Renaissance Ballroom and Casino

b/t 137th and 138th on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd


The Renaissance was seen as a “Black Mecca” in 1920’s Harlem. The second floor served as a ballroom in 1922, to house a variety of events. The first floor was reconstructed later to incorporate more meeting spaces. In addition to the permanent structure a white canopy would be added on the top of the building breaching over the courtyard. Many people described it as a giant lampshade. While the Renaissance was home to sporting, political and dance events in the 20’s, it continued to serve as a venue for well-known jazz artists such as: Fletcher Henderson, Cooties Williams, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald. In the more recent years, the building has been abandoned and experiencing severe decay. Spike Lee used its location and infrastructure to serve a s a crack den in this 19990 film, Jungle Fever. The building is now set to be demolished in the immediate future, where a real estate developer would like to use the prime location for a new high-rise condo building.

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