History

Greenwich Village, History

All photos: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

The New York City Parks Department on Tuesday reinterred the human remains of early New Yorkers found during construction in and around Washington Square Park. The skeletal remains were placed in a wooden box and buried five feet below grade within a planting bed, with an engraved paver marking the site at the southern entrance of the park near Sullivan Street. The remains were uncovered between 2008 and 2017, including the unearthing of two 19th-century burial vaults in 2015 that held the remains of at least a dozen people.

Find out more

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Union Square

Screenshot of Women’s History Tour map; Courtesy of Village Preservation

On the first day of Women’s History Month, a preservation group is renewing calls to landmark nearly two dozen sites related to women’s history in New York City. Village Preservation on Monday kicked off a campaign effort urging the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate several buildings located south of Union Square that have a connection to trailblazing women, organizations, or historic events. It’s part of the group’s broader effort to protect nearly 200 buildings in the area which is slated for new development.

Find out more

History, New Jersey

All renderings courtesy of OTJ Architects

Jersey City has reached a $72 million deal with the operator of the Prudential Center to transform the historic Loew’s Wonder Theatre into a modern 3,300-seat venue. Mayor Steven Fulop on Monday announced a partnership with Devils Arena Entertainment to renovate the nearly 100-year-old theater that once operated as an opulent entertainment destination when it opened in 1929 and was nearly demolished in the 1980s, but was saved by a grassroots preservation effort. The city sees the restoration of Loew’s as part of a broader revitalization of the transit-friendly Journal Square neighborhood, where multiple mixed-use towers are in the works.

More here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

The wild and dark history of the Empire State Building

By Rebecca Paul, Thu, February 18, 2021

Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated Art Deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s, if not the world’s, most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening backdrop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romantic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant lineup of plot-lines and characters spanning the past 90 years.

Read about the dark side of the empire state building

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, maps

Screenshot courtesy of NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday released an interactive story map that explores significant buildings, districts, and sites in New York City that are related to Black history and culture. The project highlights 75 individual landmarks and 33 historic districts associated with African American figures and historical events across the five boroughs dating to before the Civil War up to today, from the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan to the East 25th Street Historic District in Flatbush.

Find out more

History

In 1944, the New York Times popularized ‘pizza’

By Dana Schulz, Tue, February 9, 2021

Photo of Patsy’s pizza by Patrick Woodward, via Wikimedia Commons

Though pizza aficionados know that Gennaro Lombardi is credited with opening the country’s first pizzeria in 1905 in Little Italy, it wasn’t until the WIII years, that the popular food gained mainstream recognition. On September 20, 1944, it’s said that the New York Times first popularized the word “pizza” to those outside of the Italian-American community. From there, other media stories followed and a true pizza frenzy kicked off.

The rest of the pizza history here

History

In New York’s tenement days, Monday was laundry day

By Emily Nonko, Mon, February 8, 2021

“A Mondy washing.” Image from the Library of Congress, Detroit Photographic Co., via Wikimedia Commons

The image of New York’s old tenements is hardly complete without lines of laundry hanging between each building. Like today, doing laundry was a public endeavor for most New Yorkers. But unlike today, they depended on their building’s laundry lines to dry everything out. Ephemeral New York notes that Monday was typically the chosen day to get it done. As the photo caption says above, full lines of laundry were evident of “A Monday’s Washing.” Monday was known as a “hard wash-day” that required incredible effort from the women of the tenements.

See historic photos of laundry day

Events, History, holidays

“Alphas Hold the Line.” Photo by Michael Young. 

During the month of February, the nation observes Black History Month as a way to celebrate and honor African American history and culture. While this year’s commemoration will be different because of the pandemic, many New York City organizations and institutions are hosting virtual events, lectures, and exhibitions. Learn about the achievements and influence of Black Americans with an online walking tour featuring Black artists of Greenwich Village, a concert honoring composers of the Harlem Renaissance, a class on Black archaeology in New York City, and much more.

Get the full list

Greenwich Village, History

Historic Village Cigars building will be sold

By Dana Schulz, Wed, February 3, 2021

Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr cc

Not only is the building that houses Village Cigars iconic for its oft-photographed location the corner of 7th Avenue South and Christopher Street, but because on the sidewalk out front is Hess Triangle, once the smallest piece of private land in New York City. Real Estate Weekly spoke with current owner Jonathan Posner, who said, “The pandemic has detrimentally impacted the property’s retail income and the expense of operating the building continues unabated.” Sources tell REW that it will be sold for around $5.5 million. Read more

Downtown Brooklyn, History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

227 Duffield Street; Map data © 2020 Google

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to designate a Brooklyn property that was home to known abolitionists, likely saving it from demolition. Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, members of the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War, lived at the Greek-Revival row house at 227 Duffield Street from 1851 to 1863. The commission recommended 227 Duffield for designation because it represents a rare surviving home to known abolitionists and marks Brooklyn’s pre-Civil War abolitionist movement. The push for landmarking the site was accelerated in 2019 when a developer filed permits to raze the three-story structure and replace it with a much taller mixed-use building.

Learn more

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.