Place in History

The Bowery Hall of Fame

Years: 2001-2002
Project: A modular mini-museum set up on the Bowery.
Summary: The Bowery Hall of Fame is a museum in miniature, assembled from the remains of a Palace Hotel lodging house cubicle, pilfered cultural artifacts, local propaganda, and bits of historical documentation. Inside this tiny dwelling you will discover strange and wonderful facts about the Bowery, its inhabitants, its structures, its apocryphal history and its unknowable future. From the nineteenth century slumming expeditions of George Washington Chuck Connors, the Mayor of Chinatown, to the modern-day exploits of urban professionals, this museum offers the visitor an explicit view of the world's most famous down-and-out boulevard. Built at a moment of profound physical, social and economic change along the Bowery, the Hall of Fame represents a portal into twenty-first century New York, a place defined by its past yet persistently unfettered by it.

  Page 3: The Last of the Bowery Flops  

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

THE LAST OF THE BOWERY FLOPS:

1. The White House Hotel, 320 Bowery: Offers deluxe cubicles to foreign travelers, along with standard cubicle accommodations for its traditional clientele. Nightly rates are as high as $30.

2. The Palace, 313 Bowery: Located above CBGB, the Palace was the largest of the Bowery lodging houses and could sleep more than 500 people. Leased by the Bowery Residents Committee in the mid 1990s, the building has become a transitional housing, emergency shelter and social services facility. A handful of lodgers remain.

3. The Sunshine Hotel, 241 Bowery: Perhaps the last of the Bowery’s traditional lodging houses, the Sunshine was the subject of a radio documentary by David Isay.

4. The Prince Hotel, 218 Bowery: Sold in 2000 to a private developer, the Prince is slated to be turned into luxury lofts. It houses about 25 elderly lodgers, most of whom live on one floor.

5. Andrew’s Hotel, 197 Bowery: Until an upscale development started going up just to the north, the Andrews offered lodgers an unusual luxury: cubicles with a view. This long, narrow building has cubicles running down either side, and each unit backs onto a window. The Andrews is still home to roughly 90 lodgers, and was recently acquired by non-profit Common Ground, which plans to upgrade and preserve the building as a low-cost lodging house.

6. The Grand Hotel, 143 Bowery,
7. The Sun Hotel, 140 Hester Street,
8. The Providence Hotel, 125 Bowery: These three hotels now cater to the area’s sizable Asian immigrant population. Some cubicles are rented in eight-hour shifts and sleep two to a cubicle.

9. The Palma Hotel, 90 Bowery: Evacuated after a fire in the early 1990s, the Palma’s cubicles were torn out in 1999.

Next Page
©2017 Place in History