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Sugar Hill
Between Edgecomb and Amsterdam Avenues, and between 145th and 155th Streets
 

   
             

A Place Called Harlem

This map is a snapshot of Harlem during the Renaissance, providing a glipse of just a few of its important public and private places and the people who frequented them.

Roll your mouse over the map to highlight a block and see its name; click to learn more about each place. To see a larger picture, click on 'image detail' for a pop-up view.

Dunbar Apartments
7th to 8th Avenue at West 149th to 150th Street
 

     
             

 

Cotton Club
644 Lenox Avenue
 

Still, music became the battering ram that smashed the barriers of segregation. In 1927, when Duke Ellington and his orchestra began to play the Cotton Club amid an explosive spectacle of feathered "black and tan" dancers, white patrons thronged the club—and opened their wallets to black musicians.


             

 

Savoy Savoy Ballroom
596 Lenox Avenue
 

 
             

 

Strivers' Row
138th and 139th Streets, between 7th and 8th Avenues
 

         
             

 

Pace Phonograph Company
257 West 138th Street
 

     
             

 

Abyssinian Baptist Church
132-142 W. 138th Street
 

Other notable preachers at the Abyssinian included the father of musician Fats Waller (with the young Waller himself playing piano at the church) and Rev. Adam Powell, Jr. who eventually succeeded his father as pastor.


           
             
Renaissance Casino and Ballroom
150 W. 138th Street
 

     
             

 

Mother AME Zion Church
140–148 W. 137th Street
 

       
             

 

267 House "267 House"
267 W. 136th Street
 

Originally tenement housing, the building at 267 W. 136th Street was renovated by its title-holder Iolanthe Sydney, owner of an employment agency, to provide rent-free rooms to artists.

Many artists and bohemians of the day lived at "267 House," including Wallace Thurman and Richard Bruce Nugent. Others would walk in and out of its brightly painted rooms to party and socialize, exchange ideas, create art, or seek temporary lodging. Writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes lived at the house in the summer of 1926.

267 House became known as the center for a younger generation of artists and writers who revolted against aesthetics and ideas put forth by the so-called "Talented Tenth." This older group, which included seminal figures like W.E.B. Du Bois, supported the use of art as propaganda and steered clear from any aesthetics, forms, and manners that might jeopardize a "dignified" image of African Americans.

Rejecting Du Bois' views as elitist, residents and visitors at 267 House wanted to create art for art's sake. Hurston, who had coined the term "Niggerati" for the Talented Tenth, playfully called 267 House "Niggerati Manor."

In this creative and rambunctious environment, Thurman, Hurston, Hughes, Nugent, artist Aaron Douglas, and writer Gwendolyn Bennett discussed the need for an avant-garde literary magazine that is not tied to sociopolitical motivations. Fire!!, published in 1926, was the result of these discussions.

Wallace Thurman Langston Hughes Zora Neale Hurston Aaron Douglas      
             


Liberty Hall
On W. 138th Street, between Lenox and Seventh Avenues
 

           
             

 

YMCA YMCA
180 W. 135th Street
 

   
             

 

The Dark Tower The Dark Tower
108-110 W. 136th Street
 

             

 

New York Public Library and Speakers' Corner
W. 135th Street at Lenox Avenue
 

       
             

 

Lincoln Theatre
58 W. 135th Street


       
             
Smalls' Paradise
2294 1/2 7th Avenue
 

       
             

 

"Jungle Alley"
133rd Street, between Lenox and 7th Avenues


         
             
Lafayette Theatre
2235 7th Avenue
 

             

 

Tree of Hope
7th Avenue at 131st Street
 

In 1941, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson joined New York Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia in a formal ceremony to rededicate the stump of the original tree.


     
             

 

Connie's Inn
2221 7th Avenue
 


             
GGG Studio GGG Studio
272 Lenox Avenue
 

   
             

 

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The Kennedy Center
ARTSEDGE
Marco Polo
This resource was created in March 2003 by ARTSEDGE. All rights reserved.
ARTSEDGE is a project of the Education Department of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
and is a member of the MarcoPolo Partnership