There’s the Lafayette apartment building on East Ninth Street, which harkens back to the old Lafayette Hotel that attracted artists and writers in the early 1900s.
And Harsen House, on West 72nd Street, got its name from the 19th century West Side village of Harsenville.
But it seems like fewer commercial structures take the name of the building they’ve replaced—which is why it’s refreshing to see that a 1950s office tower at 1120 Sixth Avenue calls itself the Hippodrome.
New Yorkers flocked to the Hippodrome to see operas, the circus, and even a famous 1918 show where Harry Houdini made an elephant disappear.
Tastes and neighborhoods change, and by the 1930s, the Hippodrome was hosting Jai Alai and wrestling before being demolished in 1939.
An even more illustrious spot in New York’s entertainment graveyard is the Haymarket, the notorious dance hall that was the center of the Tenderloin.
This was the late 19th century city’s vice and sin neighborhood, the subject of a famous John Sloan painting from 1907 (above).
The building is gone, of course; right now, the site remains unoccupied. But not far away at 135 West 29th Street, a loft building rose earlier in the 20th century.
[Hippodrome building today: from Wikipedia]