Each year GVSHP writes almost 250 blog posts, with our staff (the authors) competing to write the best, most popular posts. Today, we look back on our five most popular posts of 2018, as chosen by our readers:
#5: The Lasting Imprint of Stuyvesant Street
This blog explores the one street in Manhattan that runs true east-west. In 1788, Petrus Stuyvesant laid out a grid of streets oriented across his family’s farm in anticipation of the expansion of the city from the south. The city plan prior to the Commissioners Plan of 1811, the Mangin-Goerck Plan of 1803, incorporated the grid laid out by Petrus. However, as the 1811 plan was adopted by the city and as the city expanded, the earlier grid was superseded. The exception was Stuyvesant Street, which remained intact — at least initially. It was named for Petrus Stuyvesant (1727-1805), the great-grandson of Petrus Stuyvesant (more commonly known as Peter). These two aren’t even all the Petruses in the family. Read more about all the Petruses here. While Stuyvesant Street once ran from 1st to 4th Avenue, all was eventually subsumed into the larger grid except the one remaining block between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. But you can still see parts of the old Stuyvesant Street’s path, now long gone, especially from above: click here to read more and see the maps.
#4: New York City’s 1940 Tax Photos — Now Online!
The moment we have all been waiting for _- the New York City Municipal Archives recently digitized all 720,000 photos of every building in New York City taken from 1939-41 for tax purposes. These are a dream come true for researchers and historians, as it provides a thorough visual documentation of the city, allowing us to see what has changed, and what has stayed the same. Read the post here.
#3: The Women’s House of Detention
To walk by the verdant, lush garden behind the graceful Jefferson Market Library today, one can scarcely imagine that it was once the site of an eleven-story Art Deco prison, the notorious Women’s House of Detention. Some of its most famous prisoners were Dorothy Day, Angela Davis, and Ethel Rosenberg. Read the entire post here.
#2 Rock On, Fillmore East!
In its short three years, the Fillmore East defined the music scene of the East Village and so much more. In March, GVSHP celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fillmore East with the people who ran the show. Read the post here, or read more about the history of the Fillmore East here. Watch the video of the event here. Purchase a print of Jimi Hendrix or the Doors playing the Fillmore East here.
#1: The Greenwich Village Building With a Starring Role in Hitchcock’s Rear Window
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window premiered on August 1st, 1954. One of the classics, this film stars Jimmy Stewart as a wheelchair-bound photographer who spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. The address that is referred to in the film is 125 West 9th Street. While there is no such thing as 125 West 9th Street, 125 Christopher Street, does indeed exist. Read the post here.