By Marjorie Cohen
Rob Garber, a member of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group’s planning committee, has put together an exhibit on the history of the 24th Precinct and its pivotal role in the neighborhood’s local history. The exhibit–8 panels in all–is chock-a-block with photos, copies of newspaper articles and explanatory text. The history of the precinct is a fascinating one that features guest appearances by the famous and the infamous: Mayor LaGuardia, J. Edgar Hoover and a notorious cop killer named “Two Gun” Crowley.
Here are just a few of the kinds of things you’ll learn from the exhibit:
* At the time of the Civil War, Bloomingdale’s police station was at 84th Street and the Bloomingdale Road–now Broadway—on the same property where Edgar Allan Poe had once rented a room and written The Raven.
* On a May day in 1931 Francis “Two-Gun” Crowley, wanted for the murder of a police officer in Nassau County, was holed up in a boarding house at 303 West 90th Street. According to the Daily News, 200 officers shot 400 bullets and loads of tear gas into the building. Ten thousand spectators watched the hour-long drama from the street.
* Mayor LaGuardia, wanting to show that he was tougher on gambling than the Feds, held a press conference in 1934 at the 100th Street station house designed to embarrass the FBI. At that time, the police station was located where the parking lot next to the library is now.
Bloomingdale Library is located on W. 100th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The exhibit is on view during regular library hours, Monday through Saturday. According to local historian Jim Mackin, “this may be the only history of a police precinct in Manhattan/NYC; it’s local history at its best.”
About the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group: The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group is an all-volunteer organization that discovers, preserves, and shares the rich history of our community through its website upperwestsidehistory.org, numerous public programs and events, and exhibits such as this one.
What street is the Bloomingdale Library on?
100th between Columbus and Amsterdam. Added. Thanks!
The best part is after you view the exhibit at the library- you can go outside, look across the street and see the 24th Precinct as it stands today! Can’t wait until Spring when the lovely garden in front starts to bloom.
The top picture actually looks like a post card of the Chicago Police Department. The Chicago PD actually wear stars like those in the picture. NYPD wears shields.