Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
It’s the day after Christmas, and a group of what could be a thousand uniformed sharpshooters marches up the Bowery. It’s no zombie apocalypse but the German-American Shooting Society marching from its temporary meeting place at the Germania Assembly Rooms at 291-293 Bowery to its new headquarters at 12 St. Marks Place. The year is 1888.
Opening night of the new hall was the celebration of a long process to establish a permanent headquarters for the Society, which at the time was reported to number 1,400 members in 24 different companies. That evening “the entire building was handsomely draped and festooned with the national colors of Germany and America and with fancy banners,” according to the New York Times.
Today the only remnant of that scene is the German-American Shooting Society building itself at 12 St. Marks Place, now a historical landmark and one of the few remaining architectural vestiges of Little Germany.