Alexander's Musee

Alexander's Musee (HM2IYO)

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N 40° 43.52', W 73° 59.519'

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America's First Great Black Comedian - Billy Kersands

— 317 Bowery —

You are standing at the former site of Alexander's Musee, a popular dime museum that in 1886 presented the singer/dancer/acrobat/musician/comedian Billy Kersands, the first African American performer to achieve nationwide popularity with White as well as Black audiences. Though controversial because of his minstrelsy roots, his fame and status as a headliner helped forge the emergence of African American performers in mainstream entertainment.
Alexander's was also where folk hero Steve Brodie first appeared after claiming to have survived a leap off the Brooklyn Bridge. (See 114 Bowery) The façade of this 1883 building incorporates Wyoming stone trim and brick into an eclectic Victorian composition. Look for the initials "HB" for owner Herman Bruns, cast into the second story of the two-story cast iron front and in the bowed fire escape. The building now houses the Bowery Residents' Committee, formed in 1971 to provide comprehensive residential and outpatient programs for formerly homeless men.
-Michell Grubler, Chair, Landmarks Committee Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Year Placed2016
Placed ByBowery Alliance of Neighbors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at 11:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 585127 N 4508755
Decimal Degrees40.72533333, -73.99198333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 43.52', W 73° 59.519'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 43' 31.2" N, 73° 59' 31.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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