Tommy’s New York is delighted to announce a groundbreaking partnership with the
Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, the sponsors of the Bowery Historic District’s successful placement on the National Register of Historic Places. This collaboration marks an exciting milestone as Tommy’s New York becomes the “official tour operator” of the Bowery Historic District, offering an immersive and captivating experience of New York City’s storied oldest thoroughfare.
Join us on a journey through over four centuries as we walk down New York City’s oldest street! Originally a Native American footpath and Dutch farm road, site of the
first free Black homesteads, and Washington’s triumphal march route during the British evacuation, it was the lower stretch of the Boston Post Road, one of America’s first highways. It witnessed 19th century gang wars, the bloody Astor Place Riot, and the anti-slavery speech at Cooper Union that propelled Lincoln to the presidency. Though landed gentry like the Delanceys settled here, it soon became the working-class main street for sailors, shopgirls, gangs, gays, sporting men, and waves of immigrant Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, and Chinese. NYC’s first entertainment district, it has seminal links to tap dance, vaudeville, Yiddish theater, Houdini, Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, Mae West, modern tattooing, Abstract Expressionism, Beat literature, improvisational jazz, and punk rock. Comparing it to the more upscale Broadway, Walt Whitman found it “more democratic, with a broader, jauntier swing.” Though it declined in the 1900s, when flop houses and dive bars proliferated, it nonetheless became home to affordable jewelry, lighting, and restaurant supply stores, and a live/work home for artists like Marc Rothko, Maya Lin, William Burroughs, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin and Debbie Harry. Despite the Bowery’s broad significance, it remains one of our most endangered historic streetscapes.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and the Two
Bridges Neighborhood Council to offer the official Bowery Historic District Tour,”; said Tommy Wilkinson, Founder and President of Tommy’s New York. “The Bowery has an unparalleled historical significance, and we are committed to bringing its vibrant past to life for visitors from around the world. Together with our partners, we look forward to providing an immersive and educational experience that celebrates the Bowery’s unique heritage.” This partnership represents a significant step forward in preserving the Bowery’s historical legacy and sharing it with a wider audience.
For more information about the Bowery Historic District Tour please visit