When tenements were named for U.S. presidents

I wonder if New Yorkers respected their presidents more around the turn of the 20th century, when all of these residences went up.

Or perhaps developers gave their buildings presidential monikers because they were all constructed in poor neighborhoods.

Maybe having the name of a leader above the front entrance lent a low-rent tenement a more aspirational air.

Whatever the reason, there sure are a lot of presidentially named buildings. Lincoln (on West 51st Street) is understandable, and Roosevelt (East 14th Street) was New York’s former governor.

But McKinley’s (East Village) connection to New York? I’m not aware of one. His may be a sympathy choice; he was assassinated in 1901, right around when the building named for him appeared.

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5 Responses to “When tenements were named for U.S. presidents”

  1. Ted Says:

    Well, McKinley *was* assassinated up in Buffalo.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Ah, there’s a connection. Shot by an anarchist no less.
    Lovely cat BTW.

  3. Nabe News: December 1 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    [...] tenements were named for American presidents [Ephemeral [...]

  4. East Harlem’s upper-class tenement names « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] buildings all over New York have names—some after politicians or presidents, others for girls and women whose relation to the builders have been lost to the [...]

  5. Some mysterious names carved into tenements « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] his building, then carve a word or two above the entrance—such as the name of the street or a popular politician—to distinguish it from the [...]

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