Municipal Arts Society

Chinatown, History, Manhattan

Photo on the left courtesy of Lloyd Trufelman; Photo on right courtesy of Wikimedia

The intersection that formed the notorious Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan will now be officially part of New York City’s street grid. The city has installed a sign at Baxter and Worth Streets in Lower Manhattan, marking the exact location of the original Five Points, a notorious 19th-century slum that was home to a diverse group of immigrants. Before this year’s street co-naming, there was no official marker at the site to honor the historic spot, considered to be one of the country’s first “melting pots.” But a successful effort spearheaded by Lloyd Trufelman, who is a tour guide with the Municipal Art Society of New York, along with groups like the New York Adventure Club and the Historic Districts Council led to the street co-naming, symbolizing the return of Five Points to the city 125 years later. Ahead, hear from Trufelman about his campaign to recognize the legendary neighborhood and learn how to sign up for his upcoming walking tour.

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Events, Features, holidays

16 places to celebrate Black History Month in NYC

By Devin Gannon, Fri, January 31, 2020

February marks Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of African American culture and history. New Yorkers will have plenty of opportunities to honor the contributions made by the black community, with live performances, guided tours, comedy shows, art installations, and more events happening across the city. From the Apollo Theater’s open house celebration to spoken word performances at Brooklyn barbershops, pay tribute to the achievements of black Americans this February, as well as all year round.

The full list, ahead

maps, real estate trends

MAS 421a tax exemption map

By now it’s no secret that there’s an unbalanced tax system in place for those living in the city’s luxury towers, but exactly how much is being lost–and where–has for the most part been a mystery. To shed some light on just how much of our money goes into subsidizing the likes of One57 and its eye-poppingly expensive friends, the Municipal Arts Society (MAS) has created a map (h/t Gothamist) that shows not only how much tax each of the city’s top buildings skip out on annually under the 421a tax abatement, but how long their exemption will last—which together can add up to staggering amounts for many. Last year alone, MAS found that we forfeited $1.1 billion in tax revenue and 60 percent of that went to building apartments in Manhattan targeted at the 1 percent.

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