Category:Renaissance Complex (Harlem)

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The Renaissance Theater and Renaissance Casino and Ballroom located at 2341-2359 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between West 137th and 138th Streets in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, were built in 1920-23 were designed by Harry Creighton Ingalls in a style based on North African Islamic architecture. The theater, to the south, which seated 900 people, was built first, opening in 1921, and the casino with second floor ballroom was opened two years later. The theater began showing silent movies and live stage performances, but soon converted to sound films, while the casino was used for meetings and professional basketball games of the all-black Harlem Renaissance Big-Five (the "Harlem Rens"). At the time, the complex was the only upscale facility of its kind in Harlem.

The complex closed in 1979 and was purchased by the Abyssinian Development Corporation - an arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church - for redevelopment as an apartment building which would utilize the facade of the casino. In 2007, the ADC defeated a proposal to landmark the complex, which it claimed would inhibit the redevelopment, and demolition began, but as of 2014 the project remains incomplete, with only the western facade of the theater standing, and the casino's walls apparently unchanged. (Sources: AIA Guide to NYC (5th ed.), NY Times article, Abandoned NYC, and Harlem One-Stop)

Media in category "Renaissance Complex (Harlem)"

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