Citizen's Savings Bank
58 (corner): HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company),
most recently Republic National Bank, was built for Citizen's
in 1924. The
huge bronze dome is a Chinatown landmark.
50: The Atlantic Garden opened here
in 1858, and by 1908 it had expanded to Nos.
52-54 as well. Herbert Asbury called it "the most famous
of the early Bowery beer halls.... Upstairs and down it provided seats for
more than a thousand, and two four-horse drays, working ten hours
a day, were scarely able to keep the customers supplied with fresh
beer from the brewery." By 1927, it was a movie palace.
Site of Bulls Head Tavern
46-48: Here George
Washington partied with General George Clinton
after the pair liberated New York from
the British on November 25, 1783.
Later, in 1826, the Bowery Theater opened
on this site, the first gaslit theater.
The first ballet performance in the U.S.
took place here on February 7, 1827;
H.M.S. Pinafore had its U.S. debut
here on June 16, 1879. A mob
ransacked the theater on July 9, 1834, in search
of British actor George Percy Farren, who had
supposedly made anti-American remarks. The theater
burned down and was rebuilt several times.
Bowery Boys HQ
36: The address of the Branch Hotel,
Tom Hyer, considered the heavyweight
champion of bare-knuckled boxing from
1841-51, even though he only fought two bouts--
both of which he won. His 1849 fight against
Yankee Sullivan was perhaps the most famous
match of the 19th Century. Afterwards, he ran
the bar here.
That saloon was the
headquarters of the Atlantic Guard, better known
as the Bowery Boys (or B'hoys), a
gang associated with the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party.
When the Dead Rabbits, a mainly Irish gang, attacked
here on July 4, 1857, it sparked two days of bloody
rioting. The Bowery Boys inspired the film
Gangs of New York--as well as a series of
slapstick films of the 1940s and '50s.
30 (corner): Here was built c. 1826 the North American
Hotel, which often hosted political events and was
a hangout for the leading actors of its day. Later
it was the Moss Hotel, latter the New England Hotel, a disreputable place
where the composer
Stephen Foster, in the
throes of alcoholism, had a fatal accident
on January 10, 1864. The composer of
"Oh! Susanna," "Old Folks at Home" and
"Beautiful Dreamer" died with 38 cents in
his pocket. It was torn down in 1895 by the
Third Avenue Railroad Company to make room
for a cable car power station.
Edward Mooney House
18 (corner): The oldest surviving
townhouse in Manhattan, it was built sometime
between 1785 and 1789--in Georgian mixed
with foreshadowing of Federal style. In the
1830s and '40s it housed a brothel.
16: This address was the headquarters
of the Hip Sing ("Prosperous Union") Tong, one of the two main
criminal organizations in Chinatown, whose
territory was Pell and Doyers streets. Founded by
Mock Duck, a ruthless, ever-smiling killer noted for his
technique of squatting in the street and shooting
in all directions with his eyes closed. The term
''hatchet man'' comes from the tongs' assassins
habit of carrying hatchets in their sleeves.
At the headquarters
the gang's main hitman, Sing Dock aka "The
Scientific Killer," was fatally shot by
former protogee Yee Toy on March 12, 1911.
12: At this address, on December
30, 1909, comedian
Dop Doy Hong, aka Ah Hoon, was assassinated
by members of the Four Brothers crime family,
which apparently didn't like his act. The legend
about his killers slipping past armed guards
is apparently not true.
Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonade
Designed by Carrere & Hastings (best known for the
New York Public Library), this horseshoe-shaped arcade
was built in 1910-15 to provide an impressive entrance to
Manhattan. It served as the exterior of Two-Face's lair
in the movie Batman Forever.
Confucius Plaza Apartments
This arcing, 44-story highrise was built in 1976 to
provide Chinatown with much needed housing.
Discrimination in construction hiring here
sparked the formation of Asian Americans for Equality.
The complex also includes P.S. 124,
Yung Wing Public School, named for the first Chinese graduate of
an American university (Yale, class of 1854) and the organizer of the
Chinese Educational Mission to bring students
from China to study in the U.S.
49: Was the Cafe Logeling, where in 1877
Manhattan Chess Club was founded. The nation's
longest-lasting chess club, its membership included
three world champions: Wilhelm Steinitz, Raul
Capablanca and Bobby Fischer. It was dissolved
in January 2002.
41: Was Windsor House, 1890 lodging house
37-39: Site of the Zoological Institute,
a menagerie that was perhaps the
U.S.'s first permanent zoo when it opened in 1821. Animal trainer
Isaac Van Amburgh, said to be the
first person to put his head in a lion's mouth,
got his start here.
In 1835, it became the Bowery Amphitheater,
Virginia Minstrels, who popularized
blackface minstrel shows, debuted on February 6, 1843. In
1844 it was The Knickerbocker, by 1857 The Stadt Theatre.
25: Address of the Morgue Saloon,
another joint where a teenaged Irving Berlin
is said to have sung.
15: Was the Bowery Hotel.
9: Berlin said to have sung here, too.
This 15-foot statue depicting the founder
of the Chinese ethical system, by sculptor
Liu Shih, was put up in 1976 by the Chinese
Consolidated Benevolent Association, which
until recently was sort of a private-sector
local government for Chinatown. There was some
controversy about honoring someone seen
as a conservative cultural figure.