All posts by Andrew Berman of Village Preservation

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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

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

20 transformative women of Greenwich Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, March 7, 2019

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District on April 29, 1969.  One of the city’s oldest and still largest historic districts, it’s a unique treasure trove of rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. GVSHP 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 13th in Washington Square. This is part of a series of posts about the unique qualities of the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.

Few places on earth have attracted as many creative, mold-shattering, transformative women as Greenwich Village, especially the Greenwich Village Historic District which lies in its heart. From its earliest settlers in the 17th century through its bohemian heyday in the late 19th and 20th centuries right up to today, pioneering women have made the Greenwich Village Historic District their home, from congresswoman Bella Abzug and gay rights advocate Edie Windsor to playwright Lorraine Hansberry and photographer Berenice Abbott.

See the entire list

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

10 (more) of the most charming spots in the Greenwich Village Historic District

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


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District on April 29, 1969.  One of the city’s oldest and still largest historic districts, it’s a unique treasure trove of rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. GVSHP 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 13th in Washington Square. This is part of a series of posts about the unique qualities of the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.

Trying to limit oneself to just 10 of the most charming spots in the Greenwich Village Historic District is truly a fool’s errand. And not one without controversy — since the last column, more than a few disgruntled New Yorkers whose favorites didn’t make the list have reached out (in almost all cases these were places which actually originally made the list, but something had to be cut). So by popular demand (of sorts), here are 10 more of the most charming spots in the Greenwich Village Historic District, from the smallest piece of privately owned property in New York to a series of “squares” that are anything but.

See them all!

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

The 10 most charming spots in the Greenwich Village Historic District

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, February 7, 2019


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District on April 29, 1969.  One of the city’s oldest and still largest historic districts, it’s a unique treasure trove of rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. GVSHP 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 13th in Washington Square. This is the first in a series of posts about the unique qualities of the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.

The Greenwich Village Historic District literally oozes with charm; so much so, it’s virtually impossible to come up with a top-10 list. But with no insult to sites not included, here is one run at the 10 most charming sites you’ll find in this extraordinarily quaint historic quarter–from good-old classics like the famous stretch of brick rowhouses on Washington Square North to more quirky findings like the “Goodnight Moon” house.

Check out the list!

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History

15 things you didn’t know about the East Village

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Fri, January 25, 2019

Earlier this month, GVSHP launched its East Village Preservation effort, releasing its new website “East Village Building Blocks,” which contains historic information and images for every one of the neighborhood’s 2,200 buildings. Of course, any neighborhood spanning five centuries of history and nearly 100 blocks will reveal some surprises when you scratch the surface. But the East Village’s story has some unique and unexpected twists and turns which are brought to light by this new online tool.  From the birthplace of the shag haircut to four former homes of Allen Ginsberg to the first federally-subsidized public housing project in America, here are just a few of those you’ll encounter.

All this and more

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History

The area in the 1840s, via Wiki Commons

One of New York City’s most charming and distinctive corners celebrates its 50th anniversary as a landmark district this coming week. The St. Mark’s Historic District, designated January 14, 1969, contains fewer than 40 buildings on parts of just three blocks. But this extraordinary East Village enclave contains several notable superlatives, including Manhattan’s oldest house still in use as a residence, New York’s oldest site of continuous religious worship, Manhattan’s only true east-west street, the remains of the last Dutch Governor of New Netherland, and the only “triangle” of houses attributed to celebrated 19th century architect James Renwick.

More secrets of the neighborhood

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, Union Square

Straddling Greenwich Village and the East Village, the neighborhood south of Union Square between Fifth and Third Avenues was once a center of groundbreaking commercial innovations, radical leftist politics, and the artistic avant-garde. With the city’s recent decision to allow an upzoning for a “Tech Hub” on the neighborhood’s doorstep on 14th Street, there are concerns that the resilient and architecturally intact neighborhood may face irreversible change. While they’re still here, take a tour of some of the many sites of remarkable cultural history, nestled in this compact neighborhood just south of one of our city’s busiest hubs.

See the full list

Featured Story

Features, GVSHP, History

The backstory on backhouses: How NYC’s hidden rear residences came to be

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Wed, November 21, 2018

Via Wiki Commons

New York City is full of hidden surprises that even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker may not know about. One such example is the elusive “backhouse” or rear house. There are literally scores of these hidden structures throughout the older neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan like Greenwich Village and the East Village. But because they are generally invisible from the street, they’re typically virtually unknown to anyone other than their residents and immediate neighbors. But these oft-romanticized structures have a complicated and surprising history, one which belies their almost mythical place in the psyche of New Yorkers.

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