Building Near Union Square Now Houses New York Film Academy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The last building to house the powerful Tammany Hall Democratic political machine of the 19th and early 20th centuries has been designated an official city landmark.

The onetime Tammany Hall building, at 100 E. 17th St. across from Union Square, was approved for landmark status Tuesday by a unanimous vote of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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The neo-Georgian style, 3 1/2 story building was completed in 1929. It was the final headquarters for the powerful patronage machine, which organized immigrants, especially the Irish, beginning in the 1790s.

Tammany Hall controlled Democratic Party nominations and political hiring from the election of Fernando Wood as mayor in 1854, through the election of John P. O’Brien in 1932.

But by Tammany Hall also was infamous for corruption – particularly in the days of William “Boss” Tweed in the 1850s.

The organization later became infamous for the involvement of organized crime. Through the connections Prohibition-era mobster Frank Costello established at Tammany Hall, the city’s crime bosses were able to buy favors from politicians and elected officials, as well as judges and other authorities.

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Just a few years after the 17th Street building was completed, then-Mayor Jimmy Walker resigned amid a municipal corruption scandal, leading to a split in the Democratic Party. Then-Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt broke from the machine, and Fiorello LaGuardia served three terms as an anti-Tammany mayor.

The Tammany Hall building has four large Doric columns on its front. It is currently occupied by the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theatre group, as well as the Trevi Deli, Frank’s Wines & Liquors.

Tammany Hall is also now the name of a Lower East Side nightclub.

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