sunday, October 19th at 4pm we’ll be hosting a walking tour with historian and author David Freeland through the remnants of the area of Manhattan once known as The Tenderloin. This area, which turned into the northern part of Chelsea, was home to New York City’s red light district, its dance clubs and gambling houses. Following the tour, we’ll be hosting an optional cocktail at the hidden speakeasy Bathtub Gin. In preparation for the event, we’ve interviewed David about what we’ll see on the tour and what some of his favorite Untapped finds are in the city.
Tell us about what the Tenderloin was like in its hey day and why it’s such an important part of NYC’s history
The Tenderloin peaked from the 1870s to the years just before 1910. By 1910, it was essentially over. The Tenderloin really could not have existed at any other time, and in few other places, within New York history. Why? It developed specifically as a shadowy outgrowth of the luxury hotel industry, which blossomed along Broadway and the upper 20s during the last decades of the 19th century–beginning with the opening of Gilsey House (where we will start our tour) in 1871. Money flowed into the area, thanks to the influx of wealthy businessmen from the provinces–who came to New York with money to spend, and who were always looking for “after-hours” recreational opportunities!
Image via Bathtub Gin
On Sunday, October 19th we’ll be hosting a cocktail at the hidden speakeasy Bathtub Gin, located in the neighborhood that was once the Tenderloin in New York City’s west 20s. The Tenderloin was home to New York City’s brothels, dance clubs, and gambling houses. On this special event, historian David Freeland will first take us through a tour of the fascinating remains of the Tenderloin district and Tin Pan Alley, concluding with a cocktail at this period-inspired bar.
The Public Theatre at Astor Place
October promises to be an exciting month for the New York City architecture world, as the festival Archtober begins October 1st. An initiative of The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation based at 536 Laguardia Place in SoHo, this event will give the public the unique opportunity to attend more than 150 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions happening at the Center for Architecture and collaborating institutions across the city.
Image by Andrew Gustafson
Last week, we began our series on the myths of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, letting you know where Elvis set foot on the premises (not where you think!) and clarifying the “abandoned” status of the building. Today, we’re continuing with another myth. Join us for our next tour of the magnificent building on Sunday, October 26th with Turnstile Tours. Tickets here.
1. What is up with those crazy balconies?
Donald Judd’s Home and Studio, Image via Urban Omnibus
Get your fill of art, fashion, and museums with our specially selected pick of this week’s best New York City events!
Owning a quality work of art seems like a far off dream to many, especially in New York’s astronomically expensive fine art market. The Affordable Art Fair from Sept 26-29 seeks to bridge the divide between art appreciation and ownership, inviting “50 local and international galleries to exhibit a huge array of affordable contemporary art, with pieces by established names hanging alongside work by the emerging stars of tomorrow.” Monday is the last day of the event, so head to the Tunnel venue at 269 11th Avenue in Chelsea, the art gallery hub of New York City, between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm. Check out some of the artwork for sale here.
The Brooklyn Army Terminal is one of the most imposing–and least understood–buildings on the South Brooklyn waterfront. Built in 1918-1919 to serve as the main supply depot for American forces fighting in Europe during World War I, the Terminal (or BAT as it’s known today) saw nearly five decades of service to the US military, and today it continues to serve as a hub for industrial development and job creation in New York City.
Turnstile Tours has been researching and offering public tours of BAT for just a little more than a year (join the Untapped Cities tour Sunday, Oct. 26!), and we thought we would share some of our knowledge about the site and dispel some of the myths and rumors that have swirled around it.