Max Gordon Corner, at 7th Avenue South, Perry Street and Waverly Place, celebrates the founder of the Village Vanguard jazz club, in front of which the photographer (me) is standing. Gordon (1903-1989) founded the first Vanguard on Charles and Greenwich Streets in 1934, but moved to a former speakeasy at 178 7th Avenue South the following year. The club at first featured poetry readings, blues and jazz, but switched to an all-jazz format in 1957 and came to be the premier jazz venue in New York City, booking Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jimmy Giuffre, Anita O’Day, Charlie Mingus, Bill Evans, Stan Getz and many more.
Before 1912, this part of town looked much different. 7th Avenue South wasn’t there — it was created when the IRT Subway was extended downtown.