Tammany Hall’s last political organization building obtains monument status – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) – The last building housing the powerful democratic political machine of Tammany Hall from the 19th and early 20th centuries has been designated the city’s official monument.

The old Tammany Hall building, located at 100 E. 17th St. across from Union Square, was approved for historic monument status on Tuesday by a unanimous vote of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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The 3.5-story Georgian Revival building was completed in 1929. It was the final seat of the powerful machine of patronage, which organized immigrants, especially the Irish, from the 1790s.

Tammany Hall controlled Democratic Party nominations and political hiring from the election of Fernando Wood as mayor in 1854 until the election of John P. O’Brien in 1932.

But by Tammany Hall was also infamous for corruption – particularly during the time of William “Boss” Tweed in the 1850s.

The organization then became infamous for its involvement in organized crime. Thanks to the connections made by Prohibition-era gangster Frank Costello to Tammany Hall, the town’s crime bosses were able to buy favors from politicians and elected officials, as well as judges and other authorities.

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Just a few years after the 17th Street building was completed, then-mayor Jimmy Walker resigned amid a municipal corruption scandal, resulting in a split from the Democratic Party. Then-Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt broke away from the machine and Fiorello LaGuardia served three terms as anti-Tammany mayor.

The Tammany Hall building has four large Doric columns on its facade. It is currently occupied by the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theater group, as well as the Trevi Deli, Frank’s Wines & Liquors.

Tammany Hall is also now the name of a nightclub on the Lower East Side.

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