Three years ago today, Village Preservation conducted an oral history with Gloria McDarrah, a Village resident for over 60 years and a longtime member of GVSHP. She worked in publishing, education, and for a while in the 1990’s, at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Gloria has lived in a variety of locations throughout the Village and East Village, and since its opening in 1967 has lived at the I.M. Pei-designed 505 LaGuardia Place within the Silver Towers complex.
Gloria accounts with great color her experiences living as a young woman with a friend at 53 West 11th when she first moved down to the Village. About the apartment they shared, she said “It was about the size of this living room [referring to her current living room at 505 LaGuardia Place, where the interview takes place]. It had two little bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and bath. And it was on the third floor, and it faced the rear. It was the time of that Jimmy Stewart movie, Rear Window. That was our apartment. It was really all those lovely little bitty gardens that we could see, and you could see other people’s lives. It was nice. It was a lot of fun.” Gloria also discusses extensively the ongoing controversies surrounding NYU about which she has a particularly personal perspective since the land under her building is owned by NYU, and the university has tried to use that as leverage for approvals for their massive expansion plans.
Gloria’s late husband, Fred W. McDarrah, worked for the Village Voice for many years, snapping some of the era’s most iconic images of our neighborhoods. Today is the last chance to purchase an image from Bob Dylan’s Village, a collection of ten Mcdarrah photographs that the estate of Fred W. McDarrah has provided to GVSHP. All proceeds benefit GVSHP.
GVSHP is thrilled to partner with the McDarrah Estate, including Gloria and son Tim McDarrah on this project.
Listen to a short audio clip from Gloria McDarrah’s oral history and read the transcript here.