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Greenwich Village
Washington Square Park Grand Reopening.jpg
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°44′02″N 74°00′07″W / 40.734°N 74.002°W / 40.734; -74.002Coordinates: 40°44′02″N 74°00′07″W / 40.734°N 74.002°W / 40.734; -74.002
Country United States
State New York
CityNew York City
BoroughManhattan
Community DistrictManhattan 2[1]
Named forGroenwijck (Green District)
Area
 • Total0.75 km2 (0.289 sq mi)
Population
 • Total22,785
 • Density30,000/km2 (79,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Villager
Economics
 • Median income$119,728
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Greenwich Village (/ˈɡrɛnɪ/ GREN-itch, /ˈɡrɪn-/ GRIN-, /-ɪ/ -⁠ij)[4] is a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan in New York City, bounded by 14th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, Houston Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. Greenwich Village also contains several subsections, including the West Village west of Seventh Avenue and the Meatpacking District in the northwest corner of Greenwich Village.

Its name comes from Groenwijck, Dutch for "Green District".[5][a] In the 20th century, Greenwich Village was known as an artists' haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and '60s counterculture movements. Greenwich Village contains Washington Square Park, as well as two of New York's private colleges, New York University (NYU) and The New School.[7][8]

Greenwich Village is part of Manhattan Community District 2, and is patrolled by the 6th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.[1] Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization;[9] the four ZIP Codes that constitute the Village – 10011, 10012, 10003, and 10014 – were all ranked among the ten most expensive in the United States by median housing price in 2014, according to Forbes,[10] with residential property sale prices in the West Village neighborhood typically exceeding US$2,100 per square foot ($23,000/m2) in 2017.[11]

Geography

Boundaries

MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village

The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the North River (part of the Hudson River) to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north. It is roughly centered on Washington Square Park and New York University. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo and Hudson Square to the south, and Chelsea and Union Square to the north. The East Village was formerly considered part of the Lower East Side and has never been considered a part of Greenwich Village.[12] The western part of Greenwich Village is known as the West Village; the dividing line of its eastern border is debated but commonly cited as Seventh Avenue or Sixth Avenue. The Far West Village is another sub-neighborhood of Greenwich Village that is bordered on its west by the Hudson River and on its east by Hudson Street.[13]

Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square—based on the major landmark of Washington Square Park[14][15] or Empire Ward[16] in the 19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" states (under the subheading "Greenwich Village") that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding. Today, Spring Street overlaps with the modern, newer SoHo neighborhood designation, while the modern Encyclopædia Britannica cites the southern border as Houston Street.[17]

Grid plan

The intersection of West 4th and West 12th Streets
Street signs at intersection of West 10th and West 4th Streets

As Greenwich Village was once a rural, isolated hamlet to the north of the 17th century European settlement on Manhattan Island, its street layout is more organic than the planned grid pattern of the 19th century grid plan (based on the Commissioners' Plan of 1811). Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas that were already built up when the plan was implemented, west of what is now Greenwich Avenue and Sixth Avenue, resulted in a neighborhood whose streets are dramatically different, in layout, from the ordered structure of the newer parts of Manhattan.[18]

Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid.[18] When Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, and many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.[18]

Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village are typically named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood.[18] For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street.[18]

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[19] Redevelopment in that area is severely restricted, and developers must preserve the main façade and aesthetics of the buildings during renovation.

Most of the buildings of Greenwich Village are mid-ris

Its name comes from Groenwijck, Dutch for "Green District".[5][a] In the 20th century, Greenwich Village was known as an artists' haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and '60s counterculture movements. Greenwich Village contains Washington Square Park, as well as two of New York's private colleges, New York University (NYU) and The New School.[7][8]

Greenwich Village is part of Manhattan Community District 2, and is patrolled by the 6th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.[1] Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization;[9] the four ZIP Codes that constitute the Village – 10011, 10012, 10003, and 10014 – were all ranked among the ten most expensive in the United States by median housing price in 2014, according to Forbes,[10] with residential property sale prices in the West Village neighborhood typically exceeding US$2,100 per square foot ($23,000/m2) in 2017.[11]

The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the North River (part of the Hudson River) to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north. It is roughly centered on Washington Square Park and New York University. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo and Hudson Square to the south, and Chelsea and Union Square to the north. The East Village was formerly considered part of the Lower East Side and has never been considered a part of Greenwich Village.[12] The western part of Greenwich Village is known as the West Village; the dividing line of its eastern border is debated but commonly cited as Seventh Avenue or Sixth Avenue. The Far West Village is another sub-neighborhood of Greenwich Village that is bordered on its west by the Hudson River and on its east by Hudson Street.[13]

Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square—based on the major landmark of Washington Square Park[14][15] or Empire Ward[16] in the 19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" states (under the subheading "Greenwich Village") that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding. Today, Spring Street overlaps with the modern, newer SoHo neighborhood designation, while the modern Encyclopædia Britannica cites the southern border as Houston Street.[17]

Grid plan

The intersection of West 4th and West 12th Streets
Street signs at intersection of West 10th and West 4th Streets

As Greenwich Village was once a rural, isolated hamlet to the north of the 17th century European settlement on Manhattan Island, its street layout is more organic than the planned grid pattern of the 19th century grid plan (based on the Commissioners' Plan of 1811). Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas that were already built up when the plan was implemented, west of what is now Greenwich Avenue and Sixth Avenue, resulted in a neighborhood whose streets are dramatically different, in layout, from the ordered structure of the newer parts of Manhattan.[18]

Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid.[18] When Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, and many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.[18]

Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village are typically named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood.[18] For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street.[18]

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[19] Redevelopment in that area is severely restricted, and developers must preserve the main façade and aesthetics of the buildings during renovation.

Most of the buildings of Greenwich Villag

Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square—based on the major landmark of Washington Square Park[14][15] or Empire Ward[16] in the 19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" states (under the subheading "Greenwich Village") that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding. Today, Spring Street overlaps with the modern, newer SoHo neighborhood designation, while the modern Encyclopædia Britannica cites the southern border as Houston Street.[17]

As Greenwich Village was once a rural, isolated hamlet to the north of the 17th century European settlement on Manhattan Island, its street layout is more organic than the planned grid pattern of the 19th century grid plan (based on the Commissioners' Plan of 1811). Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas that were already built up when the plan was implemented, west of what is now Greenwich Avenue and Sixth Avenue, resulted in a neighborhood whose streets are dramatically different, in layout, from the ordered structure of the newer parts of Manhattan.[18]

Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid.[18] When Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, and many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.[18]

Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village are typically named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood.[18] For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street.[18]

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[19]

Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid.[18] When Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, and many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.[18]

Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village are typically named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood.[18] For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street.[18]

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[19] Redevelopment in that area is severely restricted, and developers must preserve the main façade and aesthetics of the buildings during renovation.

Most of the buildings of Greenwich Village are mid-rise apartments, 19th century row houses, and the occasional one-family walk-up, a sharp contrast to the high-rise landscape in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.

Politically, Greenwich Village is in New York's 10th congressional district.[20][21] It is also in the New York State Senate's 25th district,[22][23] the New York State Assembly's 66th district,[24][25] and the New York City Council's 3rd district.[26]

History

Earl

In the 16th century, Native Americans referred to its farthest northwest corner, by the cove on the Hudson River at present-day Gansevoort Street, as Sapokanikan ("tobacco field"). The land was cleared and turned into pasture by Dutch and freed African settlers in the 1630s, who named their settlement Noortwyck (also spelled Noortwijck, "North district", equivalent to ‘Northwich/Northwick’). In the 1630s, Governor Wouter van Twiller farmed tobacco on 200 acres (0.81 km2) here at his "Farm in the Woods".[27] The English conquered the Dutch settlement of New Netherland in 1664, and Greenwich Village developed as a hamlet separate from the larger New York City to the south on land that would eventually become the Financial District. In 1644, the eleven Dutch African settlers were freed after the first black legal protest in America.[b] All received parcels of land what is now Greenwich Village.[28]

The earliest known reference to the village's name as "Greenwich" dates back to 1696, in the will of Yellis Mandeville of Greenwich; however, the village was not mentioned in the city records until 1713.[29] Sir Peter Warren began accumulating land in 1731 and built a frame house capacious enough to hold a sitting of the Assembly when smallpox rendered the city dangerous in 1739. His house, which survived until the Civil War era, overlooked the North River from a bluff; its site on the block bounded by Perry and Charles Streets, Bleecker and West 4th Streets,[30] can still be recognized by its mid-19th century rowhouses inserted into a neighborhood still retaining many houses of the 1830–37 boom.

From 1797[31] until 1829,[32] the bucolic village of Greenwich was the location of New York State's first penitentiary, Newgate Prison, on the Hudson River at what is now West 10th Street,[31] near the Christopher Street pier.[33] The building was designed by Joseph-François Mangi

The earliest known reference to the village's name as "Greenwich" dates back to 1696, in the will of Yellis Mandeville of Greenwich; however, the village was not mentioned in the city records until 1713.[29] Sir Peter Warren began accumulating land in 1731 and built a frame house capacious enough to hold a sitting of the Assembly when smallpox rendered the city dangerous in 1739. His house, which survived until the Civil War era, overlooked the North River from a bluff; its site on the block bounded by Perry and Charles Streets, Bleecker and West 4th Streets,[30] can still be recognized by its mid-19th century rowhouses inserted into a neighborhood still retaining many houses of the 1830–37 boom.

From 1797[31] until 1829,[32] the bucolic village of Greenwich was the location of New York State's first penitentiary, Newgate Prison, on the Hudson River at what is now West 10th Street,[31] near the Christopher Street pier.[33] The building was designed by Joseph-François Mangin, who would later co-design New York City Hall.[34] Although the intention of its first warden, Quaker prison reformer Thomas Eddy, was to provide a rational and humanitarian place for retribution and rehabilitation, the prison soon became an overcrowded and pestilent place, subject to frequent riots by the prisoners which damaged the buildings and killed some inmates.[31] By 1821, the prison, designed for 432 inmates, held 817 instead, a number made possible only by the frequent release of prisoners, sometimes as many as 50 a day.[35] Since the prison was north of the New York City boundary at the time, being sentenced to Newgate became known as being "sent up the river". This term became popularized once prisoners started being sentenced to Sing Sing Prison, in the town of Ossining upstream of New York City.[33]

The oldest house remaining in Greenwich Village is the Isaacs-Hendricks House, at 77 Bedford Street (built 1799, much altered and enlarged 1836, third story 1928).[36] When the Church of St. Luke in the Fields was founded in 1820 it stood in fields south of the road (now Christopher Street) that led from Greenwich Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) down to a landing on the North River. In 1822, a yellow fever epidemic in New York encouraged residents to flee to the healthier air of Greenwich Village, and afterwards many stayed. The future site of Washington Square was a potter's field from 1797 to 1823 when up to 20,000 of New York's poor were buried here, and still remain. The handsome Greek revival rowhouses on the north side of Washington Square were built about 1832, establishing the fashion of Washington Square and lower Fifth Avenue for decades to come. Well into the 19th century, the district of Washington Square was considered separate from Greenwich Village.

Greenwich Village historically was known as an important landmark on the map of American bohemian culture in the early and mid-20th century. The neighborhood was known for its colorful, artistic residents and the alternative culture they propagated. Due in part to the progressive attitudes of many of its residents, the Village was a focal point of new movements and ideas, whether political, artistic, or cultural, This tradition as an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture was established during the 19th century and continued into the 20th century, when small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived. In 1969, enraged members of the gay community, in search for equality, started the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall Inn was later recognized as a National Historic Landmark for having started the gay rights movement.[37][38][39]

The Tenth Street Studio Building was situated at 51 West 10th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the building was commissioned by James Boorman Johnston[c] and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Its innovative design soon represented a national architectural prototype, and featured a domed central gallery, from which interconnected rooms radiated. Hunt's studio within the building housed the first architectural school in the United States. Soon after its completion in 1857, the building helped to make Greenwich Village central to the arts in New York City, drawing artists from all over the country to work, exhibit, and sell their art. In its initial years Winslow Homer took a studio there,[41] as did Edward Lamson Henry, and many of the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt.

The Tenth Street Studio Building was situated at 51 West 10th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the building was commissioned by James Boorman Johnston[c] and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Its innovative design soon represented a national architectural prototype, and featured a domed central gallery, from which interconnected rooms radiated. Hunt's studio within the building housed the first architectural school in the United States. Soon after its completion in 1857, the building helped to make Greenwich Village central to the arts in New York City, drawing artists from all over the country to work, exhibit, and sell their art. In its initial years Winslow Homer took a studio there,[41] as did Edward Lamson Henry, and many of the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt.[42]

From the late 19th century until the present, the Hotel Albert has served as a cultural icon of Greenwich Village. Opened during the 1880s and originally located at 11th Street and University Place, called the Hotel St. Stephan and then after 1902, called the Hotel Albert while under the ownership of William Ryder, it served as a meeting place, restaurant and dwelling for several important artists and writers from the late 19th century well into the 20th century. After 1902, the owner's brother Albert Pinkham Ryder lived and painted there. Some other noted guests who lived there include: Augustus St. Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Lowell, Horton Foote, Salvador Dalí, Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol.[43][44] During the golden age of bohemianism, Greenwich Village became famous for such eccentrics as Joe Gould (profiled at length by Joseph Mitchell) and Maxwell Bodenheim, dancer Isadora Duncan, writer William Faulkner, and playwright Eugene O'Neill. Political rebellion also made its home here, whether serious (John Reed) or frivolous (Marcel Duchamp and friends set off balloons from atop Washington Square Arch, proclaiming the founding of "The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village" on January 24, 1917).[45][46]

The Cherry Lane Theatre is located in Greenwich Village.
Cherry Lane Theatre was established. Located at 38 Commerce Street, it is New York City's oldest continuously running Off-Broadway theater. A landmark in Greenwich Village's cultural landscape, it was built as a farm silo in 1817, and also served as a tobacco warehouse and box factory before Edna St. Vincent Millay and other members of the Provincetown Players converted the structure into a theatre they christened the Cherry Lane Playhouse, which opened on March 24, 1924, with the play The Man Who Ate the Popomack. During the 1940s The Living Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, and the Downtown Theater movement all took root there, and it developed a reputation as a showcase for aspiring playwrights and emerging voices.

In one of the many Manhattan properties that Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her husband owned, Gertrude Whitney established the Whitney Studio Club at 8 West 8th Street in 1914, as a facility where young artists could exhibit their works. By the 1930s it had evolved into her greatest legacy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the site of today's New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. The Whitney was founded in 1931, as an answer to the Museum of Modern Art, founded 1928, and its collection of mostly European modernism and its neglect of American Art. Gertrude Whitney decided to put the time and money into the museum after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art turned down her offer to contribute her twenty-five-year collection of modern art works.[47] In 1936, the renowned Abstract Expressionist artist and teacher Hans Hofmann moved his art school from East 57th Street to 52 West 9th Street. In 1938, Hofmann moved again to a more permanent home at 52 West 8th Street. The school remained active until 1958, when Hofmann retired from teaching.[48]

On January 8, 1947, stevedore Andy Hintz was fatally shot by hitmen John M. Dunn, In one of the many Manhattan properties that Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her husband owned, Gertrude Whitney established the Whitney Studio Club at 8 West 8th Street in 1914, as a facility where young artists could exhibit their works. By the 1930s it had evolved into her greatest legacy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the site of today's New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. The Whitney was founded in 1931, as an answer to the Museum of Modern Art, founded 1928, and its collection of mostly European modernism and its neglect of American Art. Gertrude Whitney decided to put the time and money into the museum after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art turned down her offer to contribute her twenty-five-year collection of modern art works.[47] In 1936, the renowned Abstract Expressionist artist and teacher Hans Hofmann moved his art school from East 57th Street to 52 West 9th Street. In 1938, Hofmann moved again to a more permanent home at 52 West 8th Street. The school remained active until 1958, when Hofmann retired from teaching.[48]

On January 8, 1947, stevedore Andy Hintz was fatally shot by hitmen John M. Dunn, Andrew Sheridan and Danny Gentile in front of his apartment. Before he died on January 29, he told his wife that "Johnny Dunn shot me."[49] The three gunmen were immediately arrested. Sheridan and Dunn were executed.[50]

The Village hosted the nation's first racially integrated nightclub,[51] when Café Society was opened in 1938 at 1 Sheridan Square[52] by Barney Josephson. Café Society showcased African American talent and was intended to be an American version of the political cabarets that Josephson had seen in Europe before World War I. Notable performers there included: Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Burl Ives, Lead Belly, Anita O'Day, Charlie Parker, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Paul Robeson, Kay Starr, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Josh White, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, and the Weavers, who also in Christmas 1949, played at the Village Vanguard.

The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, initiated in 1974 by Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee, is the world's largest Halloween parade and America's only major nighttime parade, attracting more than 60,000 costumed participants, two million in-person spectators, and a worldwide television audience of over 100 million.[53]

Greenwich Village again became important to the Bohemian scene during the 1950s, when the Beat Generation focused their energies there. Fleeing from what they saw as oppressive social conformity, a loose collection of writers, poets, artists, and students (later known as the Beats) and the Beatniks, moved to Greenwich Village, and to North Beach in San Francisco, in many ways creating the U.S. East Coast and West Coast predecessors, respectively, to the East Village-Haight Ashbury hippie scene of the next decade. The Village (and surrounding New York City) would later play central roles in the writings of, among others, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, William S. Burroughs, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Rod McKuen, Marianne Moore, and Dylan Thomas, who collapsed at the Chelsea Hotel, and died at St. Vincents Hospital at 170 West 12th Street, in the Village after drinking at the White Horse Tavern on November 5, 1953.

Off-Off-Broadway began in Greenwich Village in 1958 as a reaction to Off Broadway, and a "complete rejection of commercial theatre".[56] Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" (a term supposedly coined by critic Jerry Tallmer of the Village Voice) were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, in particular, the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, originally located at 321 E. 9th Street, and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church on the south side of Washington Square Park.

Off-Off-Broadway began in Greenwich Village in 1958 as a reaction to Off Broadway, and a "complete rejection of commercial theatre".[56] Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" (a term supposedly coined by critic Jerry Tallmer of the Village Voice) were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, in particular, the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, originally located at 321 E. 9th Street, and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church on the south side of Washington Square Park.

The Village had a cutting-edge cabaret and music scene. The Village Gate, the Village Vanguard, and the Blue Note (since 1981) regularly hosted some of the biggest names in jazz. Greenwich Village also played a major role in the development of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Music clubs included Gerde's Folk City, The Bitter End, Cafe Au Go Go, Cafe Wha?, The Gaslight Cafe and The Bottom Line. Three of the four members of the Mamas & the Papas met there. Guitarist and folk singer Dave Van Ronk lived there for many years. Village resident and cultural icon Bob Dylan by the mid-60s had become one of the world's foremost popular songwriters, and often developments in Greenwich Village would influence the simultaneously occurring folk rock movement in San Francisco and elsewhere, and vice versa. Dozens of other cultural and popular icons got their start in the Village's nightclub, theater, and coffeehouse scene during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, including Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Ian, the Kingston Trio, the Lovin' Spoonful, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Joni Mitchell, Maria Muldaur, Laura Nyro, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, and the Velvet Underground. The Greenwich Village of the 1950s and 1960s was at the center of Jane Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which defended it and similar communities, while criticizing common urban renewal policies of the time.

Founded by New York-based artist Mercedes Matter and her students, the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture is an art school formed in the mid-1960s in the Village. Officially opened September 23, 1964, the school is still active, at 8 W. 8th Street, the site of the original Whitney Museum of American Art.[57]

Greenwich Village was home to a safe house used by the radical anti-war movement known as the W

Founded by New York-based artist Mercedes Matter and her students, the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture is an art school formed in the mid-1960s in the Village. Officially opened September 23, 1964, the school is still active, at 8 W. 8th Street, the site of the original Whitney Museum of American Art.[57]

Greenwich Village was home to a safe house used by the radical anti-war movement known as the Weather Underground. On March 6, 1970, their safehouse was destroyed when an explosive device they were constructing was accidentally detonated, killing three of their members (Ted Gold, Terry Robbins, and Diana Oughton).

The Village has been a center for movements that challenged the wider American culture, for example, its role in the gay liberation movement. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street. Considered together, the demonstrations are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[58][59] On June 23, 2015, the Stonewall Inn was the first landmark in New York City to be recognized by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on the basis of its status in LGBT history,[60] and on June 24, 2016, the Stonewall National Monument was named the first U.S. National Monument dedicated to the LGBTQ-rights movement.[61] Greenwich Village contains the world's oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, Oscar Wilde Bookshop, founded in 1967, while The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center – best known as simply "The Center" – has occupied the former Food & Maritime Trades High School at 208 West 13th Street since 1984. In 2006, the Village was the scene of an assault involving seven lesbians and a straight man that sparked appreciable media attention, with strong statements defending both sides of the case.

Since the end of the twentieth century, many artists and local historians have mourned the fact that the bohemian days of Greenwich Village are long gone, because of the extraordinarily high housing costs in the neighborhood.[62] The artists fled to other New York City neighborhoods including SoHo, Tribeca, Dumbo, Williamsburg, and Long Island City. Nevertheless, residents of Greenwich Village still possess a strong community identity and are proud of their neighborhood's unique history and fame, and its well-known liberal live-and-let-live attitudes.[62]

Historically, local residents and preservation groups have been concerned about development in the Village and have fought to preserve its architectural and historic integrity. In the 1960s, Margot Gayle led a group of citizens to preserve the Jefferson Market Courthouse (later reused as Jefferson Market Library),[63] while other citizen groups fought to keep traffic out of Washington Square Park,[64] and Jane Jacobs, using the Village as an example of a vibrant urban community, advocated to keep it that way.

Since then, preservation has been a part of the Village ethos. Shortly after the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was established in 1965, it acted to protect parts of Greenwich Village, designating the small Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District in 1966, which contains the city's largest concentration of row houses in the Federal style, as well as a significant concentra

Historically, local residents and preservation groups have been concerned about development in the Village and have fought to preserve its architectural and historic integrity. In the 1960s, Margot Gayle led a group of citizens to preserve the Jefferson Market Courthouse (later reused as Jefferson Market Library),[63] while other citizen groups fought to keep traffic out of Washington Square Park,[64] and Jane Jacobs, using the Village as an example of a vibrant urban community, advocated to keep it that way.

Since then, preservation has been a part of the Village ethos. Shortly after the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was established in 1965, it acted to protect parts of Greenwich Village, designating the small Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District in 1966, which contains the city's largest concentration of row houses in the Federal style, as well as a significant concentration of Greek Revival houses, and the even smaller MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District in 1967, a group of 22 houses sharing a common back garden, built in the Greek Revival style and later renovated with Colonial Revival façades. In 1969, the LPC designated the Greenwich Village Historic District – which remained the city's largest for four decades – despite preservationists' advocacy for the entire neighborhood to be designated an historic district. Advocates continued to pursue their goal of additional designation, spurred in particular by the increased pace of development in the 1990s.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the architectural and cultural character and heritage of the neighborhood, successfully proposed new districts and individual landmarks to the LPC. Those include:[65]

  • Gansevoort Market Historic District was the first new historic district in Greenwich Village in 34 years. The 112 buildings on 11 blocks protect the city's distinctive Meatpacking District with its cobblestone streets, warehouses and rowhouses. About 70 percent of the area proposed by GVSHP in 2000 was designated a historic district by the LPC in 2003, while the entire area was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2007.[66][67]
  • Weehawken Street Historic District, designated in 2006, is a 14-building, three-block district near the Hudson River centering on tiny Weehawken Street and containing an array of architecture including a sailors' hotel, former stables, and a wooden house.[68]
  • Greenwich Village Historic District Extension I,

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated as landmarks several individual sites proposed by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, including the former Bell Telephone Labs Complex (1861–1933), now Westbeth Artists' Housing, designated in 2011;[71] the Silver Towers/University Village Complex (1967), designed by I.M. Pei and including the Picasso sculpture "Portrait of Sylvette," designated in 2008;[72] and three early 19th-century federal houses at 127, 129 and 131 MacDougal Street.

    Several contextual rezonings were enacted in Greenwich Village in recent years to limit the size and height of allowable new development in the neighborhood, and to encourage the preservation of existing buildings. The following were proposed by the GVSHP and passed by the City Planning Commission:

    • Far West Village Rezoning, approved in 2005, was the first downzoning in Manhattan in many years, putting in place new height caps, thus ending construction of high-rise waterfront towers in much of the Village and encouraging the reuse of existing buildings.[73]
    • Washington and Greenwich Street Rezoning, approved in 2010, was passed in near-record time to protect six blocks from out-of-scale hotel development and maintain the low-rise character.[74]

    NYU dispute

    Washington Mews in Greenwich Village; an NYU building can be seen in the background

    New York University and Greenwich Village preservationists have been embroiled in a conflict over campus expansion versus preservation of the scale and Bohemian character of the Village.<

    Several contextual rezonings were enacted in Greenwich Village in recent years to limit the size and height of allowable new development in the neighborhood, and to encourage the preservation of existing buildings. The following were proposed by the GVSHP and passed by the City Planning Commission:

    New York University and Greenwich Village preservationists have been embroiled in a conflict over campus expansion versus preservation of the scale and Bohemian character of the Village.[75]

    As one press critic put it in 2013, "For decades, New York University has waged architectural war on Greenwich Village."[76] Recent examples of the university clashing with the community, often led by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, include the destruction of the 85 West Third Street house where Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1844–5, which NYU promised to rebuild using original materials, but then claimed not to have enough bricks to do so; the construction of the 26-story Founders Hall dorm behind the façade of demolished St. Ann's Church at 120 East Twelfth Street, which advocates protested as being out of scale for the low-rise area, and received assurances from NYU, which then built all 26 stories anyway;[77] and the demolition in 2009 of the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, over protests.[78]

    In 2008, as part of a multi-stakeholder Community Task Force on NYU Development, the university agreed to a set of "Planning Principles."[79] Yet advocates did not find NYU was following the principles in practice, culminating in a successful lawsuit against the university's "NYU 2031" plan for expansion.[80]

    Demographics

    Greenwich Village is served by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:[92]

    • Engine Company 24/Ladder Company 5/Battalion 2 – 227 6th AvenueThe 6th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 80.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 1 murder, 20 rapes, 153 robberies, 121 felony assaults, 163 burglaries, 1,031 grand larcenies, and 28 grand larcenies auto in 2018.[91]

      Greenwich Village is served by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:[92]

      • Engine Company 24/Ladder Company 5/Battalion 2 – 227 6th Avenue[93]
      • Squad 18 – 132 West 10th Street[94]