August 2017
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27 Cooper Square, A Place That Matters

27 cooper square new york city bowery27 Cooper Square, at E. 5th St. and the Bowery, nominated by Hettie Jones. Still standing, miraculously, in the midst of a huge new Bowery construction site, is the place where Hettie and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) settled in 1962. This is where the Joneses produced their magazine Yugen and Totem Press books, and where, for years, many of the era’s best-known artists, writers, and musicians lived and gathered, attracted by each other and the original Five Spot jazz club that stood just a half block south. As Jones wrote in her nomination, 27 Cooper Square matters because it was “a central ground where artists of all races met to share ideas and aesthetics.” Fortunately, 27 Cooper Square and its two residential units seem to be surviving the construction of a hotel that is literally going up around it, being built by the Peck Moss Group and Carlos Zapata Studio (see, 2/15/07). Learn more about the residents and happenings at 27 Cooper Square by logging onto the PlaceExplorer and the Census of Places that Matter. To find out more about the history housed in the Bowery’s fast disappearing places, log onto our new online tour, “Marking Time on the Bowery,” a Place Matters map, supported by the New York Council for the Humanities.