Streetview of 14-16 Fifth Avenue, Map data © 2020 Google; Painting of Henry Breevort via public domain, Photo of General Daniel Edgar Sickles courtesy of the Library of Congress, and photo of Celeste Holm via public domain
Madison Realty Capital filed plans last month to demolish 14-16 Fifth Avenue, a five-story apartment building constructed in 1848, and replace it with a 244-foot-tall tower. Because it is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, it can only be demolished if the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission rules that the building itself is of no historic or architectural merit, and does not contribute to the character of the district (the public hearings where this would be debated and decided have not yet been scheduled). What may seem like a nondescript apartment building actually has an incredibly rich and varied history. Throughout its 170-year history, 14-16 Fifth Avenue was home to Civil War generals, Gold Rush writers, Oscar-winning actors, railroad magnates, pioneering industrialists, inventors, and politicians. What follows is just some of the history behind this easily-overlooked lower Fifth Avenue landmark.
One building, tons of history
Renderings courtesy of RAL Development Services
The vision for a contested tech hub currently underway at 124 East 14th Street—the site of the former P.C. Richard & Son building—is coming into sharper focus. RAL Development Services released a new batch of renderings and rebranded the project with a new name, Zero Irving, presumably a nod to neighboring Irving Place. The 21-story building will include office space, a technology training center and incubator, co-working spaces, an event space, and a street-level food hall. The project broke ground over the summer and is slated for completion toward the end of 2020.
Rendering via NYCEDC
The city’s plans to create a tech hub at 124 East 14th Street near Union Square have been embroiled in a preservation battle since they were first announced. Community organizations like the Cooper Square Committee and Village Preservation have advocated for the past year that any rezoning should come with protections for the adjacent neighborhood, which is largely residential. As the Daily News reported, Village Preservation recently criticized the city for its lack of transparency in the development process, while claiming that it gave out a “sweetheart deal” based on political alliances and campaign donations.
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Via Flickr cc
The Greenwich Village Historic District was officially landmarked in April 1969. To celebrate the district’s 50th anniversary, Village Preservation will host a Village Open House Weekend on April 13th and 14th. Throughout the weekend, more than 70 local businesses, houses of worship, theaters, educational institutions, bars, restaurants, and neighborhood landmarks will open their doors, offering walking tours, events, and promotions.
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A Village preservation group on Monday called on the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the interior of White Horse Tavern a landmark. In a letter to LPC Chair Sarah Carroll, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) wrote that “the potential loss of the interior of this tavern from a recent change in ownership would be a devastating loss, not only to New York City, but to the country and the world.” The request comes less than a week after the 140-year-old West Village bar was sold to notorious landlord Steve Croman, who once served jail time for tenant harassment.
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The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has released a new way to find out about the East Village, one of New York City’s most interesting and historically layered neighborhoods. East Village Building Blocks is an online tool you can use to find out the history of each one of the neighborhood’s 2,200 buildings.
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The New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has filed permits to construct a 22-floor tech hub at 114 East 14th Street near Union Square, CityRealty reports. Officially known as the Union Square Tech Training Center, the 254,000-square-foot, $250 million, facility has big plans to ramp up NYC’s high-tech firepower: In addition to affordable office space for startups, market-rate office space for tech companies, and a retail and market area run by Urbanspace, the nonprofit Civic Hall will be running a new digital skills training center at the midblock site once occupied by a PC Richard & Son electronics store.
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, Wed, September 26, 2018
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to calendar seven buildings on Broadway in Union Square, marking the first step to designating them as landmarks. The buildings sit adjacent to the tech hub, a 21-story tech training center planned for 124 East 14th Street and approved by the City Council last month. With the hub’s approval, the area was upzoned without landmark protections, allowing for about 85,000 square feet of office space and 16,500 more square feet between Civic Hall, step-up space and the workforce development hub.
There’s probably no neighborhood in NYC more associated with the history and current success of the comedy scene than Greenwich Village, and here’s a chance to hear some of today’s top comics in one of the neighborhood’s most iconic venues. On Monday, March 12, GVSHP’s Brokers Partnership will hold their fourth annual Comedy Night at the Village Underground, featuring comics Emmy Blotnick, Matthew Broussard, Phil Hanley, Matteo Lane, Lenny Marcus, Brian Scott McFadden, and more to come. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is offering one lucky 6sqft reader the chance to win two tickets to the event–worth $90!
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Plan of New York map courtesy of Curriculum Concepts International
In 1626, the Dutch West India Company imported 11 African slaves to New Amsterdam, beginning New York’s 200 year-period of slavery. One man in this group, Paolo d’Angola, would become the city’s first non-Native settler of Greenwich Village. As the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) discovered, and added to their Civil Rights and Social Justice Map, as a recently freed slave, d’Angola was granted land around today’s Washington Square Park for a farm. While this seems like a generous gesture from a slave owner, d’Angola’s land actually served as an intermediary spot between the European colonists and the American Indians, who sometimes raided settlements. This area, in addition to Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo, was known as the “Land of the Blacks.”
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