Tammany Hall Headquarters


In its very early days, the Tammany Society met in the back rooms of various taverns, most often in Barden's Tavern on Broadway near Bowling Green. These back rooms served as unofficial campaign headquarters on election days.In 1791, the society opened a museum designed to collect artifacts relating to the events and history of the United States. Originally presented in an upper room of City Hall, it moved to the Merchant's Exchange when that proved to be too small. The museum was unsuccessful, and the Society severed its connections with it in 1795.Tammany Hall merged politics and entertainment, already stylistically similar, in its new headquarters.

Founded, 1786
Opened, 1789

The Society moved to more permanent and spacious quarters, the "Long Room" of "Brom" Martling's Tavern. ammany controlled the space, which it dubbed "The Wigwam", and let other responsible political organizations it approved of use the room for meetings. This space became commonly known as "Tammany Hall". Their new headquarters had limitations as well as advantages.

Moved, 1812

Tammany moved to a new five-story $55,000 building. The new Tammany Hall had a large room that could accommodate up to 2,000 people for political and social events, and the rest of the building was run as a hotel. It was sold to Charles Dana and his friends, who bought a newspaper, The Sun, and moved it there.

Moved, 1867

Tammany under Tweed had much greater influence – and affluence, so new headquarters was deemed desirable. The cornerstone for the new Tammany headquarters was laid on July 14, 1867.When the leaders of the Society found that they had not raised enough funds, and needed $25,000 more, a meeting was held at which $175,000 was immediately pledged. The new Wigwam was completed in 1868. The building had an auditorium big enough to hold public meetings, and a smaller one that became Tony Pastor's Music Hall, where vaudeville had its beginnings. The structure was topped off by a large-than-life statue of Saint Tammany. In 1927, the building was sold, to make way for the new tower being added to the Consolidated Edison Building.

Moved, 1929

Tammany left, and its leaders moved to the National Democratic Club on Madison Avenue at East 37th Street, and the Society's collection of memorabilia went into a warehouse in the Bronx.

Purchased, 1943

When Tammany started to lose its political influence, it could no longer afford to maintain the 17th Street building, and in 1943 it was bought by a local affiliate of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.

In 1961, the group helped remove DeSapio from power. The once mighty Tammany political machine, now deprived of its leadership, quickly faded from political importance, and by 1967 it ceased to exist; its demise as the controlling group of the New York Democratic Party was sealed when the Village Independent Democrats under Ed Koch wrested away control of the Manhattan party.

Renovation, 2020

The building at 44 Union Square housed the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theatre, and retail stores at street level, until a complete renovation of the building began in January 2016. The renovation, which included a gutting of the interior and the installation of a glass-domed roof, was completed by July 2020.

Related People
Aaron Burr,Under the control of Aaron Burr until his political downfall following his duel with Alexander Hamilton in 1804, the society played an influential role in bringing about the victories of the Democratic-Republican Party.
William Mooney, Founder
Tammany Hall,Also known as the Tammany Society, Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order

Related Sites
NY Sun started- The building at Nassau and Frankfort was sold by Tammany to Charles Dana and his friends, who bought a newspaper, The Sun, and moved it there

Related Publications
New York World-Telegram and The Sun - 14th Street headquarters later turned into The Sun headquarters