The above photo was taken during the 1950’s for Life magazine of a cotillion in Harlem.
The photographs are a rare look at a Harlem society that vanished in the following decades along with an interior view of a once prominent building in Harlem.
Young ladies of distinguished backgrounds would be presented at a debutante ball dressed in the most formal of attire.
This was also an important event for the young gentlemen of the Harlem upper class and they would be paired off with the ladies at the gala.
The formal classical balconies and accoutrements in the historic Renaissance Ballroom in Central Harlem on the corner of 138th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and 7th Avenue.
The final image below is of the New York City commissioner posing for a photograph with Harlem debutantes 1964 (Source).
Harlem Cultural Archives is a donor and foundation-supported Historical Society, Its mission is to create, maintain and grow a remotely accessible, online, interactive repository of audio-visual materials documenting Harlem’s remarkable and varied multicultural legacies, including its storied past as well as its continuing contributions to the City and State of New York, the nation, and the world. Support Harlem Cultural Archives and click here to get more Harlem History, Thank you.