This week’s Spot the Shot was taken at 725 Greenwich Street, between Charles & Perry Streets.
Have you ever wondered why this row of houses looks more like the Costa del Sol than Greenwich Village? They are two of several Mediterranean-style rowhouses scattered sporadically throughout the neighborhood, and their existence speaks to significant demographic changes that were transforming the Village in the early 20th century.
No. 725 (the yellow house) was built in 1835, and No. 727 (the blue house) in 1839. Back then, they looked nothing like they do today, but probably resembled more typical brick rowhouses with stoops. In 1928, the architect Ferdinand Savignano remodeled Nos. 725-731 in the Spanish Colonial style, which was very popular at the time, and converted them to multi-family homes. Rowhouses all over the Village underwent similar conversions beginning around ca. 1915, when real estate professionals were attempting to market to affluent professionals the artistic, quaint feel of the Village made famous by bohemian residents in the earlier part of the century. Stucco was often employed as a nod to “old world,” artistic quarters in older European cities.
Though often overlooked, this period of architectural transformation of the Village has gained new recognition since the 2009 publication of The Rowhouse Reborn by Andrew Dolkart, who also authored our report The South Village: A Proposal for Historic District Designation. The book goes into much greater depth about the years from approx. 1915-1930, when hundreds of old rowhouses in Greenwich Village were renovated in a similar fashion.
If you’d like to know more about Nos. 725-731 Greenwich Street, check out the Greenwich Village Historic District Designation Report, available on our Resources page under Designation Reports. To find out more about this architectural trend, read the section in our South Village Historic District proposal on Architecture in the Bohemian South Village.
Stay tuned for next week’s Spot the Shot!