Madison Square Garden

May 30th Celebrates Madison Square Garden

On May 30th 1879, William Vanderbilt renamed New York City’s Gilmore’s Garden to Madison Square Garden.

Before we go on with today’s story, let’s take a peek at who William Vanderbilt was.

Do you remember during the 1970’s when Gloria Vanderbilt came out with her designer jeans?

Gloria Vanderbilt, born on February 20th 1924, is an American artist, author, actress heiress and socialite, and is member of the Vanderbilt family of New York, and is the mother of CNN television anchor Anderson Cooper.

The Vanderbilt family with its Dutch origin was prominent during the Gilded Age. Their success began with the shipping and railroad empires of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the family expanded into various other areas of industry and philanthropy.

William Henry “Billy” Vanderbilt was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was the eldest son of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. Cornelius Vanderbilt built his wealth on building and designing the Harlem Rail Road, the Hudson River Rail Road, and Grand Central Terminal, since his forte was on shipping.

Since the Vanderbilt’s were already established in New York, is why the City of New York, allowed William Vanderbilt to rename Gilmore’s Garden to Madison Square Garden, but why was it called Gilmore’s Garden in the first place?

In 1876 the open-air arena was leased to band leader Patrick Gilmore, who renamed it “Gilmore’s Garden” had presented flower shows, beauty contests, music concerts, and the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to New York City.

Who was Patrick Gilmore?

Patrick Gilmore was an Irish-born American composer who lived and worked in the United States. Gilmore wrote the lyrics to the song called, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” which was published under the name Louis Lambert.

The next to lease the space was W. M. Tileston, who was an official of the dog show. He attempted to attract a more genteel crowd with tennis, a riding school and an ice carnival.

After the death of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who owned the site, his grandson William Henry Vanderbilt took back control and announced the renaming of the arena to “Madison Square Garden” on May 31, 1879, the reason it was called Madison Square Garden, is because the property was located at East 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

In lieu of today’s event, I pretty much covered everything, which gives you a ball park eye’s view on how this historical monument became what it is known today.

Written and Designed by JD Mitchell

J.D Mitchell Design Studio


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