For Immediate Release February 25, 2013
Contact: Kerri Culhane (646) 737-3390
The Bowery Historic District Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
(New York, NY) —Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (TBNC) and Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) are thrilled to announce that, as of February 20, 2013, New York’s famed Bowery is now officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Bowery Historic District was listed in the State Register of Historic Places in October 2011. The Bowery is now included in the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the National Park Service, a selective list of the most significant places in local, state and national history.
“It’s hard to believe that a case had to be made for the significance of one of our most historic streets and all of the folklore that surrounds it, “ comments Victor Papa, TBNC’s President/Director. “This isn’t just Lower East Side history—this is National history. It is now undeniably clear that the Bowery plays a central role in development of American culture.” The Bowery now ranks with such historic districts as New Orleans’ French Quarter, Charleston’s Battery and Boston’s Beacon Hill.
TBNC and BAN sponsored the State and National Register nomination of the Bowery to highlight the rich history of New York’s most architecturally diverse and historically significant streetscape. “Native American foot trail, Dutch farm road, site of Lincoln’s epochal anti-slavery speech, Bowery is NYC’s oldest street,” said David Mulkins, BAN’s Chairman. “It has a seminal connection to tap dance, vaudeville, Yiddish theater, Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, abstract expressionism and punk.” The Bowery historic district encompasses such diverse sites as artist’s lofts, flophouses, former theatres, eighteenth-century townhouses, the Liz Christy Community Garden and the former CBGB.
On the evening of March 20, 2013, TBNC and BAN will host “Vintage Bowery,” a benefit to celebrate the designation of the Bowery Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. The celebratory party at the Bowery Hotel will feature musicians, singers, dancers and poets all highlighting the Bowery’s rich cultural history. Details about the event can be found at:
Unlike a New York City Landmark District, the National Register designation is honorific, meaning it recognizes the importance of the resources it honors, but does not automatically come with restrictions or design review requirements. Among the significant and potentially valuable financial benefits to property owners and in some cases business owners in National Register-listed properties are access to state and federal tax credits if an owner chooses to rehabilitate a historic property; low or zero-interest loans for restoration or rehabilitation of a building; and technical assistance.
“The Bowery nomination is unique—with a period of significance spanning 1626 to 1975, it not only recognizes the architecture and cultural history of the street, but it acknowledges the earliest planning history of New York,” states Kerri Culhane, the architectural historian who researched and wrote the nomination. “By extension, the Bowery nomination should be used as a planning tool to help guide better, scale-appropriate zoning and contextual infill to respect this vibrant and dynamic thoroughfare, which continues to make history today.”