South Greenwich Village area wins landmark status

The area of Greenwich Village south of Washington Square Park was declared a historic landmark by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
The area of Greenwich Village south of Washington Square Park was declared a historic landmark by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

The area of Greenwich Village south of Washington Square Park was declared a historic landmark by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday.

The area spans thirteen blocks and includes 240 buildings. It is an area associated with early Italian-American immigrations and the Beat movement.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation first proposed landmark status 10 years ago.

GVSHP hailed it as a triumph against New York University’s expansion and development plans.

“This is a long-overdue victory for this neighborhood and for anyone who loves New York’s rich immigrant history and long tradition of cultural innovation,” said Andrew Berman, GVSHP Executive Director. “Few places embody as much history as the South Village, and few places were in as great of danger of losing that history – in this case to NYU and by other inappropriate development.”

Berman hailed the South Village as “the place where cappuccino was first introduced to America, the site of Dylan’s earliest performances and where he wrote Blowin’ In the Wind, where Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity, and the home of America’s first non-profit theater and the city’s first progressive school.”

Berman said this is the largest expansion of landmark protections in the South Village since 1969, when the Greenwich Village Historic District was designated.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



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