A few signs of an old Czech neighborhood

Most New Yorkers know that the East 80s and 90s were home to a large German community through most of the 20th century. But just below in the far East 70s, a Czech neighborhood thrived as well.

There’s not much left now; the tens and thousands of Czechs who once lived there have died or moved on. But a few signs of their old community still exist, such as Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd between First and Second Avenues.

bohemiannationalhall

Built in 1897, it featured a ballroom, bar, dance hall, and small bowling alley. It recently reopened after an extensive renovation.

bohemiancloseup

The Czech Gymnastic Association built this 2-story building on East 71st Street in 1896.

czechgymnasticassociation2

In a 1900 article about the neighborhood, The New York Times wrote:

“The large hall is the pride of the gymnasts, for here, when the hall is not otherwise engaged, the trapeze, rings, and bars are used by the juvenile and adult classes of both sexes, who train under the direction of Ferdinand Martyny. the Bohemians are renowned all over the European continent as gymnasts.”

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5 Responses to “A few signs of an old Czech neighborhood”

  1. petey Says:

    there is also the jan hus church:

    http://www.janhus.org/welcome.htm

  2. *Everyday Chatter - Projectbackslash Says:

    [...] Finding the Czechs of New York. [ENY] [...]

  3. New York Upload » Blog Archive » *Everyday Chatter Says:

    [...] Finding the Czechs of New York. [ENY] [...]

  4. When East 79th Street was “Little Hungary” « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] then, the other main drags of Yorkville have also lost their ethnic edge. East 72nd Street, once “Bohemian Broadway” because of all the Czechs living in the vicinity, has [...]

  5. 100 Years Ago: Beer, tradition and the new Bohemians - The Bowery Boys Says:

    […] 1879 and Slovak v Amerike, in 1889) and developed small enclaves throughout the city, including the old Czech neighborhood in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in Yorkville and out in Astoria, among […]

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