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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Why Isn’t This Landmarked?: 815 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 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.  One easily overlooked but important piece of that puzzle is 815 Broadway, a 2-story neo-Renaissance style galvanized iron-faced commercial building constructed in 1897 by architect John C. Westervelt. Within this tiny building was located one of the city’s most prominent photographic studios (at a time when photography was still a relatively new and novel invention) and later one of the country’s most innovative food service establishments.  Intriguingly, it was also here that a legendary American  criminal who has gained mythic status made a fateful mistake which led to his demise.

815 Broadway, west side between 11th and 12th Streets.

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Young Philip Roth in the East Village

In 1958, a twenty-five-year-old Philip Roth (March 19, 1933 – May 22, 2018) moved into a basement apartment at 128 East 10th Street in the East Village. The Anglo-Italianate building, which forms the point of the triangular piece of land shaped by Stuyvesant and East 10th Streets, was perfectly situated for Roth, who often visited  Ratner’s Restaurant on Second Avenue and 6th Street and Tompkins Square Park just a few blocks further east. He decorated his apartment with records and books and, according to his 1988 autobiography The Facts, “a few hundred dollars’ worth of secondhand furniture.” Living here for the duration of of his two-year lease, Roth published the first of many works that would make him one of the most revered writers of the 20th century.

128 East 10th Street, former home of Philip Roth.

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A Young Italian Immigrant Who Almost Didn’t Make It Into America

We don’t know much about Nicosia Graziano’s story.  But the few details we do have are emblematic of what many immigrants to this country one hundred to two hundred years ago went through, especially Italian immigrants.

Nicosia Graziano. © Center for Migration Studies of New York. www.archive.gvshp.org.

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Here in NYC, Patrick’s Day means millions of people clad in green celebrating at the parade and countless others packed into bars and restaurants throughout the city. Unfortunately, many of us will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from home this year. While you cannot visit your local bar for your Guinness, please patronize your local businesses for your St. Patrick’s Day meal of (delivered) corned beef & cabbage. While Village Preservation cannot make up for the crowds of revelers, we can provide you with hours of entertainment.

St. Patrick’s Day in Union Square, circa 1874; Library of Congress

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Celebrating Immigration in Greenwich Village

Today marks the beginning of Immigrant Heritage Week. Immigration is a core theme in the history of New York City and especially our neighborhoods. People from all over the world come to Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo, adding to the vibrancy, creativity, and life.

Illustration of 19th-century immigrants first arriving to New York

On April 29th, 2019, we launched our new interactive map, Greenwich Village Historic District, 1969-2019: Photos and Toursto celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village Historic District. The map includes pictures of the 2,200+ buildings within the historic district with nearly 1,000 sites appearing on various tours exploring the architecture, history, and culture of New York City’s largest historic district. Today we celebrate New York’s rich immigration history by taking the map’s “Immigration Landmarks” tour.

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Cultural Innovation Emanates From One Sheridan Square Throughout the Decades

The theater at 1 Sheridan Square has a long history as a vibrant, varied West Village performance space. Housed in a building constructed in 1834 by Samuel Whitmore, the space has had a fascinating life throughout the years in its many iterations as a dining place, a club, and a theater.

AXIS Theatre Company at 1 Sheridan Square

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