A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 20, 2005
Little Spain
"Little Spain" is (or was) 14th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. A restaurant called Little Spain was at 232 West 14th Street. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Spanish Harlem was also called "Little Spain."

The 1921 citation below mentions a "Little Spain" on the lower east side, but this is has been rarely used.


7 September 1921, New York (NY) Times, pg. 13:
...formed an acquaintance with him in his place in Catherine Slip, on the lower east side, in the heart of what has come to be known as "Little Spain."

2 August 1947, New York (NY) Times, pg. 15:
Arriving in New York, the vast majority of the migrants, many of them destitute and ill, take up their abode with other Puerto Ricans who already live in overcrowded quarters in the highly congested area known as "Little Spain" or "Spanish Harlem."

3 August 1947, New York (NY) Times, pg. 12:
CRIME INCREASING
IN "LITTLE SPAIN"
(..)
The area in East Harlem known as "Little Spain," housing the Puerto Rican population, has been marked in the last eighteen months by a sharp increase in crime, especially among the teen-age population.

27 July 1979, New York (NY) Times, pg. C18:
The fiesta is being sponsored by the Little Spain Merchants Association, a group that got together four years ago to stop what they called the "blight" spreading across West 14th Street. The association, whose members own shops on the street between Seventh A venue and the Hudson River, have planted trees, cleaned streets, banned the selling of merchandise on the sidewalk and contributed to the ongoing renovation of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the city's "Mother Spanish Church."
(...)
The tiny church was founded in 1902 in a brownstone at 229 West 14th Street.

17 July 1984, Washington (DC) Post, pg. D7:
Another food festival, this one in honor of Little Spain, is being held July 26 through 29 on 14th Street between 7th and 8th avenues.

20 July 1984, New York (NY) Times, pg. B4:
On the block of 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, known as "Little Spain," the ethnic composition has changed since the turn of the century.

16 October 1987, New York (NY) Times, pg. C36:
A very different slice of Chelsea exists on a stretch of 14th Street often referred to by residents as "Calle Catorce," or "Little Spain." The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (No. 299) was founded in 1902, when Spaniards started to settle in the area. Although bodegas and carnicerias have given way to such nightclubs as Nell's and Oh Johnny on the block between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, the Spanish food and gift emporium known as Casa Moneo has been at 210 West 14th seince 1929.

1 October 1995, New York (NY) Times, pg. R5:
Remnants of Little Spain exist on 14th Street near Eighth Avenue, including the Spanish Benevolent Society and Our Lady of Guadalupe church, which offers mass in Spanish and English.

Off the Grid (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
Celebrating Hispanic Culture in the Heart of the Old Little Spain
BY AMANDA – OCTOBER 2, 2012
POSTED IN: WEST VILLAGE
(...)
The Spanish Benevolent Society (now more commonly known as Centro Español-La Nacional) was founded as a social club in 1868 and has long operated in the transitional style row house at 239 West 14th Street. It’s one of the last vestiges of the cultural district formerly known as “Little Spain”, which was located on this stretch of 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

According to the Society’s website, more than 15,000 Spaniards and their American-born children and grandchildren lived in an area that once extended from Christopher Street to 23rd Street along the Hudson River. Although the majority of this Spanish population has since left the area, the Society strives to maintain an appreciation for Spanish culture.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Wednesday, April 20, 2005 • Permalink