Amusements and Thrills It's Showtime

New York’s amusement palace Niblo’s Garden returns (sort of)

It’s the return of Niblo’s Garden, the 19th century pleasure garden and entertainment palace once on Broadway and Prince Street!  Except this time around, it’s in a cemetery.

Niblo’s is perhaps most famous as being the site of the first Broadway musical (at least, some form of it).  The venue’s impresario William Niblo is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, and it will be here this Saturday that Niblo’s vaudevillian spirit comes alive.  In fact, his mausoleum here was meant to host entertainment!

From Green-wood’s event site:

“Imagine an outdoor pleasure dome, strung with lights, adorned with fountains and featuring the top musicians, dancers and entertainers of the time. That was the scene at Niblo’s Garden – the premier entertainment house of the 19th century.

Niblo himself had a habit of turning his Green-Wood mausoleum – built years before his death – into a pleasure garden of its own, with friends, picnics and goldfish-stocked ponds.

Join author, historian, and Niblo expert Ben Feldman to bring the glory of Niblo’s Garden to Green-Wood! Enjoy an evening picnic around the beautiful glacial pond Crescent Water, and take in an evening of showmanship in front of the grand Niblo mausoleum.

Bring a blanket, some snacks and drinks, and you’ll be dazzled by fire jugglers, singers, even famed knife thrower Throwdini! – all under paper lanterns and a starry sky.”

Saturday, July 12, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 
Green-Wood Cemetery
500 25th Street, Brooklyn
Cosponsored by The Victorian Society New York.
$30 for members of Green-Wood and Brooklyn Historical Society/$35 for nonmembers

Not quite familiar with the legend of Niblo’s Garden?  The pleasure garden was the subject of one my favorite solo podcasts from a few years back.  Give this a listen to


Photos courtesy Library of Congress

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