The First Monday in October, Another Day Without Landmark Protections in the South Village
Today, the first Monday in October, is the traditional start of the new United States Supreme Court session. This year the court is expected to have an incredibly full roster, dealing with cases ranging from the new health care law to same-sex marriage to the status of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
These are of course issues of interest to all Americans, but why the mention on Off the Grid?
Sonia Sotomayor, appointed to the Supreme Court by President Obama in 2009, was not only the first Latino/a Supreme Court Justice, only the third woman appointed to the court, and an inspirational story of a kid raised in the housing projects of the Bronx who reached the highest levels of jurisprudence in the United States. She was also a resident of our very own South Village.
In fact, Sotomayor was nominated and appointed to the Supreme Court at about the same time that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) finally took up consideration of the first third of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s proposed South Village Historic District. The South Village — the historically immigrant, working-class and largely Italian-American section of Greenwich Village south of Washington Square Park and West 4th Street — was left entirely out of the Greenwich Village Historic District designated by the LPC in 1969, though as early as the 1960’s Jane Jacobs and other local preservationists had sought to have the area protected.
Since then, however, in spite of years of effort and unceasing threats to the built environment of the neighborhood, the LPC is yet to move forward on considering the remaining two-thirds of the proposed district.