Bohemian National Hall History Timeline
1892 – Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) is established as an umbrella organization for over eighty Czech community groups and clubs.
1896 – Designed by architect William C. Frohne in neo-Renaissance palazzo style, Bohemian National Hall opens following successful Czech community fundraising campaign, including Antonín Dvořák-led concert in 1892.
1897 – BBLA enlarged the building eastward to fully accommodate activities in restaurant, bar, club rooms, top-floor ballroom/theater, basement bowling alley and rifle range.
1914 – WWI increases political awareness for those using the building. More than half a million Dollars of Liberty Bonds are sold here.
1939 – Political activity heightens following Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.
1940 - 60's – As the Czech and Slovak populations moves out to the suburbs, fewer functions are held at the Hall, space in the building is rented out to other organizations.
1986 – Ghostly rotting building declared unfit for occupancy, though partial use permitted for occasional community events through 1990s.
1994 – Designated New York City landmark by Landmarks Preservation Commission.
1995 – Careful restoration of main façade completed by Czech-American architect Jan Hird Pokorny.
2001 – Ownership of Bohemian National Hall was transferred from BBLA to the Czech Republic for a symbolic one US Dollar under the agreement that BBLA will reside in the building for 396 years.
2003 – First phase of renovation begins based on drawings by Czech-American architect Martin Holub.
2005 – New core and shell of the building including the third floor is completed. Building opens for partial use.
2007 – Interior renovation of unfinished areas of the building, including ballroom, begins according to design of Czech architects Milan Kvíz and Atelier M1.
2008 – Commemorating 90 years of state independence, the Vice Prime Minister of the Czech Republic unveils fully renovated Bohemian National Hall on October 30, 2008.