In Search of the Tenderloin and Tin Pan Alley

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, author and historian David Freeland will guide visitors to sites associated with still-visible Tenderloin businesses, including the block of 28th Street once known as Tin Pan Alley, birthplace of the pop music industry.

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