The luxury condominiums at 88 & 90 Lexington Avenue have some prestigious neighbors. At 7 East 27th Street, for example, boutique hotel The Evelyn has Tin Pan Alley roots and a storied past.
A Hotel with History
Since its opening in 1905, the hotel that is now The Evelyn has undergone numerous transformations. Named the Gershwin Hotel from 1992 to 2014 in honor of the famous brothers George and Ira Gershwin, native New Yorkers who together wrote some of the most popular songs of the 1920s and early 1930s, the unique establishment has been completely upgraded. Today, The Evelyn claims its historic “Tin Pan Alley” location with retro, artsy touches that honor its neighborhood’s musical heritage. While its bold, red exterior is accented by silver, teardrop-like sculptures, iPad-compatible gramophone players in its executive suites give a nod to the past while embracing modern technology. The result is a compelling combination of early-20th-century glitz with 21st-century pizazz. The Gershwins would definitely approve.
What was Tin Pan Alley?
Though the name of the district may have come from a somewhat derogatory description of the many pianos that used to play simultaneously here, Tin Pan Alley (which is centered on West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) was the hub of America’s music scene from about 1880 to the middle of the 20th century. In its prime, Tin Pan Alley was home to a plethora of songwriters, composers, and music publishing houses. Greats like the Gershwins as well as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Scott Joplin changed the world from here with just pen, paper, and pianos. Classics like “God Bless America,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” were all written right in the area within a few blocks of each other.
What is Tin Pan Alley Now?
While much of the music that made Tin Pan Alley famous may have faded away with the advent of rock ‘n’ roll, the magic and creativity never really left. Current neighborhoods in the vicinity include Gramercy, NoMad, and the Flatiron District, all of which excite and delight with iconic architectural landmarks like the Flatiron Building, the Sohmer Piano Building, and the Met Life Tower. Musical performances include summer concerts in Union Square and Gramercy Park, and some of the finest places to eat and drink in Manhattan can be found nearby, whether one prefers the many Italian options of Eataly, the classics served up at the original Shake Shack, or the fine dining found at establishments such as Eleven Madison Park.
In the middle of all this action, The Evelyn offers an inviting escape for those who prefer to be centrally located while they enjoy the comforts of a well-appointed hotel room in a building that has been part of its community’s intriguing history for well over a century.