This park was created in 1897 an effort to destroy
the old Five Points neighborhood, considered to be
Manhattan's most dangerous slum. (The park's southwest
corner was one of the five points.) It was originally
laid out by Calvert Vaux, who co-designed Central Park.
The pavilion in the north end of the park is part of the
Earlier known as Mulberry Bend Park
or Five Points Park, it was renamed after Christopher
Columbus in 1911 to honor the neighborhood's then-Italian
population (though it is not much of an honor to be
associated with a conquistador who was
responsible for the deaths and enslavement of thousands
of Native Americans). Now the main park of
used by practitoners of Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Chinese chess.
67: In 1842, this was Almack's,
a saloon described by Charles Dickens in
American Notes. He saw a performance here
Master Juba, who more than anyone else
63: In 1880, this and 51 down the
street were the first bowling alleys--actual alleys
where people bowled, and the apparent origin of the term.
47-49: This was the site of Bottle
Alley, photographed by Jacob Riis in
the 1880s as an example of the depth of the
Five Points' depravity. As early as the 1840s
it was known as "a favorite haunt of murderers and
39: An investigative committee
in the 1850s found 15 people living here in
a 15x14 room; the total rent was $6/month.
In the late 1840s, 106 pigs
were living here along with the human
35: This was the site of
Sandy Sullivan's Genteel Lodging House,
described by the New York
Times in 1859 as "one of the filthiest,
blackest holes we had yet seen."
33: Was the Arcade, an 1830s
31: In 1855, widow Johanna
McCarty lived in a three-room apartment here with
five children and eight boarders.
25: This was a childhood home of
Tammany boss Big Tim Sullivan, who was living
here when he became a newsboy at age 7.
17: The "grocery" (i.e., tavern) of
Constantine Donoho, the patronage boss of
Five Points in the early 1840s. His saloon was attacked
by anti-Irish rioters in 1842.