Casa Latina

151 East 116th Street
Henry Devoe

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.