St. Mark’s in the Bowery Church

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East Village, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, West Village 

What lies below: NYC’s forgotten and hidden graveyards

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, December 21, 2017

Zoom of the 1852 Dripps map of Manhattan, showing the proximity of downtown cemeteries, via David Rumsey Map Collection

Most New Yorkers spend some time underground every day as part of their daily commute, but some spend eternity beneath our streets, and in a few cases occupy some pretty surprising real estate.

Manhattan cemeteries are tougher to get into than Minetta Tavern without a reservation on a Saturday night because as far back as 1823, New York forbade new burials south of Canal Street. In 1851 that prohibition was extended to new burials south of 86th Street, and the creation of new cemeteries anywhere on the island was banned. But thousands of people were buried in Manhattan before those restrictions went into effect. And while some gravesites remain carefully maintained and hallowed ground, such as the those at St. Mark’s in the Bowery Church on Stuyvesant Street, Trinity Church on Wall Street, and St Paul’s Church at Fulton and Broadway, others have been forgotten and overlaid with some pretty surprising new uses, including playgrounds, swimming pools, luxury condos, and even a hotel named for the current occupant of the White House.

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Architecture, Features

favorite nyc buildings

Once upon a time, when 6sqft was not yet launched, a group of writers were asked for their thoughts on their favorite building in New York City. Their choices, some easily recognizable and others a little further from the beaten path, were mixed together with those of a few folks a lot like our readers—interested in and passionate about all things New York. The result? A wonderful blend of what makes this city great: its diversity, not simply demographically but also in the opinions of those eight million souls who weave together the fabric of all five boroughs to create the most interesting city in the world. And it stands to reason the most interesting city in the world is home to quite a few interesting buildings. As one might expect, there was barely a duplicate in the bunch. Some weren’t even on our radar!

Is your favorite on the list? If not, we’d love to know what you think in the comments.

Read on to see if you agree with our selections

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