Plantation Club Building
Plantation Club was a Jim Crow venue where white patrons were entertained by black performers and waited on by an all-black staff. The place had farcical antebellum fairytale interiors of "log cabins and picket fences dotted the club's interior while African-American women in the role of dutiful, chuckling mammies tossed waffles and flapjacks on demand for hungry white customers." - Edward White, 2014 The Tastemaker, Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America.
The New York Times wrote "In the centre of the big floor, approached by steps from the street, was a large dance floor of parquetry, surrounded by mirrors. Over the floor was a blue sky effect, filled with stars and moons which glittered at night above the dancers' heads. At one end was a 'Show Boat' tableau, and tiny representations of plantation cabins were set about the walls." - The New York Times
In 1930, 10 white mobsters, posing as Federal Agents with a bag full of tools, are sent by Cotton Club owner and gangster, Owney Madden, to take revenge on the Plantation Club for hiring Cab Calloway away from his club. For almost two hours the thugs used picks, axes and crowbars to wreck the exclusive cabaret. Damage included a smashed $2,500 mahogany piano, twisted band instruments, 150 crushed mirrors, demolished settees and $100,000 worth of slashed and torn costumes. The famous dance floor was torn up with a hatchet. Inspectors Edward Lennon and Archie McNeil suspected rival night club managers.
One newspaper headline read:
GANGSTERS WRECK HARLEM NIGHT CLUB; Nine, With Crowbars, Knives and Axes Do $25,000 Damage to the Plantation. HERD EMPLOYES TO CELLAR Rip Up Dance Floor, Smash Mirrors and Destroy 200 Costumes. RAID LAID TO RACKETEERS Management Suspects Invaders, Who Escaped, Were Sent by Rivals of New Resort.- AsNotedIn