Off Broadway Theater Update Part 2

The theaters in our neighborhoods have long been the critical launching pads for playwrights, directors, actors, and theatrical artists of all stripes.  As the Broadway lights were dimmed, for the time being, on March 12, 2020, Off Broadway Theaters struggled to make sense of what would be the best course of action for them as well.  Each of our theatrical neighbors have had different responses, according to their schedules and their resources. One thing that unites them, and has always united them, is their ingenuity and nimble natures.

Greenwich House Theater

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Our Epic Greenwich Village Watch-List 

It’s time to dive into our beloved neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo as they’re seen through the movie camera lens. Presented in no apparent order, this list is full of Village locations, Villagers behind and in front of the camera, romance, action, drama, intrigue, and all the things to keep us occupied when we’re looking for something to watch.

Enjoy, and make sure to tell us what your favorites are!

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Why Isn’t It Landmarked?: 813 Broadway

Part of our blog series Why Isn’t This Landmarked?, where we look at buildings in our area we’re fighting to protect that are worthy of landmark designation, but somehow aren’t landmarked.

The area south of Union Square is full of buildings rich in architectural and social history which need and deserve historic district (landmark) protections.  We have been fighting for such measures, but the City has thus far refused to grant them. One easily-overlooked example of that rich history deserving recognition is 813 Broadway, located just south of 12th Street, a building which has strong ties to both the Civil War and the Roosevelt family.

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Explore Village History with#NewYorkFromHome

With the city slowing down and most New Yorkers at home, our partners at Urban Archive are promoting NYC’s rich cultural gems online. Village Preservation has twenty tours and stories on Urban Archive. We have assembled a select group of four collections for you to explore today, but you can explore all twenty here.

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Dr. Rebecca Cole, African-American Female Medical Pioneer Who Changed Lives On Bleecker Street

The history of medical and public health advancements have played a key role in our neighborhoods’ stories. While the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor in America is fairly well known, having launched the very first hospital run by and for women right here in our neighborhood, she had an array of women supporters that made that hospital operate.  One such remarkable woman was Rebecca Cole. Born in Philadelphia on March 16, 1848, Cole spent much of her life outside New York making critical advances in public health and social justice.  But a critical stage in the development of her career came here on Bleecker Street.

According to Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library “This is most likely a sketch of Rebecca Cole, the only known image of her. This image was part of a sketch of a medical lecture that appeared on April 16, 1870 in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.” Source: Library of Congress

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Beyond the Village and Back: Harlem’s St. James Presbyterian Church

In our series Beyond the Village and Back, we take a look at some great landmarks throughout New York City outside of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo, celebrate their special histories, and reveal their (sometimes hidden) connections to the Village.

The St. James Presbyterian Church at 409 West 141st Street, on the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue, stands on the incline of a hill looking eastward over Harlem. The commanding, 1904 neo-Gothic structure boasts an ornate bell tower, visible from the nearby St. Nicholas Park and the City College of New York. While the striking building has graced this location for well over a century, the church’s history actually extends much further back, descending from the Shiloh Presbyterian Church. Shiloh was a leader in the abolitionist movement and a part of the Underground Railroad. For decades, it was led by a series of radical black ministers, including one Greenwich Villager who led the church’s response to the deadly Draft Riots of 1863, and who preached from the pulpit right here on Sixth Avenue in our neighborhood.

St. James Presbyterian Church, 2016. Photo courtesy of Google.

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Off-Broadway Theater Update

I have been thinking a great deal about our theater artist community in these past few days. So I decided to check in with some of the Off-Broadway theaters in our neighborhood to see how they are doing during this period of pause and uncertainty. And, as always, I was overwhelmed with hope and inspiration at the creativity and ingenuity of our artist neighbors. While some have taken a pause in programming, their upcoming work is absolutely a shining beacon to look forward to. And then there are some who have taken the plunge and have taken their amazing creativity to the internet. Let’s take a look at two of our beloved Off-Broadway theaters today, with more to come next week.

THE CHERRY LANE THEATRE

Fresh photo from the theater today! The blossoms are in full view!

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A Doctor That Was In The House: Elizabeth Blackwell

It times of great uncertainty or need, special people emerge to address challenges that face us all. Often it starts with the plight of the most vulnerable among us, which if not attended, can spread to the larger society. This Women’s History Month we take a look at once such special figure — a woman who lived and worked in our neighborhoods and set an example of perseverance, education and healthcare for all — Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.

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Why Isn’t This Landmarked?: 114-118 East 13th Street, the American Felt Company Headquarters

Part of our blog series Why Isn’t This Landmarked?, where we look at buildings in our area we’re fighting to protect that are worthy of landmark designation, but somehow aren’t landmarked.

The area south of Union Square is rich in architectural and social history which needs and deserves historic district (landmark) protections, which we have been fighting for but the City has resisted granting.  The classically-inspired loft building at 114-118 13th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue was built by and for a company what was a major player in the piano industry which, as few remember today, was centered in this area. No. 114-118 East 13th Street later housed several printers and bookbinders, industries that became prominent in the area in the early to mid-twentieth century, and which were so important to New York’s rise as a commercial and cultural capital. Reflecting the arc of the area’s development, the building was converted to residences in the 1980s.

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Willem de Kooning at Home

On March 23, 1962, Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah took a group of photos of Abstract Expressionist artist Willem de Kooning in his studio and home at 831 Broadway. De Kooning lived and worked here from 1958 to 1964, and McDarrah’s photos offer an intimate glimpse into this brilliant artist’s world when he was at the height of his career.

Photo © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah, from Village Preservation’s Historic Image Archive, www.archive.gvshp.org.

The Estate of Fred W. McDarrah generously allowed Village Preservation to share these previously never-before-seen photos of de Kooning working at his 831 Broadway studio. Today, we thought we would highlight a few, but to view the complete collection, click HERE.

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