From top left: Photo of Robert Frost via Wikimedia, Photo of Emily Post via Library of Congress, Photo of Henry Miller via Wikimedia; From bottom left: Photo of James Baldwin by Allan Warren via Wikimedia, Photo of Patricia Highsmith via Wikimedia, and Photo of Margaret Mead via Smithsonian Institution Archives Wikimedia
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District. One of the city’s oldest and largest landmark districts, it’s a treasure trove of history, culture, and architecture. Village Preservation is spending 2019 marking this anniversary with events, lectures, and new interactive online resources. This is part of a series of posts about the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.
Greenwich Village, specifically the historic district at its core, has been described as many things, but “literary” may be among the most common. That’s not only because the neighborhood has an air of sophistication and drama, but because it has attracted some of the nation’s greatest writers over the last 200 plus years. Ahead, learn about just some of the cornucopia of great wordsmiths who have called the Greenwich Village Historic District home, from Thomas Paine to Lorraine Hansberry.
Images courtesy of Douglas Elliman.
This two-floor co-op at 200 West Houston Street, asking $2.695 million, may be on a busy Village thoroughfare, but its location across from the critic favorite Film Forum movie theater–and screening-room-ready lower level–might make it the perfect spot for someone who wants to immerse themselves in film. There’s room to configure the space differently (it’s currently set up as a one-bedroom), and each level has a separate entrance.
Take the tour
Photo credit: Warchol Photography, Courtesy of Compass.
Located in Noho’s nondescript-modernist Bleecker Court at 77 Bleecker Street, this unique home was designed in 2003 by architect and educator Diane Lewis for an art-world client who wanted, according to the listing, “a cross between Mies van der Rohe and Barbarella.” She definitely achieved that goal, creating a downtown apartment that’s perfect for anyone with collections to archive and display or who is seeking a sleek, pristine home that does a lot in a small space. It’s asking $1,075,000.
More views of this modern architectural wonder
Photo of Bob Dylan by Chris Hakkens on Wikimedia, Photo of Janis Joplin via Wikimedia, Photo of Buddy Holly via Wikimedia, Photo of Jimi Hendrix via Wikimedia, Photo of Lou Reed by Mick Rock on Wikimedia
For generations, Greenwich Village, and particularly the historic district which lies at its core, has attracted musicians of all stripes. They’ve been inspired by its quaint and charming streets and the lively cultural scene located in and around the neighborhood. It would be a fool’s errand to try to name every great musician who ever laid their head to rest within the Greenwich Village Historic District’s boundaries. But as we round out a year’s worth of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the district’s designation, here are just a few of the greats who at one time or another called it home, from Bob Dylan to John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix to Barbra Streisand.
Photo via John St John / Flickr
The Village Halloween Parade may not be as completely outrageous as it once was, but this annual holiday extravaganza is quintessential Greenwich Village. Though many parade attendees are there to show off their costumes and check out those of others, there’s a large number of guests who revel in the nostalgia of a New York tradition that’s marched downtown since 1973. But there’s a lot more history to the parade than most people may know. For instance, it didn’t always go up 6th Avenue, and there’s an entire art form behind those supersized puppets.
All the history right here
Listing images by David Palmieri courtesy of Citi Habitats
Housed inside a former printing house built in the 1880s, this one-bedroom at 9 Barrow Street “embraces its rich architectural history,” as the listing notes. Plaster was stripped away during a recent renovation to feature the warm exposed brick and nearly 11-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings. It’s not just the character-filled interior that earns this co-op it’s $995,00 asking price. Located on a quaint, tree-lined Greenwich Village block, the property easily checks off the “great location” box. Elevator access and a small but charming private terrace round out the package.
This one-bedroom condo at 131 West 11th Street, asking $1.495 million, is situated within a classic row house on a postcard-perfect Village street. Within are the 20-foot ceilings of a loft, with 1,200 square feet of living space and an open layout to match. The apartment’s interiors are the work of award-winning architect Timmy Aziz of DOMA, and have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Architectural Digest among other notable design magazines. Another unique feature: The home boasts an 18-foot-tall brick wall that was constructed by renowned Italian sculptor Albino Manca, who once lived and worked in the space.
Have a look around
Photo by Beyond My Ken / Wiki Commons
The area south of Union Square, on the border between Greenwich Village and the East Village, is changing. The approval of the new 14th Street Tech Hub south of Union Square combined with an explosion of tech-related development in the area has resulted in the demolition of mid-19th-century hotels and Beaux-Arts style tenements, with new office towers like 809 Broadway taking their place.
Aside from being rich in 19th- and early-20th-century architecture, this area is overflowing with history connected to many of the great American artists, writers, musicians, publishers, activists, innovators and artisans of the last century and a half. As part of Village Preservation’s work to document and bring to light some of that often forgotten history, we wrote this piece last year exploring the connections to Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, Alexander Graham Bell and Leroi Jones (among many others). Now, we’ve uncovered even more history-making people and events connected to this area and its buildings, from Hammacher Schlemmer (NYC’s first hardware store) to a slew of influential publishing houses (including that which published the first U.S. edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”) to the Women’s Suffrage League headquarters.
Image courtesy of Douglas Elliman.
Bleecker Court at 77 Bleecker Street in the Village/Noho is mid-20th-century modernist in appearance, but it’s a neighborhood classic. This “loft” apartment has benefitted from a recent gut renovation and, asking $650,000, is 21st-century-ready. The home’s designer/owner created a magazine-worthy interior within the open, airy space, making the best of high ceilings and a wall of windows overlooking Mercer Street.
Look both ways
, Wed, September 18, 2019
Listing images by Kenneth Chen at Evan Joseph photography, courtesy of Compass
For those who are up for a significant project, this unique Greenwich Village property has a lot of potential and some unusual features, starting with its configuration. The 1830 townhouse at 10 Bedford Street—now on the market for just shy of $8 million—sits on a 101-foot deep lot along with a separate carriage house that can be accessed via a tunnel or an elevated walkway in the garden. For the right buyer, this unusual setup could be a big enough draw by itself, despite the renovation work required inside.