New York Vauxhall Gardens

New York City, United States

New York Vauxhall Gardens

The Vauxhall Gardens (in New York City), was a pleasure garden and theater. It was named for the Vauxhall Gardens of London.:β€Š132β€Š Though the venue passed through a long list of owners, and suffered buyouts, closings, relocations, and re-openings, it lasted until the mid-19th century.:β€Š45β€Š

In the mid-1760s, out-of-town taverns, such as John Clapp's in the Bowery, had become popular in Colonial New York, taking advantage of the "Sunset Strip-like" jurisdiction, two miles from the post office,. At a site called "Bowling Green" since 1722, Samuel Fraunces opened a pleasure garden, first called the Vaux-Hall Gardens, in New York, in 1767 and it received a chief competitor in the much larger Ranelagh Gardens, (named after Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea, London),:β€Š132β€Š:β€Š44β€Š both appear on Bernard Ratzer's map of New York of 1767 occupying a wooded rise of ground just north of the northernmost city houses, on the south side of Duane Street; the site overlooked Lispenard's Meadows and the riverfront road to Greenwich Village. The original Vauxhall Gardens was located in a smaller site on Greenwich Street near the Hudson River between what later became Warren and Chambers streets in the fashionable Sixth Ward; Public School 234 stands at the site today.:β€Š44β€Š:β€Š61β€Š Ratzer's map shows its square garden plot, conventionally divided in four by walks. Fraunces operated Vaux-Hall through Summer 1773; in October, he auctioned its contents and sold the property.:β€Š38β€Š His notice mentioned two large gardens, a house with four rooms per floor and twelve fireplaces, and a dining hall that was 56 feet (17Β m) long and 26 feet (7.9Β m) wide, with a kitchen below.:β€Š44β€Š The Vauxhall offered light summer concerts:β€Š167β€Š and featured an outdoor wax museum. For the summer 1768 season, it hosted an exhibit on the life of Scipio Africanus that included a grove with a reconstruction of the military leader at his tent.:β€Š44–45β€Š The Vauxhall remained popular throughout the Colonial period of New York and to the end of the 18th century.:β€Š167β€Š

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