Bowery, the (bouˈərē, –ˈrē) [key] [Dutch Bouwerie = farm], section of lower Manhattan, New York City. The Bowery, the street that gives the area its name, was once a road to the farm of New Amsterdam Governor Peter Stuyvesant, who is buried at St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie, an Episcopal church. The mail route (est. 1673) to Boston traveled this road. In the late 19th cent. the Bowery was one of the city's leading entertainment areas and was notorious for its saloons, dance halls, swindlers, and petty criminals. By the early 20th cent. legitimate entertainment had moved elsewhere and the Bowery was left with a substantial homeless population. In the 1960s a portion of the area was rehabilitated and several middle-income housing projects were built. Although the Bowery still has many retail stores and a growing Chinese population, the neighborhood still has an unsavory reputation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.