NYC walking tours
five points walking tour

Five Points Walking Tour

Five Points Walking TourBuried deep beneath today's Chinatown lies New York City's legendary Five Points -- one-time godforsaken heart of the immigrant, impoverished and working-poor ghetto. A hallowed ground where days-long battles were fought over turf, culture, class and religion during one of the most corrupt and tumultuous eras in the history of this city.

19th century New York: bigotry and rivalry, ribaldry and racism, oppression, defiance, perseverance, progress and reform. This is the story of the Irish, Africans, Germans, Jews, Italians and Chinese who faced unbelievable obstacles to gain a foothold in America during its infancy.

On this tour, we go way beyond the now-familiar "Gangs of New York" narrative and explore the conditions which led to the devolution of the Five Points district. How did a Post-Revolutionary War upper-class enclave become a slum by the mid-19th century? Why did the Irish settle in the Five Points? How did the Italians and Chinese end up displacing most of the Irish, Africans, Germans and Jews by the end of the century? What were the political and social conditions that led to so much fluctuation and turmoil?

Topics discussed:

  • How accurate is Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York?
  • Origins of class division in NYC
  • 19th century immigration
  • Ethnic and class rivalry
  • Redevelopment of the district
  • Recent excavation findings

Visit on tour:

  • Former Dead Rabit's headquarters
  • Former Bowery Boys headquarters
  • Site of the North American Hotel and Butts & Shaw stables, where the careers of politicians like Boss Tweed were molded by a shadowy cabal of businessmen
  • Site of Bandit's Roost
  • Site of Paradise Square
  • Site of Bowery Theater
  • Site of "The Tombs" prison
  • The site of underground passages
  • Much, much more


Your Guide:

eric ferraraEric Ferrara is founder of the Lower East Side History Project, author of several NYC history books, and fourth-generation Lower East Sider. He has been a consultant on several movie, tv, and media projects world wide, including HBO's Boardwalk Empire and Warner Brothers' new Great Gatsby. MORE ABOUT ERIC HERE.


sethSeth Franklin Abrams is a native New York City writer, producer, actor and founding curator for the former Museum of the American Gangster, Seth is also the creator of Our Gotham, a film series that is set in the underworld of 1904 New York chronicling the exploits of the legendary Monk Eastman, Kid Twist and a host of other unforgettable characters. Franklin also produced Inside a Change, recipient of the 2009 Best Film Award at the 2009 HBO New York International Latino Film Festival. As an actor, Franklin has appeared in a host of films, video games and videos.



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Every Sunday at 3:00pm

Reservations: Required, but you can pay your guide
347-465-7767 | contact form
$20 General Admission
Meet: SE corner of Centre & Worth Streets
Subway: J to Chambers St  or 4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge
Meet Here
(View larger map/get directions

View Larger Map

Once off the subway, walk a few short blocks
north along CENTRE STREET:
directions from subway

Why choose an LESHP tour?

© 2003-2015 Lower East Side History Project c/o Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003