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Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association

The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), established in 1891, was formed as an umbrella organization comprised of approximately eighty Czech and Slovak community groups and clubs. The mission of the BBLA was and continues to be the preservation of Czech and Slovak culture in New York City. For more than a century, the Bohemian National Hall has been a cultural, educational, athletic and social center for Czech and Slovak immigrants. This grand building was designed in the Renaissance revival style by architect William C. Frohne and constructed between 1895 and 1897. The Bohemian National Hall was the center of Czech and Slovak culture in the Yorkville area on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As the immigrant population of Yorkville began to diversify, the use of the building began to decline. In 1994, the building was designated a New York City landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 2001, the BBLA transferred ownership of the Bohemian National Hall to the Czech Government for a symbolic one dollar. The Czech Government agreed to completely renovate and restore the interior of the building. The Hall is now home to the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, the Czech Center of New York and the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association. The Bohemian National Hall, now open to the public, provides five different venues where events can be held: Cinema Room, Multifunctional Room, Grand Ballroom, Ballroom Balcony with a connecting VIP Conference Room and Rooftop Terrace.