As a street, the Bowery was known as Bowery Lane prior to 1807 and was the road leading to Peter Stuyvesant's farm or bouwerij. Today it runs from Chatham Square in the south to Cooper Square in the north. Major streets that intersect the Bowery include Canal Street, Delancey Street, Houston Street, and Bleecker Street. A New York City Subway station named Bowery on the BMT Nassau Street Line (J, M, and Z services) is located at the Bowery's intersection with Delancey Street.
Bouwerij was the old Dutch word for farm (today boerderij). Stuyvesant retired to his farm in 1667. After his death in 1672, he was buried in his private chapel. His mansion burned down in 1778 and his great-grandson sold the remaining chapel and graveyard, now the site of the Episcopal church of St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery. The Bowerie was part of Eastern Post Road in the 18th century.
By the end of the 18th century the Bowery became New York's most elegant street, lined with fashionable shops and the mansions of prosperous residents. Lorenzo Da Ponte, the Librettist for Mozart's Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi Fan Tutte, ran one of the shops - a fruit and vegetable store - after he emigrated to New York City in 1806.
But by the time of the Civil War, the mansions and shops had given way to brothels, beer gardens, and flophouses, like the one at #15 in which the composer Stephen Foster lived in 1864. It had also become the turf of one of America's earliest street gangs, the nativist Bowery Boys. One notable religious and social welfare institution during this period was The Bowery Mission or more formally The Bowery Mission and Young Men's Home, which began in 1880 at 36 Bowery when it was founded by Rev. Albert Gleason Ruliffson. The mission had relocated along the Bowery throughout its lifetime. From 1909 to the present, the mission has remained at 227-229 Bowery.
Home of many music halls in the 19th century, the Bowery later became notable for its economic depression. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was regarded as an impoverished area. The "Dead End Kids" (aka the "Bowery Boys") of film were from the Bowery. In the 1940s through the 1970s, the Bowery was New York City's "Skid Row," notable for "Bowery Bums" (alcoholics and homeless persons).
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Bowery was viewed as a high-crime, low-rent area.
However, since the 1990s the entire Lower East Side has been reviving. As of July 2005, gentrification is contributing to ongoing change along the Bowery. In particular, the number of high-rise condominiums is growing. In 2006, AvalonBay Communities opened its first luxury apartment complex on the Bowery, which included an upscale Whole Foods Market. Avalon Bowery Place was quickly followed with the development of Avalon Bowery Place II in 2007. That same year, the New Museum of Contemporary Art opened a new facility at the corner of Prince Street.
The Bowery from Houston to Delancey Streets serves as New York's principal market for restaurant equipment, and from Delancey to Grand for lamps.
CBGB, a club initially opened to play country, bluegrass & blues (as the name CBGB stands for), began to book Television, Patti Smith, and the Ramones as house bands in the mid-1970s. This spawned a full-blown scene of new bands (Talking Heads, Blondie, edgy R&B-influenced Mink DeVille, rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon, and others) performing mostly original material in a mostly raw and often loud and fast attack. The label of punk rock was applied to the scene even if not all the bands that made their early reputations at the club were punk rockers, strictly speaking, but CBGB became known as the American cradle of punk rock. CBGB closed on October 31 2006, after a long battle by club owner Hilly Kristal to extend its lease.
The writer William S. Burroughs kept an apartment at the former YMCA building at 222 Bowery, known as the Bunker, from 1974 until his death in 1997.
The artist Cy Twombly lived on the 3rd floor of 356 Bowery during the '60s.
The founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada lived in the Bowery when the movement began in America in 1966.
Punk singer Joey Ramone resided around here, and in 2003 a part of Second Street at the intersection Bowery and Bleecker Street was renamed Joey Ramone Place.
Bowery Shows Positive Earnings for 4th Quarter; $5.9 Million Profit Results from Infusion of FDIC Assistance and Investor Capital
Mar 13, 1986; bowery Shows Positive Earnings For 4th Quarter NEW YORK -- The bowery Savings Bank, which had suffered losses of...