Twenty Years Later, A Community Center is Still Empty

Copy of the Memorandum of Sale dated July 20, 1998

This Friday, July 20, marks the 20th anniversary of the controversial auction of the former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Community and Cultural Center at 605 East 9th Street by then-Mayor Giuliani over widespread community opposition.  Check out the Facebook event page here.

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Putting Historic Images On The Map

Our ever-expanding historic image archive has a number of fascinating collections which offer glimpses into our neighborhood and beyond throughout past decades.  Carol Teller’s Changing New York (Parts I, II & III), Jack Dowling Collection: Decay and Rebirth Along the Greenwich Village Waterfront in the 1970s, and Ruth E. Cushman Collection: NY Undergoing Change in the Early to Mid-20th Century are just a few of the collections which can cause you to get lost in history. But did you know we have mapped these photos as well? Its a wonderful search tool which can illustrate the changes to our area over time.


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A Decision By the State Was An Important Milestone in Preserving Gansevoort Market

There were many moments to celebrate along the arc of fighting for the protection of the Gansevoort Historic District, also known as the Meatpacking District. One such milestone took place on July 17, 2002, when the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation determined, in response to an application by GVSHP, that the Gansevoort Historic District qualified for the National Register of Historic Places.  This was the first new historic district in Greenwich Village to be determined eligible for the prestigious State and National Registers of Historic Places in decades; with this confirmation of the district’s historic and architectural significance, GVSHP and our allies went on to win landmark protections for the district just over a year later.

Gansevoort Market in 1905, via MCNY

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A Duel, A Land Sale, and A Very Unusual History (thanks, Aaron Burr)

On this date in 1804, just five days following his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr sold two plots of land in our neighborhood. Why? Well, he was charged with multiple crimes in New York and New Jersey following the duel, including murder, and he would end up avoiding both states for many years (those charges were eventually dropped).

We all know what happened to Hamilton and Burr. But what happened to the land Burr sold?  Located at the present-day intersection of Spring Street and 6th Avenue, they certainly led an interesting life. On the occasion of the anniversary of Burr’s sale, we thought we’d trace what happened to them.

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Business of the Month: Random Accessories, 77 East 4th Street

Your input is needed! Today we feature our latest Business of the Month — help us to select the next.  Tell us which independent store you love in Greenwich Village, the East Village or NoHo: click here to nominate your favorite.  Want to help support small businesses?  Share this post with friends.

You might walk right past the narrow but action-packed kitschy shop on East 4th stocked with a wide array of gifts for all occasions and persuasions. With one cozy end-to-end aisle lined with items cute, useful, clever, campy, beautiful or tasty, like champagne infused gummy bears, Random Accessories at 77 East 4th Street is a feast for the eyes and all other senses, and our July Business of the Month.

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Many Layers of History at 7th Avenue and 12th Street: St. Vincent’s Hospital

St. Vincent’s Hospital

This piece is part of a series about Village blocks that correspond to calendar dates.  You can read some of the other ones here.

Another day, another date that corresponds to a Village intersection!  For many in the Village, 7th Avenue and 12th Street holds a strong place in their memories of the neighborhood: this was the location of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital.  In honor of today’s date, we’re taking a look at the hospital, its history, and what has been done to remember the site since. Read the rest of this entry »

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Woman Crush Wednesday: We Love Willa Cather!

Willa Cather

The Village is a very far cry from the Nebraska prairie where Willa Cather spent much of her childhood.  But her most productive writing period was indeed while she lived in various apartments in the Village, where she lovingly and vividly wrote about the people and places she knew and cherished from her childhood in that distant place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lee Morgan, East Village Jazz Trumpet Prodigy

Lee Morgan, prodigy jazz trumpeter, born on July 10, 1938, in Philadelphia. One of his sisters bought him his first trumpet, and by the time he was a teenager he played with John Coltrane for the album Blue Train. At 18, Dizzie Gillespie tapped Morgan to join his band. The jazz world opened up before him. Starting in the 1960’s, Morgan was a regular performer at Slugs’ Saloon at 242 East 3rd Street, between Avenue B and C, where – well, let’s say, headlines were made.

Lee Morgan

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C.B.J. Snyder and the East Village

We have written a number of times about the former P.S. 64/ CHARAS-El Bohio Community and Cultural Center and our efforts to save the landmarked building. The beloved historic structure was built in 1906 and designed by architect and then-New York City Superintendent of School Buildings C.B.J. Snyder.  During his tenure in that position from 1891 to 1922, Snyder designed close to three hundred fifty schools and school additions, nearly all of which were considered landmarks of educational design.  Unfortunately, not all of the master’s school buildings survive to this day.

But the East Village is especially fortunate.  It boasts seven more C.B.J. Snyder designs in addition to P.S. 64, all built between 1893 and 1911. They are: 324 East 5th Street (113 East 4th Street, currently the Manhattan School for Career Development), PS 122 at 150 First Avenue, 265-275 East 4th Street (currently the George Daly House), PS 188 at 422 East Houston Street (446 Avenue D), PS 63 Star Academy at 121 East 3rd Street (150-160 East 4th Street), PS 15 The Roberto Clemente School at 333 East 4th Street, and PS 61 at 604-626 East 12th Street. These structures serve not only as a testament to the great work of Snyder, but also as a representation of the tremendous need for schools for a booming underage population in what is now the East Village at the turn of the 20th century, which, along with the Lower East Side, was the most densely populated area in New York City at that time.

C.B.J. Snyder, Superintendent of New York City Schools 1891-1922

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They Lived on West 9th Street: Dashiell Hammett

14 West 9th Street

They Lived on West 9th Street: Dashiell Hammett is the 4th in a series.

Dashiell Hammett is arguably one of the most mysterious and alluring characters of American 20th century literature. Dashing and elusive, he rose from nothing to becoming one of the most celebrated of American writers. Read the rest of this entry »

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