Mechanics Hall

472 Broadway
New York City

Mechanics Hall

Cultural SiteHistorical FeatureLandmark


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Owned by the Mechanics and Tradesmen Society of New York, the hall was for ten years home to the famous Christy Minstrels. After Christy retired in 1854, the stage was held by the Bryant Brothers Minstrels until the early 1860s. The three brothers, sons of Irish immigrants, followed a minstrel tradition that had its formal beginnings in 1843 at the Bowery Amphitheater. They would blacken their faces with burnt coal and tell stories in Negro dialect. Offensive as the form appears today, blackface minstrelsy gave America some of its most memorable songs.

The historic research contained in this Open Green Map is from the book: "Six Heritage Tours of the Lower East Side" by Ruth Limmer, in collaboration with NYC's Lower East Side Tenement Museum.


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