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Historic Tin Pan Alley

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Home to the American popular music industry around 1900

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Elliot S. Hurwitt

This half-block of modest commercial buildings between 6th Avenue and Broadway was home to “Tin Pan Alley,” site of the popular music publishing industry circa 1895 to 1915. The great hits of ragtime, show tunes, and pop music of the day were published and promoted from this street. American popular culture is one of our two signal contributions to the global community (the other being our system of constitutional government). Historic Tin Pan Alley is among the chief founding environments of that culture, probably the one most intact today. Photographs of a century ago show the buildings to be largely unchanged–great opportunity for a new museum!

This block was excluded from the Madison Square North Historic District, designated in June 2001. The entire area is under intense development pressure, with an immense new building on the block in question.

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