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The History of Marie's Crisis in Greenwich Village

Nestled within the streets of New York is Marie's Crisis, a place that not only echoes with melodies from its famed piano bar but also tells tales dating back centuries.

You can hear more New York City stories with Gesso’s self-guided New York audio walking tours, which you can experience at your own pace.

exterior of Marie's Crisis building in Greenwich Village New York. The sign and building are white with red accents.

The history of the building that houses Marie's Crisis is as intriguing as the tunes played within. Before it was a beloved sing-along bar, the site had a rather dramatic past. It is believed that the building stands on the very spot where Thomas Paine, the revolutionary writer and thinker, died in 1809. Paine’s writings, especially "Common Sense" and "The Crisis," played a crucial role in galvanizing American sentiments during the Revolutionary War. The latter publication is what gives Marie's Crisis its distinctive name, blending the venue’s musical legacy with its deep historical roots.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the site would begin its journey as a beacon for music lovers. Marie Dumont, recognizing the spot's potential and ambiance, transformed it into the piano bar known today as Marie's Crisis.

Over the years, Marie's Crisis has become more than just a bar. Amidst the city crowds, this unique atmosphere has made it a favorite not only among locals but also celebrities. Many notable figures, from the realms of Broadway to Hollywood, have been known to drop in, blending their voices with the harmonious crowd.

Discover more local history with our New York audio walking tours, and see which nearby New York City neighborhoods you want to explore next.


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