TIN PAN ALLEY.NYC
It's Now A Landmark!
The Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project commemorates and invigorates a living legacy: the birthplace of American Popular Music and the modern music industry on West 28th Street in New York City. In 2019, Tin Pan Alley became an official New York City landmark with the designation of 47-55 West 28th Street by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission following years of advocacy by the Tin Pan Alley Project among many others.
By telling the stories of the songwriters, music publishers, performers and songs that created a new sound and industry in the late 19th and early 20th Century, we connect people with the power of music and diversity as essential elements of the culture of New York City and America.
American Music Icon
Tin Pan Alley is the cradle of the music industry in the United States. Here, American popular music as we know it was first manufactured and promoted. This one block of 28th Street offers a glimpse into what has become a worldwide cultural force – pop music – at its specific place of creation. As an enclave of 19th-century structures, it is also largely intact as architecture.
Tin Pan Alley’s influence would be hard to overstate. Here, for the first time, publishers and songwriters learned to promote, devising techniques of “song plugging” that helped them market sheet music to a buying public. Blues, Broadway, jazz, ragtime, Latin rhythms – all coalesced into a musical force that emanated from this single block.
Singers as diverse as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jolson and Fred Astaire sang music originating from Tin Pan Alley. Rumor has it that living legend Bob Dylan wrote his first successes while he was living in the Tin Pan Alley. Whenever you hear contemporary music, it is likely to be descended from Tin Pan Alley roots.
28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan contains the remnants of one of America’s greatest cultural movements. These buildings should stand as a reminder to future generations of how a legacy can originate from one small pocket of New York.
As Tin Pan Alley influenced American music, American music, in turn, influenced the world. Pioneering African-American composers such as Richard McPherson (as Cecil Mack, the writer of “Charleston”) worked on Tin Pan Alley. Irving Berlin started here too, as well as Albert Von Tilzer, composer of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Be sure to see our exclusive video programing about Tin Pan Alley, including those by renowned historian
and author John T. Reddick, K-12 educator and preservationist Lesley Doyel, and Tin Pan Alley's