“An Intimate and Unconventional Space:” Caffe Cino

Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street was a community, a haven, the birthplace of countless theatrical careers and movements, and the origin of off-off-Broadway theater. In November 2017, Caffe Cino was added to the National Register of Historic Places, which is a great symbolic honor for the Caffe, which opened in 1958 and closed its doors in 1968. GVSHP and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project joined forces for a program marking these one year, 60th, and 50th anniversaries respectively. Some highlights of what we learned are within.

Caffe Cino, 1962. By Brian Merlis

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Contest: Recreate A Historic Photo!

GVSHP has partnered with the free Urban Archive App over the past year to share our historic image archive via this location-based tool. As part of this partnership, we conducted scavenger hunts in the East Village and Greenwich Village, and created guided walking tours of the Bowery and Meatpacking District.

Now we’re sharing the opportunity to create historic photo recreations, placing historic images and contemporary images of the same location side by side using the Urban Archive app. Simply click the “recreate” icon in the top right corner of any photo and line up the past with the present.

We want to see your recreations! When you take a photo, share it on Instagram, and tag @gvshp_nyc. The photo with the most engagements by noon this Friday, October 26th, will win a copy of GVSHP’s book, Greenwich Village Stories. Below are a few examples.

The image on the left of Washington Square Arch at night was taken before 1 Fifth Avenue was built in 1927. See the full original here.

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John Reed, Journalist, Revolutionary and Villager

John “Jack” Silas Reed was an American journalist, poet and communist activist at the beginning of the 20th century whose writing about revolutionary events and radical causes made him a very polarizing figure in this country and abroad. He is probably best known as the author of Ten Days That Shook the World, his account of the Bolshevik Revolution which he reportedly wrote from his home at 1 Patchin Place.

John Reed c. 1915

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Business of the Month: East Village Vintage Collective, 545 East 12th Street

Your input is needed! Today we feature our latest Business of the Month — help us to select the next.  Tell us which independent store you love in Greenwich Village, the East Village or NoHo: click here to nominate your favorite.  Want to help support small businesses?  Share this post with friends.

A little shop on East 12th Street between Avenues A and B has an outstanding collection of vintage clothes and an old school East Village vibe that is still around in some eclectic places if you know where to look.

East Village Vintage Collective (EVVC) is a brick and mortar store located at 545 East 12th Street. They opened in August 2015 and by supporting them you are also supporting eco-friendly fashion and a women-led small business! And as EVVC would say “Go you!!”  That’s why they are our October Business of the Month.

East Village Vintage Collective, proprietors Maegan and Alex.

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Woody Guthrie’s New York Comes Alive

Folk music icon Woody Guthrie was a little man with beady eyes – as described by his second wife Marjorie, though she had imagined him to be taller, strapping, and more like a proper cowboy than he was. Perhaps it was because of his Dust Bowl Ballads, his first album, chronicling his travels from Dust Bowl Texas up to California with thousands of other migrants looking to escape the horrible conditions and find work. Perhaps it was his “hillbilly” music, which made him popular on WNYC not long after he hitchhiked from California to New York. Marjorie fell for him anyway and learned that Woody Guthrie was a lot of things. A Villager was one of them.

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Historic Broadway Gems Saved from Demolition

On October 17, 2017 the Landmarks Preservation Commissions (LPC) held a hearing to consider landmarking 827-831 Broadway, the threatened 1866 lofts once home to Willem de Kooning. Just two weeks later, the LPC voted to landmark them, culminating a year and a half campaign by GVSHP and our allies to save them from the wrecking ball and replacement with a 300-foot tall glass office tower.


827 and 831 Broadway, between 12th and 13th Streets

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Wanamaker’s, A Shoppers Paradise

In a recent application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to make some changes to the building at 770 Broadway (8th/9th Streets), there is a great picture of this impressive building being constructed; the photos from this application are now part of our historic image archive. This photo really showcases the construction technology of a steel structure accompanied by traditional terracotta and stone cladding. Located in the NoHo Historic District, this full block building was built in the Renaissance Revival style and was originally home to the department store, Wanamaker’s and its warehouse when this stretch of Broadway was a bustling commercial center at the beginning of the 20th century.

Wanamaker Building under construction as seen in the landmarks application for 770 Broadway

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Gay Activist Alliance Headquarters Bombed

Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse.

On October 15, 1974, the Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse, located in SoHo at 99 Wooster Street, was bombed.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Historic Spaces Open to the Public

Ever walk past a particular building or gate and wish you could go inside? Well this weekend, maybe you can, since it is Open House New York. More than 140 sites can be visited for free and without reservations!

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Coming Out, and Going Out, in the Village

October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness and visibility of the LGBT community through the process of “coming out,” or identifying one’s LGBT identity to friends, family, and others.  In the Village, what better way to live loud and live proud than to frequent some of the establishments that have  historically catered to LGBT people and played a critical part in the modern LGBT rights movement?  Today we turn “Coming Out Day” into “Going Out Day” by listing a few such institutions that are still active and can be found on the GVSHP Civil Rights and Social Justice Map. Read the rest of this entry »

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