Whaam! Pow! Celebrating the Life and Work of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

In a city filled to the brim with galleries, museums, artists’ studios, and, of course, avid art lovers, we’ve all undoubtedly walked by a display of Pop Art at some point. From sidewalk tables of Warhol-esque souvenirs, to t-shirts and tote bags featuring iconic pieces, and even to public works, the over-60-year-old movement is still all around us. Today we celebrate the life and work of Roy Lichtenstein, one of the pioneers of Pop, who passed away on September 29, 1997. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sullivan-Thompson Historic Historic District Gets Its Landmark Street Signs

The new street signs. Click to enlarge.

The Sullivan-Thompson Historic District is the Village’s most recently designated historic district, and was designated in record time. We’re happy to report that it has received its new street signs in record time as well. Usually taking several years to install, the brown street signs that indicate an area lies within a historic district were recently installed, less than nine months after the designation in December 2016. These distinctive brown signs help educate the public and property owners by letting them know they are in a historic district.

The Sullivan-Thompson Historic District designation was the culmination of a fifteen-year campaign and a proposal pursued by GVSHP that resulted in the creation of three new historic districts.  In addition to Sullivan-Thompson, the Greenwich Village Historic Extension II was designated in 2010, and the  South Village Historic District was designated in 2013. Between the three districts, GVSHP secured landmark designation for over 650 buildings, more than half of the 1,250 GVSHP has helped landmark since 2003! With your help, we can do more — click here to read about current advocacy efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

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W.E.B. Du Bois Makes – and Teaches – History at the New School, September 27, 1948

(Photo Credit: Carl Van Vechten, © Van Vechten Trust. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

On September 27, 1948, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, more commonly known as W.E.B. Du Bois, began teaching the very first African-American history and culture class ever taught at a university, at Greenwich Village’s New School for Social Research. This history-making event appears on GVSHP’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Map.

Du Bois taught at the New School for the 1948-1949 school year, teaching the first African-American history class. Previously, Du Bois had taught Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio, sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and economics and history at Atlanta University, among other disciplines and institutions. He was also a fellow and member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, W.E.B. Du Bois was a civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, working as its director of publicity and research and editing its journal, The Crisis. Du Bois was a sociologist, educator, and historian with graduate degrees from the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Mysterious Name & Address Cast in Iron Reveals Layers of History

Walking on East 9th Street the other day I saw a new and surprising element on the Mud Cafe storefront at 307 East 9th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, that I never before noticed.  The inviting bench that is usually outside was moved for a delivery, and one could see what at first appeared to be a perplexing mistake.  At the bottom of one of the columns it read “Boyce & McIntire, 706  E 12th Street.”  But that location is almost a half mile away, between Avenues C and D.

After a little research, however, I discovered this was no mistake at all, and that this stamp revealed a very important and common element of this neighborhood and our city’s history and development.


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Happy Birthday, Tom Bernardin!

Our good friend Tom Bernardin was born on this day in 1948.  A longtime resident of the West Village, Tom is perhaps best known as the “unofficial” historian of Julius’ Bar, and is also a contributor to our oral history collection. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump SoHo Fined and Restrictions Enforced After City Shamed Into Enforcing Law

On this day in 2014, GVSHP wrote Mayor de Blasio to demand that the Trump Soho be subject to strict and clear oversight and enforcement, something missing for years under the prior administration.  A freedom of information request filed by GVSHP in early 2013 showed that for years the NYC Department of Buildings had failed to do its job in enforcing the law and the terms of a restrictive declaration under which the building was approved by the City, which required they file reports proving that illegal residential occupancy was not taking place at the building. The outcome? Trump Soho was compelled to pay $460,781.73 in fines to the public coffers, as shown in the checks below.


Fines paid by Trump Soho to the City of New York, thanks to GVSHP shining a spotlight.

That same year the 454-foot-tall eyesore Trump Soho Condo-Hotel went into foreclosure and was sold.  The whole sad story inspires some reflection and review of how this monstrosity was allowed to be built. Read the rest of this entry »

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Friends Apartments- Fiction or Fantasy?

L: 90 Bedford Street, which stood in as Monica’s apartment building; R: the cast walking down a “Greenwich Village street,” which is actually a Hollywood stage set.

Love them or hate them, Friends was an acclaimed television mainstay, winning 69 awards during its eleven year run from 1994-2004. Friends debuted on September 22nd, 1994, with Greenwich Village as its somewhat implausible backdrop. Monica’s apartment, aka the “Friends Apartment”, as well as Joey and Chandler’s apartment, is shown to be 90 Bedford Street, based upon the exterior shots used for the show. During the first five seasons Ross lived in an apartment in what is shown to be Washington Square Village; and Phoebe lived in apartment 14 at 5 Morton Street. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saved From the Wrecking Ball: Today, and Fifty Years Ago

827-831 Broadway. Architect Griffith Thomas.

Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat! We have seen it on many occasions here at GVSHP. Most recently, in case you haven’t heard, we were victorious in persuading the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the New York City agency charged with administering the city’s Landmarks Preservation law, to begin the formal process of considering 827-831 Broadway for landmark designation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebrating David Rothenberg and the Fortune Society

David Rothenberg and Tom Duane.

Last night, GVSHP and the Fortune Society hosted a celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Fortune Society’s founding by David Rothenberg, and marking the release of GVSHP’s oral history with David and his addition to our Civil Rights and Social Justice Map.  If you missed last night’s celebration, or want to relive it, check out the video of the event or photos from it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Welcome Aboard, Ariel Kates!

Today we are very excited to welcome aboard Ariel Kates as our new Manager of Programming and Communications.  Ariel is thrilled to be a part of our public programming and outreach highlighting our unparalleled neighborhood, and to work with our members.

Ariel Kates

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