7. New York Film Academy Sits on the Former Tammany Hall Headquarters


After Boss Tweed’s fall from power, the Tammany Hall headquarters was moved from the demolished E 14th Street to a building on the intersection of 17th Street and Union Square. There, Tammany Hall continued to convene until 1943.

Today, the building is used more innocuously. After the Democratic Party organization ceased its meetings at the Union Square site in 1943, Local 91 of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union purchased the building. Then in 1991, the Union Square Theater opened in the auditorium of the building for off-Broadway shows. Afterwards, in 1994, the New York Film Academy renovated the building for their Union Square campus.

Today, the E 17th Street facade of the former Tammany Hall headquarters is a juxtaposition of past and present iconography. The words “1786 The Society of Tammany or Columbian Order 1928” are etched on the building’s facade, while other signs pertaining to the theatre are clustered around it. Further up on the wall are portraits of two men facing each other and flanking the motto of Tammany Hall: “Freedom Our Rock.” The man to the left of the motto is Chief Tamanend, the seventeenth century Native American from whom the organization took its name, while the man on the right is Christopher Columbus, in recognition of the name Columbian Order, by which Tammany Hall was also known.