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In Search of the Tenderloin and Tin Pan Alley

  • Sidewalk in front of Gilsey House 1200 Broadway at 29th Street (map)

From the 1870s to about 1910, the Tenderloin was Manhattan’s most famous red-light district, a cradle of elegant vice that developed north of 23rd Street west of Fifth Avenue, in the shadow of luxurious hotels such as Gilsey House. High-stakes gambling parlors, brothels, saloons, dance halls – the Tenderloin reveled in its own illegality, until pressure from civic authorities and corporate development led to its demise. Since the 1990s, zoning changes have altered the landscape of the old Tenderloin’s main stem – Sixth Avenue – and have led to the destruction of many buildings. But a few reminders survive. On this tour, we will visit sites associated with still-visible Tenderloin businesses, including the block of 28th St. once known as Tin Pan Alley, birthplace of the pop music industry.

Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm

Date: Sunday May 6, 2012

Event Start: Sidewalk in front of Gilsey House, 1200 Broadway at 29th Street

Event End: TBD

Host: David Freeland (

Registration: No need to sign up, just show up at the posted meeting location.

Accessibility: Partially Accessible – curbs, uneven terrain, busy sidewalks.