Video of the February 12, 2024 presentation on "The Old Community" is now available HERE More information on our PAST EVENTS page
Rob Garber's library exhibit on "The Old Community" on display through February at the Bloomingdale Library is now available on the EXHIBITS page. A description of his upcoming exhibit about the library itself is also available on the same page.
UPCOMING ZOOM ONLY PRESENTATION
"The Lost Theaters of Broadway - An Upper West Side Story "
presented by Gary Dennis
Free Zoom presentation on Thursday, February 22, 2024, 6:30 pm
A free link will appear on this website in the days prior to the event
What happened to all those theaters on Broadway on the Upper West Side? Once upon a time, there were 31,000 theater seats between 74th Street and 110th Street. Each has its own unique story and its own place in our history.
Gary Dennis is the premier expert on these questions, with deep knowledge of theaters and movie palaces, the architects who designed them, the signiﬁcance of each theater, and its location. Dennis was the owner of the Upper West Side’s beloved Movie Place, one of NYC’s original independent video stores and a longtime local favorite in Bloomingdale, with one of the most extensive ﬁlm inventories in the country.
More Information at UPCOMING EVENTS
New Exhibit on Display at the Bloomingdale Branch Library Dec 1, 2023 through Feb 29, 2024
"The Old Community: How a Black neighborhood in Bloomingdale began, flourished for half a century, then was abruptly destroyed (and its surprising afterlife)"
The newest in a series of exhibits at the Bloomingdale library is now on view. Created by Rob Garber for the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group, the exhibit is being shown at the he Bloomingdale branch of the public library on West 100th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. Many thanks to the library for hosting these exhibits.
Between 1904 and the mid-1950s, a community of up to 4,000 people of color lived on 98th and 99th Streets between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. See how this neighborhood came to exist, the famous and the ordinary people who lived there, and what happened to it.
To catch up with Rob Garber's two previous library exhibits, see our website pages:
"Bloomingdale As It Never Was (But Might Have Been)" September-November 2023
"Bloomingdale and Manhattan in 1927" June-August 2023
Free Walking Tours of Historic Bloomingdale
Sunday, March 10th at 2pm
Wednesday, April 17th at 6pm
Wednesday, May 29th at 6pm
Wednesday, June 5th at 6pm
Meet at south end of Straus Park,
Broadway at W106th Street
No reservations needed
Explore the history of the Upper West Side
between W. 96th and W. 110th Streets
Led by renowned local historian, Jim Mackin
More Information at our UPCOMING EVENTS page
Read the latest BNHG blog:
Neighborhood Charities: House of Mercy
written by Pam Tice, member of the BNHG planning committee
The story of the House of Mercy, located at the far end of West 86th Street on the Hudson River, is a tale of women’s work. The House was founded in 1855 by a devoted Episcopal woman, Mrs. William Richmond, who used her religious convictions and social skills to establish the charitable home. In 1863, the House of Mercy was put under the management of Episcopal nuns whose establishment was a historical moment for the church. It is also the story of young women of New York City in the mid-nineteenth century and their struggles that reflect the social mores of the patriarchal culture of that era.
Read Pam's extensive study of Neighborhood Charities: House of Mercy complete with four photos in our BLOGS section
"Famous Bloomingdale Neighbors": A Public Art Exhibit" on view until June 28, 2024 at Happy Warrior Playground on Amsterdam Ave. between 98th and 99th Streets.
Happy New Year!
The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group is starting off 2024 with lots to celebrate as we remember the Old Community, visit the theaters that used to be here, meet more notable residents, and inaugurate a new series on music in Bloomingdale. We welcome a new law that preserves a record of place names, learn the story of the House of Mercy, enjoy a happy warrior, and even unearth some new old history in our neighborhood between 96th and 110th Streets, from Central Park to the Hudson River. We look forward to feedback, comments, and ideas here. We hope you enjoy it all and will choose to support us with a donation.
To view this bulletin click BULLETINS or download the file below:
We’re reaching out to our Bloomingdale community for your support through a tax-deductible donation.
We are a group of neighbors who banded together 23 years ago to explore the history of our region of the Upper West Side, roughly 96th to 110th Streets --- an area historically known as Bloomingdale.
Our numerous public programs are free and open to all. Last year, both in-person and online, we gave presentations about our neighborhood buildings, how they were built, and even what happens when they are taken apart. We taught neighbors how to do local history research in general and then shared how two local historians researched their 100-year-old buildings. We spent an evening together with local residents looking at old maps of Manhattan.
At the Bloomingdale Library, we presented displays on the history of the West 100th Street police precinct, how the neighborhood looked in 1927, and local building projects planned but never built. We wrote about the history of our area before it was made accessible by Bloomingdale Road, taking you back to 1668, and then presented a “census picture” of who lived here in 1855.
To help us please click the "Donate now" button. For more Information visit our DONATE page
BNHG’s downloadable digital brochure:
How To Research the History of Buildings in Manhattan
Whether you’re a student, researcher or simply someone interested in finding out the history of any building in Manhattan, there’s now a free guide that will help you to get started. How to Research the History of Buildings in Manhattan, includes links to free online sources of data on individual buildings, their physical characteristics, the date of their construction and the name of their designer
To assist in your own research, click on the BNHG Building Database, which is the product of more than three years of research and field work by BNHG members, led by Gilbert Tauber. The table lists all of the 1,056 buildings in the area from the north side of 96th Street to the south side of 110th Street between Central Park West and Riverside Drive.
A New Video Overview of the BNHG
If a picture is worth a thousand words, is a video likely to be worth even more? We think so, which is why a few members of the planning committee of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group (BNHG} got together to produce this ten minute video. It's an introduction to the neighborhood that is our home, the neighborhood that inspires our research and is the inspiration for the free public programs we offer throughout the year.
Find out more about the BNHG at our ABOUT US page
Reopening of the Bloomingdale Branch Library
and availability of the BNHG Library Collection!
Our public archive of documents related to the history of the neighborhood is back at the Bloomingdale branch of the New York Public Library, on West 100th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. The files are easy to find now, near the circulation desk, and they are chock-full of interesting material. Whether you are researching a specific topic or just browsing, you're welcome to copy pages in the library or to take a folder to one of the tables to read through it in comfort. On top of the filing cabinets you'll find an eclectic selection of books about NYC history donated by historian Peter Salwen, which are also for reading and reference use in the library. The Bloomingdale Library's own webpage is here, and a few highlights of our collection are posted digitally here.
DIGITAL COLLECTIONS OF THE BLOOMINGDALE NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY GROUP
Select items from the BNHG Library Collection have been digitized
for more information about the library collection visit our
BNHG LIBRARY COLLECTION page.
Check out our Resources pages.
At our Resources pages you'll find fascinating Bloomingdale history under the following headings:
Sources of Historical Information
Useful Links and Resources
NYT Articles about Manhattan Valley from 1865-1998
Peter Salwen Collection
Upper West Side History Quiz
PRESERVING NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY
The New York Preservation Archive Project was organized in 1990 to “preserve preservation history.” Every effort to save an historic building or place has a story. NYPAP exists to provide an archival record of the people involved, their victories and defeats, and the many documents that tell the story of each place.
Thanks to Pam Tice (member of the BNHG planning committee) , the story of 891 Amsterdam Avenue is now a part of that record. You can review the story of our neighborhood’s landmark, which began as the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females, and is now Hostelling International-New York City.
The record is preserved at the NYPAP site here.
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The content of this website is offered for educational purposes; You may not reproduce, distribute, copy, sell or otherwise use any portion of this website for political or commercial purposes. If you know the identity of people depicted in historical photographs reproduced here, we’d love to hear from you.