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Manhattan’s Only Designated Cultural District: 2011 Village Awardee

Fourth Arts Block

Did you know that Manhattan’s only designated cultural district is right here in the East Village? The Fourth Arts Block (FAB) will be one of eight recipients of a 2011 Village Award, which will be presented at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s Annual Meeting on Monday, June 13th. FAB  is being given the award for protecting and expanding the theaters and the vibrant street life of East Fourth Street over the last decade—efforts that culminated in the 2001 creation of the East Fourth Street Cultural District.

62 East 4th Street

Because the block boasts far too many rich cultural institutions to cover in one post, we thought we’d touch briefly on 62 East 4th Street, one of the more architecturally-intriguing of the bunch and a recent beneficiary of FAB’s assistance. For the past several years, GVSHP has been undertaking a survey of the history of every single building in the East Village, and 62 East 4th Street has certainly been a stand-out!  Home to FAB members the Rod Rogers Dance Company and the Duo Multicultural Arts Center, the soon-to-be-restored building at 62 East 4th Street has a colorful history to go along with its unique architecture. Built as a hotel in 1889, the building was later home to a German music union, Astoria Hall, and during the 1970s housed Andy Warhol’s porn movie house.

The building’s future looks bright, thanks to FAB, who tells us that the capital improvements soon to be completed on this building include the complete restoration of the façade, including historic features, fire escapes, and exterior lighting. Future phases include renovation of the 5th floor and development of the back lot.

Our 2011 Annual Meeting happens to coincide with FAB’s 10th Anniversary, so there is indeed much to celebrate! We hope you’ll join us to honor this and other people and places that make the Village special. And as we said before, keep checking Off the Grid for shout-outs to other awardees!

62 East 4th Street as Astoria Hall

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