Noted as the single largest group of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, Snug Harbor is home to 28 buildings with over 1500 square feet of exhibition space. The first building built on Snug Harbor’s campus was the Main Hall. This exquisitely designed Greek Revival building currently houses an 18-month, interactive, multi-media exhibition called Island Sounds: A 500 Year Music Mash-Up. The exhibition includes memorabilia, instruments, artifacts, photos and videos from musicians and artists who were born, based or performed on Staten Island throughout history. Island Sounds features a timeline of Staten Island’s music history that begins pre-1500, with songs of the Lunaape Indians, and includes Dutch tavern music of New Amsterdam of the 1600s, 1850 classical opera, 1900 vaudeville, jazz of the 1920s, the Big Band era of 1940, disco and folk music of the 1970s, and today’s rock and rap.
David Johansen on Island Sounds: A 500 Year Music Mash-Up:
I grew up just a couple of blocks from Snug Harbor and when I was a kid this used to be part of my stomping ground,” said David Johansen of the New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter fame. “It’s so great that Snug Harbor is so vital again.
Inside the Main Hall, the galleries contain rare and historic items from many of the artists’ personal collections. For example:
Mike Appel—a Staten Island resident since 1978—has graciously loaned several items from his time as manager, arranger, and producer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, including: Rare 1972 demos of two Bruce Springsteen songs: Street Queen and Circus Song; the latter which became Wild Billy’s Circus Story
RZA’s keyboard used on the Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 breakthrough album Enter the Wu (36 Chambers) and photos from his recent pilgrimage to a Shaolin temple in China
Born This Way LP autographed by Lady Gaga and storyboards from her Marry the Night video shot at Snug Harbor
A unique collection of hotel keys belonging to journeyman drummer Sandy Gennaro (Pat Travers, Cyndi Lauper, The Monkees, Bo Diddley)
Guitars from Vito Bratta (White Lion), Richie Castellano (Blue Oyster Cult), and Steve Augeri (Journey)