On this date in 2011, the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), presented a “Resource Evaluation” that agreed with the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s earlier finding that the complex known as Washington Square Village was eligible for inclusion in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
In this evaluation, SHPO noted that Washington Square Village “embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction; or represents the work of a master or [possesses] high artistic values…” and that, “…the superblock complex of two residential towers, elevated landscaped plaza, commercial strip, and below-grade parking [is] an impressive example of postwar urban renewal planning and design.
Washington Square Village is bordered by West 3rd Street, Mercer Street, Bleecker Street, and La Guardia Place. Just below it, between Bleecker Street and West Houston Street, you’ll find another superblock that contains the Silver Towers complex, which you can read more about here.
Unfortunately NYU’s proposed huge additions to the Washington Square Village superblock – two large buildings and an enormous underground complex – will destroy much of what SHPO found significant about it. A particularly painful loss will be the beautiful garden designed by Hideo Sasaki, an influential American landscape architect.
GVSHP has led the fight against NYU’s overreaching expansion plan, aimed in large part at these two blocks. We will be monitoring the situation closely and will keep you informed of any news as these plans evolve.