All posts by Andrew Berman of Village Preservation

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Featured Story

East Village, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, Lower East Side

Uncovering the stories behind downtown’s overlooked synagogues

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, August 8, 2019

On August 8, 2008, Village Preservation and the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC) submitted a request to the LPC to landmark a little-known but remarkable survivor– Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 515 East 6th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.  The building was the last operating “tenement synagogue” in the East Village. A young, little-known developer named Jared Kushner was planning to tear it down and replace it with condos and a new space for the tiny congregation, which had operated out of the building since 1910.

The story has a (relatively) happy ending – the synagogue and much of its surroundings were landmarked in 2012, and the demolition plan was dropped. But unlike the deservedly beloved and celebrated Eldridge Street Synagogue, now a National Historic Landmark, Mezritch is one of several unique but in many cases overlooked historic synagogues still standing in and around Greenwich Village, the East Village, and the Lower East Side, which in the early 20th century contained what was by many accounts the largest Jewish community in the world. Ahead, we take a look at the history of seven of them and what makes them so unique.

Learn about the history

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History, immigration

The social and cultural Puerto Rican history of the East Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, July 25, 2019

National Puerto Rican Day Parade,

Photo via Flickr cc

The tumult and unrest in the streets of Puerto Rico right now harken back to a time when many Puerto Rican New Yorkers were also agitating in the streets for long-overdue reform and change. One milestone in that history took place 50 years ago when several Puerto Rican activists gathered in the East Village to found the New York Chapter of the Young Lords. This began a flowering of Puerto Rican cultural and social ferment in the East Village, the legacy of which can still be seen and experienced in the neighborhood today. From Tompkins Square Park to the Nuyorican Poets Café, here are six of the most significant spots.

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Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

Before the duel: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton’s NYC haunts

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, July 11, 2019

An illustration of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, via Wiki Commons

On July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton crossed paths for the last time. That was the date of their infamous duel on the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey when Burr exacted his long-desired revenge upon Hamilton with a gunshot to the abdomen. But this was not the first time the two men’s lives and careers came in contact. One such place of frequent intersection for the bitter rivals was Greenwich Village – where Burr lived and Hamilton ultimately died. And it’s in Greenwich Village, and the nearby East Village and Soho, where many reminders of these two titanic figures of early American politics can still be found today. Ahead, learn about five sites where Burr and Hamilton made history.

Get all the history

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, History

The long road to landmark: How NYC’s Stonewall Inn became a symbol of civil rights

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Fri, June 28, 2019

Via NPCA on Flickr

Millions will converge in New York City this weekend to celebrate events which took place in and outside of a Greenwich Village bar 50 years ago. The Stonewall Riots will not only be memorialized here in New York City, but those events have come to take on international significance. There are celebrations and marches in countries across the globe, with the name ‘Stonewall’ also used by countless organizations and entities around the world to signify the quest for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.

But 50 years ago those three nights of protests were barely noticed beyond the boundaries of the local neighborhood and a small but energized group of activists and rabble-rousers. They garnered little media attention, and most of the attention received was pretty negative – including from the gay community. So how did the events at the Stonewall 50 years ago go from an obscure set of disturbances at the tail end of the decade marked by strife and disorder, to an internationally-recognized symbol of a civil rights movement? Ahead, learn about Stonewall’s long road to becoming a civil rights landmark.

More here

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History, Noho

23 LGBT landmarks of the East Village and Noho

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Mon, June 17, 2019

Their neighbor to the west Greenwich Village may be more well known as a nexus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, but the East Village and Noho are chock full of LGBT culture as well, from the site of one the very first LGBT demonstrations to the homes of some of the greatest openly-LGBT artists and writers of the 20th century to the birthplace of New York’s largest drag festival. Ahead, we round up 23 examples, from Walt Whitman’s favorite watering hole to Allen Ginsberg’s many local residences to Keith Haring’s studio.

Learn the history of all the spots

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

17 LGBT landmarks of Greenwich Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, May 30, 2019

Last year’s Pride Parade outside the Stonewall Inn, via Wiki Commons

In about a month New York will be in the throes of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, three nights of disturbances from June 28th to June 30th 1969, which are recognized globally as the start of the modern LGBT rights movement. But Stonewall is only one of the scores of important LGBT landmarks in Greenwich Village – the homes of people, events, businesses and institutions dating from more than a century ago to just a few years ago. Thanks to landmark designation, most of these sites still stand. Here are just some of the dazzling array of those, all still extant, which can be found in the neighborhood which is arguably the nexus of the LGBT universe.

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Events, Greenwich Village

Go inside 7 landmarked houses in Greenwich Village this weekend

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, May 2, 2019

Image of a past house tour courtesy of Village Preservation

This Sunday, Village Preservation will hold its 21st annual Spring Benefit House Tour. As this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District, all the homes and the reception site are landmarked structures located within the district. The tour is the main annual fundraiser for Village Preservation, allowing us to conduct hundreds of educational programs throughout the year and work to protect the irreplaceable history and architecture of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Noho. The addresses of the homes are kept secret to all but ticket buyers, and until the tour. But we can offer a sneak peek at some of the amazing historic homes you will be able to see on the tour–from the current home of Linda Ellerbee and the former residence of Marlon Brando to a one-time speakeasy and a sleek, modern renovation.

What you can expect on this year’s tour

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, immigration

11 landmarks of immigration in Greenwich Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, April 18, 2019

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.

Each year, immigrant history week is celebrated in late April, commemorating the day in 1907 when more immigrants came through Ellis Island than any other day in history. More than a few of those immigrants came through Greenwich Village, which has a long and storied history of welcoming newcomers from across the city, country, and globe. Here are just a few of the sites within the Greenwich Village Historic District where landmarks of our nation’s rich and varied immigrant history can be found, from the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in the country to a hub of “Little Spain.”

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Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

12 social change champions of Greenwich Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Fri, April 5, 2019

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 rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. Village Preservation will be spending 2019 marking this anniversary with events, lectures, and new interactive online resources, including a celebration and district-wide weekend-long “Open House” starting on Saturday, April 13 in Washington Square. Check here for updates and more details. This is part of a series of posts about the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.

Few places on Earth have attracted more or a broader array of activists and agitators for social change than Greenwich Village. And much of that activity took place right in the heart of the neighborhood in the Greenwich Village Historic District, where that rich history has been preserved through landmark designation for the past half-century. Here are just a few of the many who lived within its bounds and toiled to make the world a better or more just place.

See the full list

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

13 places in Greenwich Village where the course of history was changed

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, March 21, 2019

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 rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. Village Preservation will be spending 2019 marking this anniversary with events, lectures, and new interactive online resources, including a celebration and district-wide weekend-long “Open House” starting on Saturday, April 13 in Washington Square.  Check here for updates and more details. This is part of a series of posts about the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.

It’s not that often you can pinpoint a time and place and say the course of history was forever changed as a result of it. It’s even less common for such a thing to happen over and over again in one small neighborhood. But from its earliest days, Greenwich Village is where history has been made, much of it within the Greenwich Village Historic District, which lies at its heart. Here are a baker’s dozen of such events located within those one hundred blocks, from the first free black settlement in North America and the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement to the first museum dedicated to contemporary American art and the publication of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

All the history right this way

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