A man wearing a fez selling drinks in Little Syria in the early 1900s (Bain News Service, 1916), via Wiki Commons/Library of Congress
The Lower West Side is not a common neighborhood name used, mainly because much of what made this enclave notable has since been forgotten. As 6sqft previously explained, “encompassing the area west of Broadway from Liberty Street to Battery Place, it was originally home to Irish and German immigrants, followed by Little Syria, the nation’s first and largest Arabic settlement, from roughly the 1880s to 1940s.” The neighborhood all but disappeared during the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and World Trade Center, but several vestiges and stories remain, which will be explored in a walking tour on October 6th with historian Joe Svehlak for the Municipal Art Society.
According to MAS, on the tour you will:
…View remnants of this once vibrant neighborhood including a former Syrian Catholic church, the Downtown Community House, and the few remaining tenements and Federal Era townhouses. We’ll discuss issues of planning, preservation and development as well as the immigrant experience with our tour leader whose family lived here over a hundred years ago.
The tour runs from 11am to 1pm on Sunday, October 6th. If you’re not one of our lucky winners, tickets cost $20 for MAS members and $30 for non-members. Limited spots are available; reserve yours here >>