Tammany Hall: Once a temple of corruption, now a landmark

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tags: New York City, Tammany Hall




Tammany Hall is history. Shortly before a Democrat was elected mayor for the first time in 24 years, the former headquarters of the Manhattan Democratic Party organization was declared an official New York City landmark.

But the designation of the old “wigwam” on Union Square, which was dedicated on July 4, 1929, by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, was less a precursor to the latest Democratic resurgence than it was a memorial to Tammany’s sometimes-inglorious legacy. The building survives. The party organization itself, which once ruled imperiously, was buried by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia and Democratic reformers decades ago.

So far has the organization slipped, in fact, that the latest Manhattan Democratic county chairman, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, was caught unawares by the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s vote on Oct. 29 — an oversight that never would have occurred under his fabled predecessors such as Richard Croker, William M. Tweed or Charles F. Murphy, who would have not only personally handpicked the commissioners, but dictated the agenda....




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