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.”
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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A beloved 140-year-old West Village bar known for its famous poet and artist clientele has been sold. The new owner of White Horse Tavern, which opened on Hudson Street in 1880, is Steve Croman, a notorious landlord who served prison time for tenant harassment, as Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York first reported. And on top of that unsavory news, the historic bar will be run by restauranteur Eytan Sugarman, who recently made headlines for his copycat pepperoni slice at Made In New York that looks identical to that of Prince Street Pizza. But Sugarman told Eater NY he’s taking the bar’s historic details into account. “We are only focused on preserving the rich history and legacy of this iconic institution for New Yorkers,” he said.
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With rising rents and ever-changing commercial drags, New Yorkers can take comfort that the city still holds classic bar haunts, some of which have been serving booze for over 100 years. Some watering holes, like the Financial District’s Fraunces Tavern, played a crucial role in major historic events. Others, like Midtown’s 21 Club and the West Village’s White Horse Tavern, hosted the most notable New Yorkers of the time. These institutions all survived Prohibition–managing to serve alcohol in both unique and secretive ways–and figured out ways to serve a diverse, ever-changing clientele of New Yorkers up to this day.
6sqft rounded up the seven most impressive bars when it comes to New York City history–and they’ve got the legends, stories, and ghosts to prove it. From longshoreman bars to underground speakeasies to Upper East Side institutions, these are the watering holes that have truly withstood New York’s test of time.
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