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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

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

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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 the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

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

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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 the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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!

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East Village, Features, GVSHP, History

15 things you didn’t know about the East Village

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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

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East Village, Features, GVSHP, History

Secrets of the St. Mark’s Historic District: From Peter Stuyvesant’s grave to the only real east-west street

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, January 10, 2019

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

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, Union Square

From Mark Twain and the Lovin’ Spoonful to Tech Hub: The overlooked history of Union Square South

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Fri, December 7, 2018

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

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Features, GVSHP, History

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

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic 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.

Get the scoop

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Features, GVSHP, History, Soho

Remembering Soho’s Tunnel Garage: An automobile age marvel

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, October 25, 2018

As the old saying goes, you win some, you lose some.  That’s particularly true in preservation, where sometimes in spite of the most heroic of efforts and compelling of cases, historic treasures succumb to the wrecking ball. GVSHP is frequently asked, “Which fight do you most regret losing; which building do you mourn the loss of most?” It often comes as a surprise that the answer, inevitably, is a parking garage — one which seemed to almost eerily peer into the future.

But the Tunnel Garage, at Broome and Thompson Streets, where the South Village meets Soho, was no ordinary parking garage. Built in 1922, it was a thing of extraordinary beauty, a sublime ode to the dawn of the automobile age and to the engineering marvel of its time which was the Holland Tunnel.

So, what happened?

Featured Story

Events, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

Open House New York in Greenwich Village: The history of three unique sites

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, October 11, 2018

Among the many delights included in this weekend’s Open House New York will be three iconic Greenwich Village buildings–a Gothic Revival church with many architectural firsts, a library that was originally a courthouse which heard the “Trial of the Century,” and a groundbreaking artists’ housing complex that was formerly home to Bell Telephone Labs and the site where color television was invented. These extraordinary landmarks span three centuries of American history, reflecting the evolution of our city’s spiritual, artistic, industrial, scientific, and civic life.

Learn more about their unique histories

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