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Jan 18, 2018 7:00 PM - Feb 8, 2018

Saving New York's History - 10 Years of a Restored Bohemian National Hall

Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of a restored Bohemian National Hall with photographs by Marian Beneš and a guided tour.

OPENING Thursday January 18 2018, 7 PM


Observe photographs by Marian Beneš following the extensive renovation of one of New York´s landmarks, which began in 2003. The fully renovated architectural jewel was unveiled in 2008. Join us for a guided tour to appreciate both traditional and contemporary design.

Bohemian National Hall, originally built in 1896, celebrates 10 year anniversary of its renovation and re-opening.

Bohemian National Hall has been a center for Czech and Slovak immigrants on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for over a century. It is one of only a few well preserved original Czech buildings remaining in New York City and is an important symbol of the Czech contribution to the United States.

Joseph Balaz, President of BBLA

“A vibrant cultural venue for new generations of New Yorkers”

One of the city's many exciting venues for contemporary art, music, film, and theater is this little-known treasure on a sleepy Upper East Side street. Judging by its exterior, Bohemian National Hall is an elegant neo-Renaissance townhouse. But step inside for a postmodern surprise: a sleek white-on-white lobby emblazoned with catchphrases and quotes, multimedia screen projections, and a glassed-in art gallery. The bright yellow reception desk faces a space-age spiral staircase and state-of-the-art screening room. 

Jo-Anne Alikann for 111 Places in New York That You Must Not Miss 


Bohemian National Hall History Timeline

1892 – Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) is established as an umbrella organization for over eighty Czech community groups and clubs.

1896 – Designed by architect William C. Frohne in neo-Renaissance palazzo style, Bohemian National Hall opens following successful Czech community fundraising campaign, including Antonín Dvořák-led concert in 1892.

1897 – BBLA enlarged the building eastward to fully accommodate activities in restaurant, bar, club rooms, top-floor ballroom/theater, basement bowling alley and rifle range.

1914 – WWI increases political awareness for those using the building. More than half a million Dollars of Liberty Bonds are sold here.

1939 – Political activity heightens following Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.

1940 - 60's – As the Czech and Slovak populations moves out to the suburbs, fewer functions are held at the Hall, space in the building is rented out to other organizations.

1986 – Ghostly rotting building declared unfit for occupancy, though partial use permitted for occasional community events through 1990s.

1994 – Designated New York City landmark by Landmarks Preservation Commission.

1995 – Careful restoration of main façade completed by Czech-American architect Jan Hird Pokorny.

2001 –  Ownership of Bohemian National Hall was transferred from BBLA to the Czech Republic for a symbolic one US Dollar under the agreement that BBLA will reside in the building for 396 years.  

2003 – First phase of renovation begins based on drawings by Czech-American architect Martin Holub.

2005 – New core and shell of the building including the third floor is completed. Building opens for partial use.

2007 – Interior renovation of unfinished areas of the building, including ballroom, begins according to design of Czech architects Milan Kvíz and Atelier M1.

2008 – Commemorating 90 years of state independence, the Vice Prime Minister of the Czech Republic unveils fully renovated Bohemian National Hall on October 30, 2008.





Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


From: Jan 18, 2018 7:00 PM
To: Feb 8, 2018


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