Thursday, January 26, 2017


                                                Archival image courtesy NYPL digital
An article in YIMBY announced the deal that the church at 10 Lenox Avenue and 111th Street struck with a condo developer for a new 8-story building which will include 27 apartments but does not recall the origins of the historic building.  We automatically pulled up a Bespoke article from 2 years ago that reveals the building was actually a Yiddish Theater about a century ago.   Harlem Historian John Reddick also provided some additional research information in the comment section:

The theater was originally named the Lenox Theatre, though the exact date of its construction is uncertain. By the 1920’s however, it had become known as the Goldberg & Jacobs Lenox Theatre, one of several Harlem theaters offering Yiddish theater productions. One of the theater's producers was Jacob Jacobs, who went on to pen the lyrics to a very popular 40’s song, "Bei Mir Bistu Shein." In 1922 the Yiddish music composer/conductor Alexander Olshanetsky emigrated here from the Ukraine, producing numerous Yiddish musicals at the Lenox Theatre. Olshanetsky would later serve as the first musical director of Concord Hotel, a fashionable Jewish resort in New York’s, Catskills. – John Reddick

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