The “East Village” Is Born, In Print

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

On February 7, 1960 the New York Times wrote an article discussing changes in Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side.  Four years beforehand the El (above ground subway) had been removed from Third Avenue.  With that barrier dismantled, Villagers from the west began to move east as “new shops, luxury and middle-income housing, and remodeled rooming-houses” began to appear.   Increasing rents in Greenwich Village pushed residents, artists, writers, students and musicians to seek cheaper rents further east.  The neighborhood was being rechristened “Village East” or  the “East Village.”   The New York Times story appears to be one of the very first, or possibly the first, recorded instance of the part of the Lower East Side north of Houston Street being referred to as “the East Village.”

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Newcomers were arriving in the neighborhood  not just from points in the Village further west, but from other parts of the city, country, and world.  Long a mecca for immigrants from Europe and more recently for migrants from Puerto Rico, now the neighborhood was beginning to become a destination in its own right for beatniks and members of the emerging “counter-culture.” At the same time, landlords were gutting and remodeling existing housing stock to make a larger profit from this new influx.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

The article also goes on to discuss the historical makeup of the neighborhood, the strong Polish, Ukrainian, and Italian communities that there is still evidence of today, as well as the Puerto Rican communities that make Alphabet City.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

In addition to discussing the shifting dynamics of the neighborhood, the article also mentions how new galleries and theaters that were being created were helping “provide the nerve center for the new East Side cultural movement.”

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

The full article can be read here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tagged with: , , ,
0 comments on “The “East Village” Is Born, In Print
1 Pings/Trackbacks for "The “East Village” Is Born, In Print"
  1. […] In 1875, the Rapid Transit Commission granted the New York Elevated Railway Company the right to construct the railway from Battery Park to the Harlem River along the Bowery and Third Avenue.  The Third Avenue El opened in 1878, running from South Ferry to 129th Street.  In the 1930s and 1940s, as part of the integration of the different subway companies in New York City—the IRT,  Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit (BMT), and Independent Subway System (IND)—the Third Avenue elevated and its counterparts came under criticism from New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia and his successors. The elevated lines were regarded as blights on their communities and obsolete, since the subways were being built or were planned to replace them.  The system was closed in sections from 1950 to 1973; on May 12, 1955, the main portion of the line closed from Chatham Square to East 149th Street in the Bronx, ending the operation of elevated service in Manhattan.  The removal was a catalyst to a wave of new construction, adding property values on the East Side (and spurring the birth of the “East Village”). […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*