Many layers of history on 4th and 5th Streets

Image courtesy of FABnyc.

May the 4th be with you! While today is a special day for many Star Wars fans, for us in the Village today’s date is a reminder of that the low-number streets of the NYC grid plan are encompassed by within our neighborhoods. May is also Lower East Side history month and it is important to remember that one of our neighborhoods, the East Village, was historically part of the LES.  In honor of today’s date, we are taking a look at some of the buildings that dot both 4th and 5th Streets, highlighting the eclectic histories and culture that exists in the East Village, between the Bowery and Avenue A. Read the rest of this entry »

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Announcing the 2018 Village Awardees

Over the past 28 years, GVSHP has honored the unique and outstanding people, organizations, places, and business that make the Village what it is with our Village Awards. You can RSVP to this year’s June 6th Awards Ceremony here. This year we will be honoring an amazing group of awardees, each with an incredible story:

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It’s Here Again! The 20th Annual Spring House Tour Benefit – Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Join us on Sunday, May 6th to step into some of the Village’s most extraordinary homes!

Ah, springtime in New York City. Tulips and daffodils fill our parks, people pour into the streets to enjoy the sunshine, and, of course, GVSHP produces the Annual Spring House Tour Benefit! One of our most anticipated events of the year, the House Tour allows tour-goers to walk through spectacular Village homes, all while raising funds in support of GVSHP’s crucial work to educate about and advocate for the distinctive character and irreplaceable architecture of our neighborhoods.

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Remembering the Ritz

There are a number of legendary rock venues in our neighborhood, many an integral part of the 1980s NYC club scene. One of the leading ones was ‘The Ritz,’ located in Webster Hall, designated a New York City landmark in 2008, on East 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues.  The Ritz opened on May 1, 1980, and it was one of the first clubs to use video in conjunction with music, utilizing a 30 x 30 foot screen (something other clubs around the country would copy). Over the course of its near decade-long tenancy on East 11th Street, the Ritz hosted legends such as U2, Iggy Pop, Tina Turner, Guns N’ Roses, Depeche Mode, Prince, The  Talking Heads, and Sting, just to name a few.

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(the former) Trump SoHo, and Years of Non-Compliance

The building formerly known as the Trump Soho has made the national and international news. But GVSHP was protesting it over ten years ago when its construction was first announced on “The Apprentice.”  We fought the City hard to prevent its construction, which we contended violated zoning laws.  But then-Mayor Bloomberg and elected officials like then-Borough President Scott Stringer and then-City Council speaker Christine Quinn disagreed, and the project went forward, with just a promise of enforcement to prevent zoning violations, in the form of a “restrictive declaration” for the site, which was first filed on April 30, 2007.  But that’s just the beginning of the story.

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Oral Histories on the Founding of An Artists’ Colony, A Prison Reform Organization, and So Much More

GVSHP has been conducting and sharing oral histories since the mid-1990s.  As we look back on two powerhouse oral histories, we’re considering the importance of such documents as “the first kind of history,” as “part of the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

GVSHP Oral Historian conducts an interview

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Smells Like The Pyramid Club

Poster from Nirvana’s second show at The Pyramid Club, April 26, 1990. Image courtesy of Twitter.

Nirvana is one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time.  They helped to popularize this genre of music and brought the Washington State grunge scene that emerged in the 1980’s-90’s to the masses.  Though most closely associated with that other coast, on April 26th, 1990, the band played a highly important gig at The Pyramid Club at 101 Avenue A in the East Village.   Read the rest of this entry »

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When was the cornerstone laid for St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church?

Standing diagonally on its lot at the intersection of East 10th Street, Stuyvesant Street, and 2nd Avenue, St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery is the oldest site of continuous worship in our city.  The cornerstone for the church was set in 1795, and the church we know and love today isn’t even the first structure of worship at that location. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering Willem de Kooning

On April 24, 1904, artist and former resident of our neighborhood, Willem de Kooning, was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He would go on to be one of the 20th century’s leading artists within the Abstract Expressionist movement, a key figure in making New York the center of the art world.

Willem de Kooning in 1950; photograph by Rudy Burckhardt

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William Shakespeare Lives on in Greenwich Village

William Shakespeare is believed to have been born on April 23, 1564, and coincidentally died 52 years later on April 23, 1616. Of course his legacy continues to live on throughout the world, and can certainly be felt right here in Greenwich Village. Read the rest of this entry »

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