Bohemian National Hall

321-325 East 73rd Street
William C. Frohne
1895 and 1897
NYC Individual Landmark

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, immigrant populations adopted the American tradition of forming fraternal organizations. In the mid- to late-19th century, the Czech and Slovak communities of the Lower East Side rented space in a variety of locations, including German social halls. It was not until 1882 that the community found its own space, renovating an old saloon at 533 East 5th Street and calling it Národní Budova or “national hall.” Around that time, however, many Czech and Slovak immigrants were moving to Yorkville, so the Národní Budova soon followed suit. The new building was constructed in two phases in 1895 and 1897 for the Bohemian Benevolent Literary Society, but was meant as a meeting place for all Czech and Slovak organizations and became known as Bohemian National Hall. The Renaissance Revival style structure is highly detailed, with a Roman brick façade and stone and terra-cotta ornament.