Replacement of Harlem icon Lenox Lounge to be a decidedly less jazzy commercial building

January 9, 2018

New rendering of 288 Lenox Avenue via Gambino + La Porta Architecture; Lenox Lounge photo via Ciro Miguel’s Flickr

The proposed replacement of the Lenox Lounge, a Harlem Renaissance club that once featured jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, is nothing to sing about. Designed by Gambino + La Porta Architecture, a rendering of the commercial building at 288 Lenox Avenue between 124th and 125th Streets reveals a non-descript four-story building, as CityRealty reported. While the space is rumored to bring Harlem’s first Sephora, a tenant for the retail space on the ground floor has not been confirmed. There will be offices located on the second through fourth floors.

A previous rendering of 288 Lenox Avenue shows Harlem’s first Sephora via Gambino + La Porta Architecture

The historic Lenox Lounge first opened in 1939 and quickly attracted celebrated jazz performers, as well as other notable names like Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes and Malcolm X. The Art Deco-designed bar’s legendary Zebra Room was known for its zebra skinned walls.

Although the bar underwent a renovation in 2000 after years of decay, it was never restored to its former self. After a rent increase in 2012, the bar closed and demolition began in May of last year. While there were talks to open a new jazz bar on site, the plans were never actualized.

Harlem’s 125th Street is a mix of new and old, with a Whole Foods and CVS pharmacy popping up next to historic buildings like the Apollo Theater and Hotel Theresa. And with new commercial buildings rising in Harlem, new residential buildings like The Kalahari, 111 Central Park North and SoHa 118 have followed suit.

[Via CityRealty]


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