May 18, 2018
At 102 West 116th Street in Harlem sits a mosque singularly incorporated into the cityscape. The building houses street-level commercial businesses and is topped by a large green dome, the structure in-between used as a Sunni Muslim mosque. While the property has seen much local history pass through it, it is not landmarked.
Before becoming a religious structure, the lot used to contain the Lenox Casino, a space which was often rented for meetings by the Socialist Party and used as a theatrical performance venue for a number of then-renowned artists. Built in 1905 and designed by Lorenz F. J. Weiher, the Lenox Casino was raided in 1912 for showing "illegal films" in an escapade grippingly documented by the New York Times.
The structure has had many lives