Friday, May 14, 2010

History of Limelight

The first week of Limelight has seen a lot of people coming in and reminiscing about their disco days in club 'Slimelight,' but in case you don't have any memories of it yourself, here's a brief history:

Built between 1844 and 1853, Limelight was originally the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, where such notable New York figures as Cornelius Vanderbilt said their prayers. But in 1976, due to dwindling attendance, the church was taken over by the new-age Lindisfarne Commune, who moved out West a few years later, selling the property to the Odyssey Institute, a drug counseling organization (whose services would have come in handy around those parts a few years later).

In 1983, Club owner Peter Gatien bought it for three times the price, opening the NYC incarnation of his Limelight club, which was born in Hollywood...Florida, and had outsposts in Atlanta and London. Andy Warhol hosted the opening party and history was made. The place came to symbolize the NYC club scene, populated by the likes of Richie Rich and Amanda Lepore and all sorts of other kids tripping and rolling right through the 80s and into the 90s.

In 1996, club promoter Michael Alig was convicted of killing and dismembering resident drug dealer Angel Melendez, bringing the club under a barrage of media attention (the story was the basis for that Macaulay Culkin movie Party Monster). Limelight was closed by police, and several other clubs opened up there until 2003, when club Avalon took over. But the electro beat was shut down for good in 2007.

And now, after a couple years of housing pop-up stores and pop-up parties, the Hotel de Homeless is what it is. Limelight Marketplace.