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Greenwich Village ( GREN-itch, GRIN-, -⁠ij)
often referred to by locals as simply “the Village”, is a neighborhood on the west side
of Manhattan, New York City, within Lower Manhattan. Broadly, Greenwich Village is 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. 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. Groenwijck,
one of the Dutch names for the village (meaning “Green District”), was Anglicized to Greenwich.
Greenwich Village contains Washington Square Park, as well as two of New York’s private
colleges, New York University (NYU) and the New School.Greenwich Village is part of Manhattan
Community District 2, and is patrolled by the 6th Precinct of the New York City Police
Department. Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization;
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, with residential property sale prices in the West Village neighborhood
typically exceeding US$2,100 per square foot ($23,000/m2) in 2017.==Geography=====Boundaries===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, and 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. 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.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 or Empire
Ward 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. The newer district
of SoHo has since encroached on this border.===Grid plan===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.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. 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.Unlike the streets of most
of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village typically are 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. 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.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.
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.===Political representation===
Politically, Greenwich Village is in New York’s 10th congressional district. It is also in
the New York State Senate’s 25th district, the New York State Assembly’s 66th district,
and the New York City Council’s 3rd district.==History=====
Early years===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
(“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”. 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. All received parcels of land what is now Greenwich
Village.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. 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, 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 until 1829, 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, near the Christopher Street pier. The building was designed by Joseph-François
Mangin, who would later co-design New York City Hall. 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. 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. 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.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).
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.===Reputation as urban bohemia===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, Stonewall riots began by enraged
members of the gay community in search for equality. The Stonewall Inn is a National
Historic Landmark that started the gay rights movement.
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 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, as did Edward Lamson Henry, and many
of the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt. 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. 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). In 1924, the 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. 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.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.” The three gunmen were immediately arrested.
Sheridan and Dunn were executed.The Village hosted the nation’s first racially integrated
nightclub, when Café Society was opened in 1938 at 1 Sheridan Square 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.===Postwar===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, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs,
James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Marianne Moore, Maya Angelou, Rod McKuen, 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”. 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 Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand,
Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bette Midler, the Lovin’ Spoonful, Simon & Garfunkel, Liza Minnelli,
Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem,
the Velvet Underground, the Kingston Trio, Carly Simon, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur,
Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, and Nina Simone. 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.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. 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, and on June 24, 2016,
the Stonewall National Monument was named the first U.S. National Monument dedicated
to the LGBTQ-rights movement. 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.===Preservation===Since 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. 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.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) while other citizen
groups fought to keep traffic out of Washington Square Park, 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 — for
four decades, the city’s largest — 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.====Rezoned areas====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: 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. 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. Greenwich Village Historic District Extension
I, designated in 2006, brought 46 more buildings on three blocks into the district, thus protecting
warehouses, a former public school and police station, and early 19th century rowhouses.
Both the Weehawken Street Historic District and the Greenwich Village Historic District
Extension I were designated by the LPC in response to the larger proposal for a Far
West Village Historic District submitted by GVSHP in 2004.
Greenwich Village Historic District Extension II, designated in 2010, embracing 225 buildings
on 12 blocks, contains 19th century houses, 19th and 20th century tenements, and a variety
of cultural landmarks. South Village Historic District, designated
in 2013, covers 235 buildings on 13 blocks, representing the largest single expansion
of landmark protections in Greenwich Village since 1969. It includes well-preserved and
renovated 19th century houses, colorful tenements, and a variety of sites important to the area’s
rich immigrant, artistic, and Italian-American history, as well as several low-rise, historically
significant New York University buildings on Washington Square South.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; the Silver Towers/University
Village Complex (1967), designed by I.M. Pei and including the Picasso sculpture “Portrait
of Sylvette,” designated in 2008; 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. 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.====NYU dispute====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.As one press critic put it in 2013,
“For decades, New York University has waged architectural war on Greenwich Village.” 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; and the demolition in 2009
of the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, over protests.In 2008, as part of a multi-stakeholder
Community Task Force on NYU Development, the university agreed to a set of “Planning Principles.”
Yet advocates did not find NYU to follow the principles in practice, culminating in a successful
lawsuit against the university’s “NYU 2031” plan for expansion.==Demographics==
For census purposes, the New York City government classifies Greenwich Village as part of the
West Village neighborhood tabulation area. Based on data from the 2010 United States
Census, the population of West Village was 66,880, a change of −1,603 (−2.4%) from
the 68,483 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 583.47 acres (236.12 ha), the neighborhood
had a population density of 114.6 inhabitants per acre (73,300/sq mi; 28,300/km2). The racial
makeup of the neighborhood was 80.9% (54,100) White, 2% (1,353) African American, 0.1% (50)
Native American, 8.2% (5,453) Asian, 0% (20) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (236) from other races,
and 2.4% (1,614) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.1% (4,054) of
the population.The entirety of Community District 2, which comprises Greenwich Village and SoHo,
had 91,638 inhabitants as of NYC Health’s 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average
life expectancy of 85.8 years. This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for
all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are adults: a plurality (42%) are between
the ages of 25–44, while 24% are between 45–64, and 15% are 65 or older. The ratio
of youth and college-aged residents was lower, at 9% and 10% respectively.As of 2017, the
median household income in Community Districts 1 and 2 (including the Financial District
and Tribeca) was $144,878, though the median income in Greenwich Village individually was
$119,728. In 2018, an estimated 9% of Greenwich Village and SoHo residents lived in poverty,
compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. One in twenty-five
residents (4%) were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent
burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 38%
in Greenwich Village and SoHo, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45%
and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Greenwich Village and SoHo are
considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.==Points of interest==
Greenwich Village includes several collegiate institutions. Since the 1830s, New York University
(NYU) has had a campus there. In 1973 NYU moved its campus in the University Heights
section of the West Bronx to Greenwich Village. In 1976 Yeshiva University established the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in the northern part of Greenwich Village. In the 1980s Hebrew
Union College was built in Greenwich Village. The New School, with its Parsons The New School
for Design, a division of The New School, and the School’s Graduate School expanded
in the 2000s, with the renovated, award-winning design of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
at 66 Fifth Avenue on 13th Street. The Cooper Union is located in Greenwich Village, at
Astor Place, near St. Mark’s Place on the border of the East Village. Pratt Institute
established its latest Manhattan campus in an adaptively reused Brunner & Tryon-designed
loft building on 14th Street, east of Seventh Avenue. The university campus building expansion
was followed by a gentrification process in the 1980s. The historic Washington Square Park is the
center and heart of the neighborhood. Additionally, the Village has several other, smaller parks:
Christopher, Father Fagan, Minetta Triangle, Petrosino Square, Little Red Square, and Time
Landscape. There are also city playgrounds, including DeSalvio Playground, Minetta, Thompson
Street, Bleecker Street, Downing Street, Mercer Street, Cpl. John A. Seravelli, and William
Passannante Ballfield. One of the most famous courts, is “The Cage”, officially known as
the West Fourth Street Courts. Sitting atop the We subway station at Sixth Avenue, the
courts are used by basketball and American handball players from across the city. The
Cage has become one of the most important tournament sites for the citywide “Streetball”
amateur basketball tournament. Since 1975, New York University’s art collection has been
housed at the Grey Art Gallery bordering Washington Square Park, at 100 Washington Square East.
The Grey Art Gallery is notable for its museum-quality exhibitions of contemporary art.
The Village has a bustling performing arts scene. It is home to many Off Broadway and
Off-Off-Broadway theaters; for instance, Blue Man Group has taken up residence in the Astor
Place Theater. The Village Gate (until 1992), the Village Vanguard and The Blue Note are
still presenting some of the biggest names in jazz on a regular basis. Other music clubs
include The Bitter End, and Lion’s Den. The village has its own orchestra aptly named
the Greenwich Village Orchestra. Comedy clubs dot the Village as well, including Comedy
Cellar, where many American stand-up comedians got their start.
Several publications have offices in the Village, most notably the citywide newsweekly The Village
Voice, and the monthly magazines Fortune and American Heritage. The National Audubon Society,
having relocated its national headquarters from a mansion in Carnegie Hill to a restored
and very green, former industrial building in NoHo, relocated to smaller but even greener
LEED certified digs at 225 Varick Street, on Houston Street near the Film Forum.==Police and crime==Greenwich Village is patrolled by the 6th
Precinct of the NYPD, located at 233 West 10th Street. The 6th Precinct ranked 68th
safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. This is due to a high incidence
of property crime. With a non-fatal assault rate of 10 per 100,000 people, Greenwich Village’s
rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration
rate of 100 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.The 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 saw 1 murder, 20 rapes, 153 robberies, 121
felony assaults, 163 burglaries, 1,031 grand larcenies, and 28 grand larcenies auto in
2018.==Fire safety==
Greenwich Village is served by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:
Engine Co. 24/Ladder Co. 5/Battalion 2 – 227 6th Avenue
Squad 18 – 132 West 10th Street==Health==
Preterm births are more common in Greenwich Village and SoHo than in other places citywide,
though teenage births are less common. In Greenwich Village and SoHo, there were 91
preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 1 teenage birth
per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide), though the teenage birth
rate is based on a small sample size. Greenwich Village and SoHo have a low population of
residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated
to be 4%, less than the citywide rate of 12%, though this was based on a small sample size.The
concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Greenwich
Village and SoHo is 0.0095 milligrams per cubic metre (9.5×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than
the city average. Sixteen percent of Greenwich Village and SoHo residents are smokers, which
is more than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers. In Greenwich Village and SoHo,
4% of residents are obese, 3% are diabetic, and 15% have high blood pressure, the lowest
rates in the city—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.
In addition, 5% of children are obese, the lowest rate in the city, compared to the citywide
average of 20%.Ninety-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day,
which is more than the city’s average of 87%. In 2018, 91% of residents described their
health as “good,” “very good,” or “excellent,” more than the city’s average of 78%. For every
supermarket in Greenwich Village and SoHo, there are 7 bodegas.The nearest major hospitals
are Beth Israel Medical Center in Stuyvesant Town, as well as the Bellevue Hospital Center
and NYU Langone Medical Center in Kips Bay, and NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital
in the Civic Center area.==Post offices and ZIP codes==Greenwich Village is located within four primary
ZIP Codes. The subsection of West Village, south of Greenwich Avenue and west of Sixth
Avenue, is located in 10014, while the northwestern section of Greenwich Village north of Greenwich
Avenue and Washington Square Park and west of Fifth Avenue is in 10011. The northeastern
part of the Village, north of Washington Square Park and east of Fifth Avenue, is in 10003.
The neighborhood’s southern portion, the area south of Washington Square Park and east of
Sixth Avenue, is in 10012. The United States Postal Service operates three post offices
near Greenwich Village: Patchin Station – 70 West 10th Street
Village Station – 201 Varick Street West Village Station – 527 Hudson Street==Education==
Greenwich Village and SoHo generally have a higher rate of college-educated residents
than the rest of the city. The vast majority of residents age 25 and older (84%) have a
college education or higher, while 4% have less than a high school education and 12%
are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents
and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher. The percentage of Greenwich Village
and SoHo students excelling in math rose from 61% in 2000 to 80% in 2011, and reading achievement
increased from 66% to 68% during the same time period.Greenwich Village and SoHo’s rate
of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Greenwich
Village and SoHo, 7% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school
year, less than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 91% of high school students
in Greenwich Village and SoHo graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.===Schools===
Greenwich Village residents are zoned to two elementary schools: PS 3, Melser Charrette
School, and PS 41, Greenwich Village School. Residents are zoned to Baruch Middle School
104. Residents apply to various New York City high schools. Greenwich Village High School
was a private high school formerly located in the area, but later moved to SoHo.Greenwich
Village is home to New York University, which owns large sections of the area and most of
the buildings around Washington Square Park. To the north is the campus of The New School,
which is housed in several buildings that are considered historical landmarks because
of their innovative architecture. New School’s Sheila Johnson Design Center doubles as a
public art gallery. Cooper Union has been located in the East Village since its founding
in 1859.===Libraries===The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates
two branches in Greenwich Village. The Jefferson Market Library is located at 425 Avenue of
the Americas (Sixth Avenue). The building was a courthouse in the 19th and 20th centuries
before being converted into a library in 1967, and it is now a city designated landmark.
The Hudson Park branch is located at 66 Leroy Street. The branch is housed in Carnegie library
that was built in 1906 and expanded in 1920.==Transportation==
Greenwich Village is served by the IND Eighth Avenue Line (A, ​C, and ​E trains), the
IND Sixth Avenue Line (B, ​D, ​F, and ​M trains), the BMT Canarsie Line (L train),
and the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1, ​2, and ​3 trains) of the New York
City Subway. The 14th Street/Sixth Avenue, 14th Street/Eighth Avenue, West Fourth Street–Washington
Square, and Christopher Street–Sheridan Square stations are in the neighborhood. Local
New York City Bus routes, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, include
the M55, M7, M11, M14, and M20. On the PATH, the Christopher Street, Ninth Street, and
14th Street stations are in Greenwich Village.==Notable residents==Greenwich Village has long been a popular
neighborhood for numerous artists and other notable people. Past and present notable residents
include:==In popular culture=====
Comics===In the DC Comics universe, Wonder Woman lived
in the “Village” in New York City (never called by its full name, but clearly depicted as
Greenwich Village) during the late 1960s and early 1970s, when she had lost most of her
superpowers. Madame Xanadu lived on Chrystie Street, described alternately as being in
“Greenwich Village” and the “East Village.” In the Marvel Comics universe, Master of the
Mystic Arts and Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, lives in a brownstone mansion in Greenwich
Village. Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum is located at 177A Bleecker Street.
In Akimi Yoshida’s Banana Fish sequel/side story, Garden of Light, Eiji Okumura is stated
to live in Greenwich Village as an accomplished photographer.===Film===
In Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) James Stewart’s character lives in a Greenwich Village
apartment. In Wonderful Town (1953), the Sherwood sisters
leave 1935 Columbus, Ohio, for Greenwich Village to pursue their dreams of becoming a writer
(Ruth) and an actress (Eileen). Their apartment was said to be on Christopher Street, though
the actual apartment of author Ruth McKenney and her sister Eileen McKenney was at 14 Gay
Street. In Funny Face (1957), Jo Stockton (Audrey
Hepburn) works at a bookstore called Embryo Concepts in the Village, where she is discovered
by Dick Avery (Fred Astaire). In When Harry Met Sally, Sally drops Harry
off in front of the Washington Square Arch after they share a drive from University of
Chicago. In Wait Until Dark (1967), Susy Hendrix (Audrey
Hepburn) lives at 4 St. Luke’s Place. Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) chronicles
the story of a young Jewish boy in 1953 who moves to the Village, looking to break into
acting. The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984) centers
on a maître d’ (Mickey Rourke) in the Italian section of the Village.
Big Daddy (1999), Adam Sandler and Cole/Dylan Sprouse’s characters live in a Greenwich Village
apartment. Chinese Coffee (2000), an independent film
by Al Pacino, which features Pacino and Jerry Orbach, is set in Greenwich Village in 1982.
The Collector of Bedford Street (2002) is a documentary set in Greenwich village. It
is about the neighborhood block association on Bedford street setting up a trust fund
for a mentally disabled man named Larry Selman. In I Am Legend (2007) Will Smith’s character
lives in Washington Square. Greenwich Village is the setting for the restaurant
22 Bleecker in the Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin movie No Reservations
(2007). In Wanderlust (2012) the characters played
by Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston live in a New York City apartment located in the West
Village. The Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
depicts the Village in the early 1960s, focusing on the emerging folk scene.
In Avengers: Infinity War, a battle between the Avengers and the Black Order takes place
in the Village.===Games===
Greenwich Village is a playable multiplayer map in the Freedom Fighters (2003) video game.===Literature===
In her non-fiction, Jane Jacobs frequently cites Greenwich Village as an example of a
vibrant urban community, most notably in her 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American
Cities. Frank and April Wheeler of the novel Revolutionary
Road, and the film of the same name, used to share an apartment on Bethune Street in
the West Village prior to the events of the story.
O. Henry’s short story, “The Last Leaf”, is set in Greenwich Village.
The anti-hero of the book Mother Night by author Kurt Vonnegut, and the film of the
same name, Howard W. Campbell Jr., resides in Greenwich Village after World War II and
prior to his arrest by the Israelis. In Lesley M. M. Blume’s children’s novel,
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, the main characters reside
in Greenwich Village. The suggestion of moving to the Village shocks
newlywed New York aristocrat Jamie “Rick” Ricklehouse in Nora Johnson’s 1985 novel Tender
Offer. The implication is telling of the Village’s reputation in the New York of the 1960s before
mass gentrification when it was perceived as lowly and beneath upper class society.===Music===
The cover photo for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) of Dylan and his then-girlfriend Suze
Rotolo was taken on Jones Street near West 4th Street in Greenwich Village, near their
apartment. In an interview with Jann Wenner, John Lennon
said: “I should have been born in New York, I should have been born in the Village, that’s
where I belong.” Buddy Holly and his wife Maria Elena Santiago
lived in Apartment 4H of the Brevoort Apartments, at 11 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village. Here
he recorded the series of acoustic songs, including “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” and “What
to Do,” known as the “Apartment Tapes,” which were released after his death.===Television===The ABC sitcom Barney Miller (1975–82) was
set at the fictional 12th precinct NYPD station in Greenwich Village.
The NBC sitcom Friends (1994–2004) is set in the Village. Central Perk was supposedly
on Mercer or Houston Street, down the block from the Angelika Film Center; and Phoebe
lived at 5 Morton Street. The building in the exterior shot of Chandler, Joey, Rachel,
and Monica’s apartment building is at the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets in the
West Village. One of the show’s working titles was Once Upon a Time in the West Village.
The Village features prominently throughout the six seasons of Mad Men. In Season 1, Don
Draper is having an affair with artist Midge Daniels, who lives in the Village. In Season
4, Don moves to an apartment on Waverly Place and Sixth Avenue (specified, for example,
in “Public Relations”). And in Season 6, Betty Francis goes to Greenwich Village looking
for a family friend, in “The Doorway”, and Joan Harris and her girlfriend Kate go on
a night on the town that culminates at the Electric Circus, in “To Have and to Hold”.
On Sex and the City (1998–2004), exterior shots of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment building
are of 66 Perry Street, even though her address is given as on the Upper East Side.
The NBC Sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92) made several references to the Village during
its run, and the townhouse used for exterior shots, though purportedly set in Brooklyn
for purposes of the show, is actually located at 10 St. Luke’s Place.
The Real World: Back to New York, the 2001 season of the MTV reality television series
The Real World, was filmed in the Village. Village Barn (1948–50), the first country
music show on network television (NBC) originated from a nightclub of the same name in the basement
of 52 West 8th Street. Greenwich Village is the setting for Disney’s
Wizards of Waverly Place and Girl Meets World.===Theater===
The play Bell, Book and Candle is partly set in Greenwich Village.==See also==List of New York City Landmarks
National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York
Cedar Tavern Gay Street, Manhattan
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation The Church of the Ascension
Village Care of New York Village People
West Village The Market NYC==Notes and references=====
Notes

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