3. Webster Hall Was Originally Meant To Be A Place For More Respectable Gatherings

Garment workers at Webster Hall. Photo from Library of Congress.

Original owner and commissioner of the building, Charles Goldstein, leased the land from Rutherford Stuyvesant to create a hall that would be a gathering place for the immigrants and blue-collar workers of the East Village. The hall was built for more respectable gatherings like formal occasions and personal celebrations, a place for the community to have a place to meet and hold events.

But as the history of Webster Hall has showed us, the original intention of the building was basically forgotten since it’s known mostly for its lascivious past. In fact, there used to be a school next to Webster Hall. But before it could even be built, the school complained to the city already sensing the indulgent reputation and trouble it would bring. But Goldstein won the case, Webster got built, and the school soon moved somewhere else.