Preservation and Celebration with the ‘Lower East Side Oral History Project’

Posted on: January 19th, 2017 at 9:48 am by
Seward Park Library, Jan. 2015

Seward Park Library, Jan. 2015

The New York Public Library’s Lower East Side Oral History Project is officially up and running. And ready to celebrate. The recently-launched neighborhood history project aims to document and preserve LES history through the eyes of its inhabitants. The locals. You know, not the droves who hole up in Hell Square on the weekends.

Community volunteers have been trained to interview these featured neighbors, and said interviews will be preserved at The Milstein Division of US History, Local History and Genealogy and also accessible at the New York Public Library website.

A kick-off celebration for this project is happening tonight from 6-8pm at Seward Park Library. It’ll include audio highlights from the oral histories recorded thus far, local music from Oren Bloedow, and a 16mm neighborhood film of the 1974 LES-based Yudie. You’ll also get to check out images from the LES Heritage Collection and share your own stories on a Lower East Side neighborhood story map. 

The library is still looking for people to get involved with this project; if interested, email NYPLOralHistory@nypl.org for further info.

Recent Stories

Clayton’s Corner: At the Memorial for LES Documentarian, Toyo Tsuchiya [PHOTOS]

If, in the early ’80s, Toyo Tsuchiya’s ambition was to be remembered as a serious New York City documentary photographer, he could not have picked a more overlooked and neglected piece of landscape than the Forsyth and Rivington Street area, between Delancey and Houston. At the time, it was a drug- and crime-infested subdivision. As […]

175 Ludlow Street Sells to NJ Steel Supplier

Lately, real estate is trading rather briskly in the confines of Hell Square. At least four area buildings sold since last summer. Time to add another onto the heap. Word crossed our desk this week that 175 Ludlow Street, just south of Houston, likewise changed hands. Residents there received a notice from the new ownership […]

Health Department Shutters ‘The Skinny’ on Orchard Street

It’s lights out for The Skinny bar on Orchard Street. Nearly three months after pissing off (or, on) Hell Square with its Christmas “Jingle Hell’s” holiday stunt, the rowdy nightclub was subject to a city inspection yesterday. The Department of Health came down to 174 Orchard Street and ordered the establishment shut. The requisite yellow […]

First Rendering of the 14-Story Hotel Rising at Vacant Eldridge Street Lot

What the neighborhood doesn’t need is another large-scale hotel. But that’s precisely what’s happening at 79 Eldridge Street, where construction last week commenced on a new context-killing fourteen-story lodge. And now we have our first sight of what to expect from this long-vacant lot. It’s amazing how these illustrations completely gussy up neighborhoods to make […]

The Neon Lights of Sunshine Cinema Have Gone Dark

The Sunshine Cinema on East Houston is one step closer to its grave. While the brickwork of the building remains bathed in orange glow, the marquee lettering was not as lucky. As of this week, its token neon signage has gone dark. Shadows are now cast on the sidewalk below. Demolition is nigh. This latest action […]