151 East 116th Street
Since 1948, Casa Latina has sold sheet music and instruments to patrons from all over the city. In addition to being the longest-running music store in East Harlem, it also bears the distinction of being the nation’s first Spanish-language music store. Its founder, Bartolo Alvarez, was a Puerto Rican musician and record executive. The business moved to this location in 1962 and its colorful storefront has been a neighborhood icon and an important meeting place ever since. The building in which the store resides was built in 1870 as one in a row of brownstones, and has been heavily altered over the years.