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“Once upon a time, a lot more of the city’s real estate was available for people to use to create some sort of public life for themselves,” said Marci Reaven, a director of the urban preservationist group Place Matters, a joint project of the Municipal Art Society and City Lore, a cultural organization.
Uptown, there were the storied dance halls of the Jazz Age, like the Rockland Palace, Alhambra and the Savoy, where Harlem’s elite could stomp in the New Year to the smooth strains of Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra.
The Brooklyn Quartet Club, the Brooklyn Rifle Club and other organizations called the building home, with special rooms and storage areas for their papers.
An early Prospect Hall advertisement promised "high-class motion pictures and vaudeville" every night, a "country butcher shop" on Tuesdays and a "safe and sane Fourth" celebration on July 4,including a three-reeler of Teddy Roosevelt in South Africa.
Prospect Hall burned down in December 1900, the morning after 3,000 Knights of Columbus met in the ballroom.