East Village Building Blocks

287 Bowery | Block : 456 | Lot #1

  • Building Date : 1973
  • Original Use : Liz Christy Garden
  • Original Owner : Bowery-Houston Community Farm and Garden
  • Original Architect : Liz Christy

Description & Building Alterations

Founded in 1973, Liz Christy Garden was New York City’s first-ever community garden. It was started by artist Liz Christy and her volunteers, known as the Green Guerillas. In 2004, the garden was threatened with development by AvalonBay, but with support from garden and community members, city officials, and the Parks Department, it survived and was expanded to Second Avenue.

Between 1895 and 1902, the five-story tenement that once sat at 295 Bowery held McGurk’s Suicide Hall, known as “the roughest joint in town.” After a couple of prostitutes attempted suicide here, owner John McGurk renamed the venue “Suicide Hall,” attracting visitors who wanted to witness the acts themselves. In total, ten women committed suicide here. In the mid-2000s, feminist writer Kate Millet lived in the building and led an effort to landmark the building and establish a museum memorial for the prostitutes who died here.

Block : 456 / Lot : 1 / Building Date : 1973 / Original Owner : Bowery-Houston Community Farm and Garden / Original Use : Liz Christy Garden / Original Architect : Liz Christy

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