World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Greenwich Village

Article Id: WHEBN0000013011
Reproduction Date:

Title: Greenwich Village  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Cleanup listing, The New School, South Village
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village Historic District
The re-opening in 2009 of Washington Square Park, in the heart of Greenwich Village, with Washington Square Arch in the background
Greenwich Village is located in New York City
Greenwich Village
Location Boundaries: north: W 14th St; south: Houston St; west: Hudson River; east: Broadway
Architectural style various
NRHP Reference # 79001604[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 19, 1979
Designated NYCL initial district: April 29, 1969
extension: May 2, 2006
second extension: June 22, 2010

Greenwich Village,[notes 1] often referred to by locals as simply "the Village", is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Greenwich Village has been known as an artists' haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and '60s counterculture movements. Groenwijck, one of the Dutch names of the village (meaning "Green District") was Anglicized to Greenwich.[2][notes 2] New York University (NYU) is located in Greenwich Village.

Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization;[3] the three zip codes that constitute the Village – 10012, 10013, and 10014 – were all ranked among the ten most expensive in the United States by median housing price in 2014, according to Forbes.[4]


MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village

The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the North River (part of the Hudson River) to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north, and roughly centered on Washington Square Park and New York University. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north. The East Village was formerly considered part of the Lower East Side and never associated with Greenwich Village.[5] The western part of Greenwich Village is known as West Village; the dividing line is debated – narrowly speaking it is the area west of 7th Avenue, which is heavily residential, but broadly speaking it is the area west of 6th Avenue – the grid changes at 6th Avenue, commonly assumed to be the dividing line. The Far West Village is a sub-neighborhood from the Hudson River to Hudson Street. The neighborhood is located in New York's 8th congressional district, New York's 25th State Senate district, New York's 66th State Assembly district, and New York City Council's 3rd district.

Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square – based on the major landmark Washington Square Park[6] or Empire Ward[7] in the 19th century.

Encyclopaedia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" (subheading "Greenwich Village") states that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding (today, Spring Street might be considered the southern boundary of the neighborhood sometimes called the South Village, though some cite Canal Street as the furthest extent of the South Village). The newer district of SoHo has since encroached on the Village's historic border.

Grid plan

The intersection of West 4th and West 12th Streets

As Greenwich Village was once a rural grid plan (based on the Commissioners' Plan of 1811). Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas west of the 18th century Greenwich Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) and the early 20th century Sixth Avenue, which were already built up when the plan was implemented, resulting in a neighborhood whose streets are dramatically different, in layout, from the ordered structure of newer parts of town. Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood.

Unlike streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village typically are named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood. For example, West 4th Street, which runs east-west outside of the Village, turns and runs north, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, 12th, and ending at West 13th Street.

453–461 Sixth Avenue in the Historic District

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[8] Redevelopment in that area is severely restricted, and developers must preserve the main facade and aesthetics of the buildings even during renovation.

Most of the buildings of Greenwich Village are mid-rise apartments, 19th-century row houses, and the occasional one-family walk-up, a sharp contrast to the high-rise landscape in Mid- and Downtown Manhattan.


Greenwich Village is served by the A C E trains, the B D F M trains, the L train, and the 1 2 3 trains. The 14th Street / Sixth Avenue, 14th Street – Eighth Avenue, West Fourth Street – Washington Square, and Christopher Street – Sheridan Square stations are in the neighborhood. Local bus routes are the M5, M7, M11, M14, and M20 buses.

Notable structures

Greenwich Village includes several college or post-baccaulaurate institutions. Since the 1830s, New York University (NYU) has had a campus there. In 1973 NYU moved its campus in the University Heights section of the West Bronx to Greenwich Village. In 1976 Yeshiva University established the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in the northern part of Greenwich Village. In the 1980s Hebrew Union College was built in Greenwich Village. The New School, with its Parsons The New School for Design, a division of The New School, and the School's Graduate School expanded in the 2000s, with the newly renovated, award winning design of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at 66 Fifth Avenue on 13th Street. The Cooper Union is also located in Greenwich Village, at Astor Place, near St. Mark's Place on the border of the East Village. Pratt Institute established its latest Manhattan campus in an adaptively reused Brunner & Tryon designed a loft building on 14th Street, just east of Seventh Avenue. The university campus building expansion was followed by a gentrification process in the 1980s.

The historic Washington Square Park is the center and heart of the neighborhood, but the Village has several other, smaller parks: Father Fagan, Minetta Triangle, Petrosino Square, Little Red Square, and Time Landscape. There are also city playgrounds, including DeSalvio Playground, Minetta, Thompson Street, Bleecker Street, Downing Street, Mercer Street, Cpl. John A. Seravelli, and William Passannante Ballfield. Perhaps the most famous, though, is "The Cage", officially known as the West Fourth Street Courts. Sitting on top of the West Fourth Street – Washington Square subway station (A B C D E F M trains) at Sixth Avenue, the courts are easily accessible to basketball and American handball players from all over New York. The Cage has become one of the most important tournament sites for the city-wide "Streetball" amateur basketball tournament. Since 1975, New York University's art collection has been housed at the Grey Art Gallery bordering Washington Square Park, at 100 Washington Square East. The Grey Art Gallery is notable for its museum quality exhibitions of contemporary art.

The Village also has a bustling performing arts scene. It is still home to many Off Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theaters; for instance, Blue Man Group has taken up residence in the Astor Place Theater. The Village Gate (until 1992), the Village Vanguard and The Blue Note are still presenting some of the biggest names in jazz on a regular basis. Other music clubs include The Bitter End, and Lion's Den. The village also has its own orchestra aptly named the Greenwich Village Orchestra. Comedy clubs dot the Village as well, including The Boston and Comedy Cellar, where many American stand-up comedians got their start.

Several publications have offices in the Village, most notably the citywide newsweekly The Village Voice, and the monthly magazines Fortune and American Heritage. The National Audubon Society, having relocated its national headquarters from a mansion in Carnegie Hill to a restored and very green, former industrial building in NoHo, relocated to smaller but even greener LEED certified digs at 225 Varick Street,[9] a short way down Houston Street from the Film Forum.


The Village as village

Map of old Greenwich Village. A section of Bernard Ratzer's map of New York and its suburbs, made circa 1766 for Henry Moore, Royal Governor of New York, when Greenwich was more than two miles (3 km) from the city.

In the 16th century, Native Americans referred to its farthest northwest corner, by the cove on the Hudson River at present-day Gansevoort Street, as Sapokanikan ("tobacco field"). The land was cleared and turned into pasture by Dutch and freed African settlers in the 1630s, who named their settlement Noortwyck. In the 1630s, Governor Wouter van Twiller farmed tobacco on 200 acres (0.81 km2) here at his "Farm in the Woods".[10] The English conquered the Dutch settlement of New Netherland in 1664, and Greenwich Village developed as a hamlet separate from the larger New York City to the south on land that would eventually become Lower Manhattan.

It officially became a village in 1712 and is first referred to as Grin'wich in 1713 Common Council records. Sir Peter Warren began accumulating land in 1731 and built a frame house capacious enough to hold a sitting of the Assembly when smallpox rendered the city dangerous in 1739. His house, which survived until the Civil War era, overlooked the North River from a bluff; its site on the block bounded by Perry and Charles Streets, Bleecker and West 4th Streets,[11] can still be recognized by its mid-19th century rowhouses inserted into a neighborhood still retaining many houses of the 1830–37 boom.

From 1797[12] until 1829,[13] the bucolic village of Greenwich was the location of New York State's first penitentiary, Newgate Prison, on the Hudson River at what is now West 10th Street,[12] near the Christopher Street pier.[14] The building was designed by Joseph-François Mangin, who would later co-design New York City Hall.[15] Although the intention of its first warden, Quaker prison reformer Thomas Eddy, was to provide a rational and humanitarian place for retribution and rehabilitation, the prison soon became an overcrowded and pestilent place, subject to frequent riots by the prisoners which damaged the buildings and killed some inmates.[12] By 1821, the prison, which was designed for 432 inmates, held 817 instead, a number made possible only by the frequent release of prisoners, sometimes as many as 50 a day.[16] Since the prison was north of New York City, being sentenced to Newgate became known as being "sent up the river", an expression which carried over when it was replaced by the new Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.[14]

The oldest house remaining in Greenwich Village is the Isaacs-Hendricks House, at 77 Bedford Street (built 1799, much altered and enlarged 1836, third story 1928).[17] When the Church of St. Luke in the Fields was founded in 1820 it stood in fields south of the road (now Christopher Street) that led from Greenwich Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) down to a landing on the North River. In 1822, a yellow fever epidemic in New York encouraged residents to flee to the healthier air of Greenwich Village, and afterwards many stayed. The future site of Washington Square was a potter's field from 1797 to 1823 when 10 to 20,000 of New York's poor were buried here, and still remain. The handsome Greek revival rowhouses on the north side of Washington Square were built about 1832, establishing the fashion of Washington Square and lower Fifth Avenue for decades to come. Well into the 19th century, the district of Washington Square was considered separate from Greenwich Village.

The Village as urban bohemia

Greenwich Village is generally known as an important landmark on the map of American bohemian culture. The neighborhood is known for its colorful, artistic residents and the alternative culture they propagate. Due in part to the progressive attitudes of many of its residents, the Village has traditionally been a focal point of new movements and ideas, whether political, artistic, or cultural. This tradition as an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture was established during the 19th century and into the 20th century, when small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived.

The Tenth Street Studio Building was situated at 51 West 10th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the building was commissioned by James Boorman Johnston[18] and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Its innovative design soon represented a national architectural prototype,[19] and featured a domed central gallery, from which interconnected rooms radiated. Hunt's studio within the building housed the first architectural school in the United States.[20] Soon after its completion in 1857, the building helped to make Greenwich Village central to the arts in New York City, drawing artists from all over the country to work, exhibit, and sell their art. In its initial years Winslow Homer took a studio there,[21] as did Edward Lamson Henry, and many of the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt.[22]

The Hotel Albert from the late 19th century through the 21st century has served as a cultural icon of Greenwich Village. Opened during the 1880s and originally located at 11th Street and University Place, called the Hotel St. Stephan and then after 1902, called The Hotel Albert while under the ownership of William Ryder it served as a meeting place, restaurant and dwelling for several important artists and writers from the late 19th century well into the 20th century. After 1902 the owner of the Hotel Albert's brother Albert Pinkham Ryder lived and painted there. Some of the other famous guests who lived there include: Augustus St. Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Lowell, Horton Foote, Salvador Dalí, Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and many others.[23][24] During the golden age of bohemianism, Greenwich Village became famous for such eccentrics as Joe Gould (profiled at length by Joseph Mitchell) and Maxwell Bodenheim, dancer Isadora Duncan, writer William Faulkner, and playwright Eugene O'Neill. Political rebellion also made its home here, whether serious (John Reed) or frivolous (Marcel Duchamp and friends set off balloons from atop Washington Square Arch, proclaiming the founding of "The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village").[25]

Cherry Lane Theatre is also located in Greenwich Village.
The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the world's largest Halloween parade.

In 1924, the Cherry Lane Theatre was established. Located at 38 Commerce Street it is New York City's oldest continuously running Off-Broadway theater. A landmark in Greenwich Village’s cultural landscape, it was built as a farm silo in 1817, and also served as a tobacco warehouse and box factory before Edna St. Vincent Millay and other members of the Provincetown Players converted the structure into a theatre they christened the Cherry Lane Playhouse, which opened on March 24, 1924, with the play The Man Who Ate the Popomack. During the 1940s The Living Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, and the Downtown Theater movement all took root there, and it developed a reputation as a place where aspiring playwrights and emerging voices could showcase their work. In one of the many Manhattan properties Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her husband owned, Gertrude Whitney established the Whitney Studio Club at 8 West 8th Street as a facility where young artists could exhibit their works in 1914. By the 1930s the place would evolve to become her greatest legacy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the site of today's New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. The Whitney was founded in 1931, as an answer to the then newly founded (1928) Museum of Modern Art's collection of mostly European modernism and its neglect of American Art. Gertrude Whitney decided to put the time and money into the museum after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art turned down her offer to contribute her twenty-five-year collection of modern art works.[26] In 1936, the renowned Abstract Expressionist artist and teacher Hans Hofmann moved his art school from E. 57th Street to 52 West 9th Street. In 1938, Hofmann moved again to a more permanent home at 52 West 8th Street. The school remained active until 1958 when Hofmann retired from teaching.[27]

The Village hosted the first racially integrated night club in the United States,[28] when the nightclub Café Society was opened in 1938 at 1 Sheridan Square[29] by Barney Josephson. Café Society showcased African American talent and was intended to be an American version of the political cabarets Josephson had seen in Europe before World War II. Notable performers there included among others: Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Burl Ives, Lead Belly, Anita O'Day, Charlie Parker, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Paul Robeson, Kay Starr, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Josh White, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, and The Weavers, who also in Christmas 1949, played at the Village Vanguard.

The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, initiated in 1974 by Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee, is the world's largest Halloween parade and America's only major nighttime parade, attracting more than 60,000 costumed participants, 2 million in-person spectators, and a worldwide television audience of over 100 million.[30]

Postwar Village scene

The Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street, a designated National Historic Landmark as the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which led to the modern gay rights movement.[31]

The Village again became important to the bohemian scene during the 1950s, when the Beat Generation focused their energies there. Fleeing from what they saw as oppressive social conformity, a loose collection of writers, poets, artists, and students (later known as the Beats) and the Beatniks, moved to Greenwich Village, and to North Beach in San Francisco, in many ways creating the east coast-west coast predecessor to the Haight-Ashbury-East Village hippie scene of the next decade. The Village (and surrounding New York City) would later play central roles in the writings of, among others, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Marianne Moore, Maya Angelou, Rod McKuen, and Dylan Thomas, who collapsed at the Chelsea Hotel and died at St. Vincents Hospital at 170 West 12th Street, in the Village after drinking at the White Horse Tavern on November 5, 1953.

Off-Off-Broadway began in Greenwich Village in 1958 as a reaction to Off Broadway, and a "complete rejection of commercial theatre".[32] Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" (a term supposedly coined by critic Jerry Tallmer of the Village Voice) were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, in particular, the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, originally located at 321 E. 9th Street and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church on the south side of Washington Square Park.

The Village had a cutting-edge cabaret and music scene. The Village Gate, the Village Vanguard, and The Blue Note (since 1981), hosted some of the biggest names in jazz on a regular basis. Greenwich Village also played a major role in the development of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Music clubs included Gerde's Folk City, The Bitter End, Cafe Au Go Go, Cafe Wha?, The Gaslight Cafe and the Bottom Line. Three of the four members of The Mamas & the Papas met there. Guitarist and folk singer Dave Van Ronk lived there for many years. Village resident and cultural icon Bob Dylan by the mid-60s became one of the foremost popular songwriters in the world, and often developments in Greenwich Village would influence the simultaneously occurring folk rock movement in San Francisco and elsewhere, and vice versa. Dozens of other cultural and popular icons got their start in the Village's nightclub, theater, and coffeehouse scene during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Notably, besides Bob Dylan, there were Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bette Midler, The Lovin' Spoonful, Simon & Garfunkel, Liza Minnelli, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Velvet Underground, The Kingston Trio, Carly Simon, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, and Nina Simone, among others. The Greenwich Village of the 1950s and 1960s was at the center of Jane Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which defended it and similar communities, while criticizing common urban renewal policies of the time.

Founded by New York-based artist Mercedes Matter and her students, the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture is an art school formed in the mid-1960s in the Village. The school officially opened September 23, 1964, it is still currently active and it is housed at 8 W. 8th Street, the site of the original Whitney Museum of American Art.[33]

Greenwich Village was also home to one of the many safe houses used by the radical Weather Underground. On March 6, 1970, however, their safehouse was destroyed when an explosive they were constructing was accidentally detonated, killing three Weathermen (Ted Gold, Terry Robbins, and Diana Oughton).

The Village has maintained its role as a center for movements that have challenged the wider American culture, for example, its role in the gay liberation movement. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[34][35] Greenwich village also contains the world's oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, Oscar Wilde Bookshop, founded in 1967, while The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center – best known as simply "The Center" – has occupied the former Food & Maritime Trades High School at 208 West 13th Street since 1984. In 2006, the Village was the scene of an assault involving seven lesbians and a straight man that sparked appreciable media attention, with strong statements both defending and attacking the parties.

Recent history

Jefferson Market Library, once a courthouse, now serves as a branch of the New York Public Library.

Currently, many artists and local historians mourn the fact that the bohemian days of Greenwich Village are long gone, because of the extraordinarily high housing costs in the neighborhood.[36][37][38] The artists fled first to SoHo then to TriBeCa and finally to Williamsburg[37] as well as other neighborhoods in New York City. Nevertheless, residents of Greenwich Village still possess a strong community identity and are proud of their neighborhood's unique history and fame, and its well-known liberal live-and-let-live attitudes.[38]

The Washington Square Arch, an unofficial icon of both NYU and Greenwich Village, which have been embroiled in a conflict over campus expansion versus preservation of the Bohemian character of the Village.[39]

Historically, local residents and preservation groups have been concerned about development in the Village and have fought to preserve the architectural and historic integrity of the neighborhood. In the 1960s, Margot Gayle led a group of citizens to preserve the Jefferson Market Courthouse (later reused as Jefferson Market Library)[40] while other citizen groups fought to keep traffic out of Washington Square Park[41] and Jane Jacobs, using the Village as an example of a vibrant urban community, advocated to keep it that way.

Since then, preservation has been a part of the Village ethos. Shortly after the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was established in 1965, the LPC acted to protect parts of Greenwich Village, designating the small Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District in 1966, which contains the city's largest concentration of row houses in the Federal style, as well as a significant concentration of Greek Revival houses, and the even smaller MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District in 1967, a group of 22 houses sharing a common back garden, built in the Greek Revival style and later renovated with Colonial Revival facades. In 1969, the LPC designated the Greenwich Village Historic District — for four decades, the city’s largest — despite preservationists’ advocacy for the entire neighborhood to be designated an historic district.

Advocates continued to pursue their goal of additional designation, spurred in particular by the increased pace of development in the 1990s. The [42]

  • Gansevoort Market Historic District was the first new historic district in Greenwich Village in 34 years. The 112 buildings on 11 blocks protect the city’s distinctive Meatpacking District with its cobblestone streets, warehouses and rowhouses. About 70 percent of the area proposed by GVSHP in 2000 was designated a historic district by the LPC in 2003, while the entire area was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2007.[43][44]
  • Weehawken Street Historic District, designated in 2006, is a 14-building, three-block district near the Hudson River centering around tiny Weehawken Street and containing an array of architecture including a sailor’s hotel, former stables, and a wooden house.[45]
  • Greenwich Village Historic District Extension I, designated in 2006, brought 46 more buildings on three blocks into the district, thus protecting warehouses, a former public school and police station, and early 19th century rowhouses. Both the Weehawken Street Historic District and the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension I were designated by the LPC in response to the larger proposal for a Far West Village Historic District submitted by GVSHP in 2004.[45]
  • Greenwich Village Historic District Extension II, designated in 2010, embracing 225 buildings on 12 blocks, contains 19th century houses, 19th and 20th century tenements, and a variety of cultural landmarks.[46]
  • South Village Historic District, designated in 2013, covers 235 buildings on 13 blocks, representing the largest single expansion of landmark protections in Greenwich Village since 1969. It includes well preserved and renovated 19th century houses, colorful tenements, and a variety of sites important to the area’s rich immigrant, artistic, and Italian-American history, as well as several low-rise, historically significant New York University buildings on Washington Square South.[47]

The Landmarks Preservation Commission also designated as landmarks several individual sites proposed by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, including the former Bell Telephone Labs Complex (1861-1933), now Westbeth Artists' Housing, designated in 2011;[48] the Silver Towers/University Village Complex (1967), designed by I.M. Pei and including the Picasso sculpture “Portrait of Sylvette,” designated in 2008;[49] and three early 19th-century federal houses at 127, 129 and 131 MacDougal Street.

In addition, several contextual rezonings were enacted in Greenwich Village in recent years to limit the size and height of allowable new development in the neighborhood, and to encourage the preservation of existing buildings. The following were proposed by the GVSHP and passed by the City Planning Commission:

  • Far West Village Rezoning, approved in 2005, was the first downzoning in Manhattan in many years, putting in place new height caps, thus ending construction of high-rise waterfront towers in much of the Village and encouraging the reuse of existing buildings.[50]
  • Washington and Greenwich Street Rezoning, approved in 2010, was passed in near-record time to protect six blocks from out-of-scale hotel development and maintain the low-rise character.[51]

New York University and Greenwich Village preservationists have been embroiled in a conflict over campus expansion versus preservation of the scale and Bohemian character of the Village.[39] As one press critic put it in 2013, “For decades, New York University has waged architectural war on Greenwich Village.”[52] Recent examples of the university clashing with the community, often led by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, include the destruction of the 85 West Third Street house where Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1844-5, which NYU promised to rebuild using original materials, but then claimed not to have enough bricks to do so; the construction of the 26-story Founders Hall dorm behind the façade of demolished St. Ann’s Church at 120 East Twelfth Street, which advocates protested as being out of scale for the low-rise area, and received assurances from NYU, which then built all 26 stories anyway;[53] and the demolition in 2009 of the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, over protests.[54]

In 2008, as part of a multi-stakeholder Community Task Force on NYU Development, the university agreed to a set of “Planning Principles.”[55] Yet advocates did not find NYU to follow the principles in practice, culminating in a successful lawsuit against the university’s “NYU 2031” plan for expansion.[56]


Greenwich Village residents are zoned to two elementary schools: PS3, Melser Charrette School, and PS41, Greenwich Village School. Residents are zoned to Baruch Middle School 104. Residents apply to various New York City high schools. Greenwich Village High School is a private high school located in the area.

Greenwich Village is home to New York University, which owns large sections of the area and most of the buildings around Washington Square Park. To the north is the campus of The New School, which is housed in several buildings that are considered historical landmarks because of their innovative architecture.[57] New School's Sheila Johnson Design Center also doubles as a public art gallery.[58] Cooper Union, one of the most selective engineering, art, and architecture schools in the world, is located in the East Village.

Notable residents

Greenwich Village has long been a popular neighborhood for numerous artists and other notable people. It is home to celebrities, including [59] Matthew Broderick grew up and still lives in the neighborhood with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker. American designer Marc Jacobs[60] and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper[61] live in the community. Alt-country/folk musician Steve Earle moved to the neighborhood in 2005,[62] and his album Washington Square Serenade is primarily about his experiences in the Village. The Village serves as home to Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and Calvin Trillin, a feature writer for The New Yorker magazine.

In popular culture



90 Bedford Street, used for exterior shot in Friends


  • Greenwich Village is a playable multiplayer map in the Freedom Fighters (2003) video game.


  • In her non-fiction, Jane Jacobs frequently cites Greenwich Village as an example of a vibrant urban community.
  • O. Henry's short story, "The Last Leaf", is set in Greenwich Village.
  • The anti-hero of the book Mother Night by author Kurt Vonnegut, and the film of the same name, Howard W. Campbell Jr. resides in Greenwich Village after WWII and prior to his arrest by the Israelis.
  • In Lesley M.M. Blume's children's novel, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, the main characters reside in Greenwich Village.
  • The suggestion of moving to the Village shocks newlywed New York aristocrat Jamie "Rick" Ricklehouse in Nora Johnson's 1985 novel Tender Offer. The implication is telling of the Village's reputation in the New York of the 1960s before mass gentrification when it was perceived as lowly and beneath upper class society.[63]




See also


Explanatory notes

  1. ^ , , , .[1]
  2. ^ During the period of Dutch control over the area, the Village was called Noortwyck ("Northern District", because of its location north of  


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ NYPL Map Division, Greenwich Village
  3. ^ Strenberg, Adam (November 12, 2007). "Embers of Gentrification". New York Magazine. p. 5. 
  4. ^ Erin Carlyle (October 8, 2014). "New York Dominates 2014 List of America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes". Forbes. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ F.Y.I., "When did the East Village become the East Village and stop being part of the Lower East Side?", Jesse McKinley, New York Times, June 1, 1995. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  6. ^ "Village History". The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Retrieved January 5, 2008. ; Joyce Gold, From Trout Stream to Bohemia: a walking guide to Greenwich Village history 1988:6
  7. ^ Harris, Luther S. (2003). Around Washington Square: An Illustrated History of Greenwich Village. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  8. ^ "Landmark Maps: Historic District Maps: Manhattan". Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Claire (April 6, 2008). "Audubon's New Home Brings the Outdoors In". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Gold 1988:2
  11. ^ Gold 1988:3
  12. ^ a b c Burrows & Wallace, pp.366–367
  13. ^ Burrow & Wallace, p.448
  14. ^ a b Nevius, Michelle and Nevius, James. Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City. New York: Free Press, 2009. ISBN 141658997X, p.53
  15. ^ Burrows & Wallace, p.369
  16. ^ Burrows & Wallace, pp.505–506
  17. ^ Kevin Walsh, Forgotten New York: The Ultimate Urban Explorer's Guide to All Five Boroughs, 2006:155.
  18. ^ James Boorman Johnston (1822–1887) was a son of the prominent Scottish-born New York merchant John Johnston, in partnership with James Boorman (1783–1866) as Boorman & Johnston, developers of Washington Square North, and a founder of New York University; a group portrait of the , 1831Johnston Children, is at the Museum of the City of New York.
  19. ^ PAM
  20. ^ MCNY
  21. ^ , The New York TimesEvoking the World of Winslow Homer
  22. ^ 4. History of the Tenth Street Studio
  23. ^ Hotel Albert history
  24. ^ The Albert Hotel Addresses Its MythsNY Times,
  25. ^ The Free And Independent Republic Of Washington SquareThe Daily Plant,
  26. ^ Berman, Avis (1990). Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art. New York: Atheneum. 
  27. ^ "Hans Hofmann Estate, retrieved December 19, 2008". Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  28. ^ William Robert Taylor, Inventing Times Square: commerce and culture at the crossroads of the world 1991:176
  29. ^ Many sources give the address at 2 Sheridan Square: "Barney Josephson, Owner of Cafe Society Jazz Club, Is Dead at 86", The New York Times; see history of "The theater at One Sheridan Square".
  30. ^ Village Halloween Parade. "History of the Parade". Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Workforce Diversity The Stonewall Inn, National Historic Landmark National Register Number: 99000562". National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  32. ^ Viagas (2004, 72)
  33. ^ History of the NY Studio School, retrieved December 19, 2008
  34. ^ National Park Service (2008). "Workforce Diversity: The Stonewall Inn, National Historic Landmark National Register Number: 99000562". US Department of Interior. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Obama inaugural speech references Stonewall gay-rights riots". North Jersey Media Group. January 21, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  36. ^ Roberts, Rex (July 29, 2002). "When Greenwich Village was a Bohemian paradise". Insight on the News. 
  37. ^ a b Harris, Paul (August 14, 2005). "New York's heart loses its beat". Arts (London: Guardian Unlimited). Retrieved December 2, 2007. 
  38. ^ a b Desloovere, Hesper (November 15, 2007). "City Living: Greenwich Village". New York City (Newsday). Retrieved December 2, 2007. 
  39. ^ a b Eli Rosenberg (March 19, 2014). "After A Long War, Can NYU and the Village Ever Make Peace?". Vox Media Inc. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  40. ^ The New York Times (September 30, 2008). "Margot Gayle, Urban Preservationist and Crusader With Style, Dies at 100". Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  41. ^ The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. "Shirley Hayes and the Preservation of Washington Square Park". 
  42. ^ The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "Preservation". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  43. ^ The New York Times (September 11, 2003). "Blood on the Street, and it's Chic". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  44. ^ The Villager. "Gansevoort Historic District Gets Final Approval From City". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  45. ^ a b The Observer. "Village Historic District Extension". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  46. ^ City Room, The New York Times (June 22, 2010). "Panel Enlarges Landmark Zone and Cites 2 Bronx Sites". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  47. ^ The Villager. "Positively South Village: L.P.C. Votes to Expand Historic District". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  48. ^ The Villager. "City Dubs Westbeth a Landmark". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  49. ^ City Room, The New York Times (November 18, 2008). "Pei's University Village Tops List of 7 Landmarks". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  50. ^ The Sun. "City, Landmarks Looking to Rezone Part of West Village". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  51. ^ Crain's NY Business. "Council Approves 2 Village Rezonings". Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  52. ^ Russell, James. "NYU Blights Village With Dumpsters, Fencing, Concrete". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  53. ^ Anderson, Lincoln (2 August 2006). "Conceding nothing, N.Y.U. starts building megadorm" (Vol. 76, No. 11). The Villager. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  54. ^ "Neighbors and Preservationists Protest...". GVSHP. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  55. ^ Arenson, Karen (30 January 2008). "N.Y.U. Offers An Accord on Growth". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  56. ^ Bagli, Charles (7 January 2014). "Judge Blocks Part of N.Y.U.'s Plan for Four Towers in Greenwich Village". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  57. ^ "The New School". August 25, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  58. ^ "The New School: Johnson Design Center". Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  59. ^ "Secure Location". New York Post. September 11, 2006. 
  60. ^ "Secure Location". New York Post. December 3, 2009. 
  61. ^ "Secure Location". Bowery Boogie. 
  62. ^ Seabrook, John (June 11, 2007). "Transplant".  
  63. ^ Johnson, Nora (1985). Tender Offer. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 98.  
  64. ^ Carlson, Jen "NYC Album Art: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", Gothamist, April 18, 2006, accessed August 11, 2011.
  65. ^ |title=NY Daily Quote: Where I Should Have Been Born
  66. ^ Bunyan, Patrick. All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities. New York: Fordham University Press. p. 160.  
  67. ^ The Angelika Film Center was said to be "up the block" from Central Perk in "The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel", the sixth season's second episode, placing the coffee house on Mercer Street or Houston.
  68. ^ This address was given "The One With Joey's New Brain", episode 7–15.
  69. ^ "Filming locations for Friends". Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  70. ^ Matt Zoller Seitz (April 22, 2013). Recap: The Electric Circus"Mad Men". Vulture. 
  71. ^ Alex Ross (April 21, 2013). "The Rest is Noise: Electric Circus, Electric Ear". The New Yorker. 
  72. ^ "Hudson Street Loft at". Retrieved September 21, 2010. 


External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.