Carmine Street, looking north to Our Lady of Pompeii Church
Carmine Street forms the heart of this part of the South Village, and like intersecting Bleecker Street, it formed the spine of the Italian-American community here. That presence can still be felt in Carmine Street's shops, as can that of the artists, musicians, and counter-culture purveyors who followed them, in the second-hand book and record stores which dot the street. Our Lady of Pompeii's tower punctuates the streetscape. The north side of this block, visible in this picture to the left, largely consists of older tenements built between the 1850s and early 1880s (see also below). Two houses from the 1820s survived until the 1960s when they were replaced by the annex to Our Lady of Pompeii Church, just to its west (left of the church in the picture).
41 Carmine Street Tenements
31-33 Carmine Street -- tenements built circa 1859
It is often assumed that Carmine Street's naming reflects the Italian-American heritage of the area; in fact, the street is named for Nicholas Carman, an early vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church, New York's first established English Church and the owner of much of the land in this area for centuries (and still the owner of much of the land south of here). Originally Carman Street, it eventually became Carmine Street.
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