Posts Tagged ‘Connie’s Inn Harlem’

The “Tree of Hope” of the Harlem Renaissance

November 12, 2009

During the 1920s and 1930s, Seventh Avenue in the 130s was nicknamed the Boulevard of Dreams, a stretch of Harlem lined with top theaters and clubs such as the Lafayette Theater and Connie’s Inn.

Lafayettetheater

Between these venues was a lone elm tree (see it above) known as the Tree of Hope, bringing good luck to any up-and-coming entertainer who touched it before hitting the stage—as Ethel Waters, Eubie Blake, and other legends supposedly did.

Treeofhopeplaque2The tree didn’t last long though; it was chopped down in 1934 when the city widened Seventh Avenue. Part of it went to the Apollo Theater, while the rest was cut up into souvenirs.

A second tree was soon planted in its place by Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, but that too met the ax. 

This plaque, however, serves as a reminder of it on Seventh Avenue and 131st Street. 


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