Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
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Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
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Aug 2, 2021

In This Issue


27 Cooper Square Plaque Unveiled

(l. to r.) Accra Shepp, Bob Holman, GVSHP's Chelsea Dowell, and 27 Cooper Square resident Hettie Jones
celebrate the plaque's unveiling.

 GVSHP unveiled our tenth historic plaque on Tuesday at 27 Cooper Square along with our partners Two Boots, current and former residents of 27 Cooper Square Hettie Jones and Accra Shepp (son of saxophone great Archie Shepp, also a former 27 Cooper Square resident), and scores of friends. Thanks to all who joined us for the celebration!  Watch the video here and see photos here.

The latest plaque unveiling was an opportunity to celebrate and permanently mark the history of this 1845 former rooming house which in the mid-1960s was nearly abandoned until a new generation of artists, musicians, and activists turned it into a hub of creative life in the East Village. 27 Cooper Square attracted jazz musicians, Beat poets, key figures in the Black Arts Movement like Leroi Jones, and more.

The plaque at 27 Cooper Square now makes the site's history visible for all to see. 

You can see all of our plaques throughout the Village, East Village, and NoHo here.

Jefferson Market Garden Party, Tuesday June 27

Last year's Garden Party

Join the GVSHP Broker’s Partnership and friends next Tuesday from 6 to 8 pm for an evening of refreshments and live music in the peaceful oasis of the Jefferson Market Garden.  Bring a friend to enjoy the bucolic surroundings and support the work of GVSHP.  There will also be tours of the historic Jefferson Market Library building by the library’s historian Jack Intrator. Tickets are $25 – click here to purchase.

The Jefferson Market Garden Party for GVSHP has become a much-anticipated annual event to celebrate summer in one of the Village’s most delightful and relaxing spaces.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends or see what’s bloomed in the garden since your last visit.

A limited number of tickets may be available day of, so be sure to purchase now.  Enter on either Greenwich Avenue or West 10th Street.

New Image Archive Additions: Meatpacking District, Far West Village, Hudson Square in the '80s

GVSHP has recently added about two dozen images to our Historic Image Archive, photographs of the Meatpacking District, Far West Village, and Hudson Square in the 1980’s – view them here. The latest addition supplements the several hundred images already in our online archive from the late 18th century to the early 2000’s, including photographs, colored postcards, etchings, and paintings – view them all here.

This latest cache of images is particularly revealing about how these neighborhoods have changed over the past three decades, as well as how they have remained the same.  While some buildings have been lost, many can still be found on our streets today.  And while many have been spruced up with extensive renovations, quite a few were gritty, run down, or even abandoned not long ago.

You can explore all the images in our archive by collectionby individual image, or by map.  Prints of most are now also available for sale, with proceeds supporting GVSHP’s work.  They make great gifts or additions to your home – click here to purchase.

LGBT Pride Month Oral History: Rich Wandel

Rich Wandel

GVSHP has just added a new oral history to our collection of forty preservation pioneers, neighborhood leaders, activists, business owners, and artists who’ve had a big impact upon our community.  In honor of LGBT Pride Month, our newest oral history is with Rich Wandel, who for two and a half decades was the archivist at the LGBT Community Services Center, and in the 1970s was President of the Gay Activists Alliance, an influential and impactful post-Stonewall group – read or listen here.

A former seminarian, Rich came to New York to find himself, and quickly got swept up in the whirlwind of gay life and activism in New York beginning in the late 1960s, living through Stonewall, Gay Liberation, the AIDS Crisis, and a transformation of social and political norms around LGBT people. Learn how he saw the Village, Christopher Street, and gay life change over a half century.

Rich’s oral history is one of several recent additions to GVSHP’s collection, which includes our collections of Preservation PioneersEast VillagersSouth Villagers, and those connected to Westbeth.


Preserving West Village's Beloved 'Twin Peaks'

(l.) Twin Peaks before the recent makeover; (r.) and after

GVSHP’s closely monitors our historic buildings to ensure they are being appropriately maintained and preserved. That is why we were shocked to discover that the beloved “Twin Peaks” at 102 Bedford Street, the fancifully reimagined artists’ studio building which has been a symbol of the West Village’s bohemian spirit for nearly a century, had recently been given a stultifying battleship grey and beige makeover that sucked much of the exuberance and charm out of this iconic landmark.

But we were even more shocked to discover that this change to the building had been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, based upon faulty historic research and a failure to understand the essential nature of this extraordinary and timeless building.  Read GVSHP’s letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) about this here.

GVSHP will be following up with the LPC to ensure this situation is resolved. Click here for more information on what to do if you see inappropriate or illegal work done to a landmark.



The GVSHP Blog

Check out the latest posts from Off the Grid, featuring news, research, milestones, opinions and historic information about Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo.

Take Action Today!

We need your help to take action in our communities! Preservation leadership is GVSHP's most important function. Visit our Advocacy page to see the full list of actions you can take today.




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