Did You Know? – East 7th Street

Did You Know? – East 7th Street
Remenants left of Political Row

Did you know that East 7th Street between Avenues C & D was once known as “Political Row”?

Beautiful rowhouses on the south side of East 7th Street between Avenues C & D

Neither did we, until during the course of our East Village research we stumbled upon a fascinating New York Times article from 1902 lamenting the end of the street’s glory days. Of course, we had long been aware that the block contains a number of intact Greek Revival rowhouses; indeed, one can hardly pass by without itching to know more about those Easter egg-colored three-story homes on the south side of the street. This portion of East 7th Street was known as the “Political Row” in the mid-19th century because of the large number of influential political figures that called the street home.

Look at all the VIP’s who once lived there!

The New York Times gives a run-down of some of the political figures who lived on East 7th Street

The famous ship builder William H. Webb

Fittingly, the street was also home to Alphabet City’s Tammany club, known as the Jefferson Club and located at 247 East 7th Street (today this building houses the Christian Missionary). Before it was converted to the Jefferson Club in 1893, it was a rowhouse built in 1844 and owned by William Henry Webb, an extremely well-known and influential millionaire of his day, who had amassed a great fortune in shipbuilding.

The Jefferson Club building in 1940 and today

Today, the street contains a handful of rowhouses that remind us of this forgotten history. Below are just a few of the remaining treasures to be found…

Rowhouses on the north side of "Political Row" (Patrick Keenan, president of the Jefferson Club, lived at N0. 253, on the left)

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Chelcey Berryhill is a research intern at GVSHP

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One comment on “Did You Know? – East 7th Street
  1. I was born and raised in apartment 2D at 274 E. 7th Street (1942-1956). It was a six story tenement consisting of three attached buildings (272, 274 and 278) The building still had remnants of
    gas lighting, but electricity was installed through the old gas pipes.

    It was steam heated, and thus the apartment was warm in winter. But in summer the apartment was hot, and many times we slept on the fire escape at night. I was told the building was built in the 1880’s. Is there any pertinent history on this building?

    I attended PS 71 near Ave B. It was a very old building then and also appeared to be built in the late 1800’s. Is there any history to this school?

    I’d be grateful for any information on the above buildings.

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  1. […] makeup of this block of East 7th Street. For most of the 19th century the block was known as Political Row, yet by the end of the century the cultural and economic demography of the block had changed […]

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