4. 493 Sixth Ave.
In 1877, the Martinka brothers Francis and Antonio, opened a store at 493 Sixth Ave after years of running a conjuring shop in Essen, Germany. It was a small store, yet it quickly became a popular place for the magicians of New York to gather, discuss the trade, and practice their craft. Advanced professionals would spend their days in the back room, where a small stage was placed, to test their latest tricks for one another in a private environment. It was here, in this small back room of a tiny magic shop, that the world’s first magic society, The Society of American Magicians, was formed in 1902.
While the location is no longer a magic shop, it’s still a great feeling to know you are visiting a building in which some of the greatest magicians had once met. Not only had they met, and practiced, and taught one another, but some of the most influential magicians of the time had been owners of the Martinka brothers’ shop at some point before their retirement, like Houdini himself, and Charles Joseph Carter.