Swan Song for Tin Pan Alley?

From Irving Berlin to Scott Joplin, Fats Waller to Cole Porter, the composers and lyricists of Tin Pan Alley wrote the songs that defined American popular culture from the late-1880s to the mid-1950s. Beginning as early as 1885, music publishers flocked to this singular block, on West 28th Street between Broadway & Sixth Avenues in Manhattan, to set up shop.

A number of the structures that housed these creative agencies still remain: the row houses at 45, 47, 49, 51, 53 and 55 West 28th Street. Yet despite their undeniable significance, these five properties sit unprotected and vulnerable to development and real estate pressures.

It has recently been reported that the properties are for sale for a whopping $44,000,000.00. The broker’s pitch? “5 contiguous mixed-use [properties] to be demo’ed, yielding over 111,000 sf of Prime Chelsea property”.

This is no way to treat American cultural history. The preservation of these five row houses is long overdue and now it’s up to the Landmarks Commission to preserve these important structures for generations to come.

Please sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/TPAlley/petition.html and visit http://www.hdc.org/tinpanalley.htm for more information.

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