Main Street NYC: Bowery History on Display at the East Village Visitors Center
by Brigid Bergin
NEW YORK, NY April 03, 2009 —WNYC's Main Street Project is tracking streets across the area. Last month, we stopped by the Bowery to see how New York's old Skid Row is doing today. But there's much more to the street's history. And that's the subject of a new exhibit opening tonight.
HOLLANDER: We want to be the defining institution of the East Village the way the Tenement Museum is the defining institution of the Lower East Side.
REPORTER: Rob Hollander is one of the co-founders of the East Village History Project and the new East Village Visitors Center.
Hollander says one of the street's legacies is its role in the development of New York's theatre district. He says the 19th century Bowery Theatre used to draw some 3,500 working class people to its spirited productions.
HOLLANDER: That's a huge gathering place for working class people. That's where people went to see each other, to interact with with each other and the theatre experience was nothing like what it is today. It was more like a riot.
REPORTER: That exhibit opens tonight at the Bowery Poetry Club.
LISTEN TO AUDIO: http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/127865