Welcome Aboard, Louisa Winchell
Today we welcome aboard Louisa Winchell as our Research and Preservation Associate. Louisa has been working with Village Preservation as a Research and Preservation Intern since August 2018, and in her new position will continue to undertake research, writing, and mapping projects to support Village Preservation’s advocacy initiatives related to expanding landmark and zoning protections, fighting inappropriate development, supporting small and independently-owned businesses, and promoting cultural and artistic life and institutions.
Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Louisa graduated from Wesleyan University in 2018 with a double major in English and Environmental Studies. She wrote her senior thesis on the 1960s and 70s redevelopment of Middletown, Connecticut, the city where Wesleyan is located. In addition to detailing the story of the redevelopment, which eliminated blocks of historic residential housing to make way for a highway, parking lots, and commercial buildings, she explored how the archives of the redevelopment are partial and difficult to reconstruct, limiting and warping the narratives of what happened during this pivotal moment in the city’s history.
Louisa has also worked as the Open Educational Resources Assistant for City College of New York’s Digital Scholarship Services, as a salesperson for Ardith Mae Farms at the Union Square Greenmarket, and as an intern at the Middlesex County Historical Society.
Her position at Village Preservation puts Louisa’s interest in urban planning, archiving, and mapping to practice, and includes researching and writing about the many people and events that have shaped the Village over time for blog posts and for Village Preservation’s interactive online resources: Greenwich Village Historic District, 1969-2019: Photos and Tours, East Village Building Blocks, the Civil Rights and Social Justice Map, and the Historic Image Archive. Louisa also testifies regularly on behalf of Village Preservation at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Louisa is thrilled to be part of this organization, which in her view does vital work of two kinds. Firstly, Village Preservation works to preserve the architecture, culture, and character of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. At the same time, it strives to build a thorough and dynamic archive in conversation with the many people who have called and continue to call this place home, and with those who feel invested in or connected to these communities.