140-142 Second Avenue

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History

Jewish gangsters, jazz legends, and Joy Division: The evolution of the Ukrainian National Home

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, November 16, 2017

The Stuyvesant Casino in 1945, via the Swedish Buck Johnson Society (L); The Ukrainian National Home Today, via Wally Gobetz/Flickr (R)

On 2nd Avenue, just south of 9th Street at No. 140-142, sits one of the East Village’s oddest structures.  Clad in metal and adorned with Cyrillic lettering, the building sports a slightly downtrodden and forbidding look, seeming dropped into the neighborhood from some dystopian sci-fi thriller.

In reality, for the last half century the building has housed the Ukrainian National Home, best known as a great place to get some good food or drink. But scratch the surface of this architectural oddity and you’ll find a winding history replete with Jewish gangsters, German teetotalers, jazz-playing hipsters, and the American debut of one of Britain’s premier post-punk bands, all in a building which, under its metallic veneer, dates back nearly two centuries.

Learn this fascinating history

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