Ten years ago today, we secured landmark designation of 235 buildings on 12 blocks in Greenwich Village, the largest expansion of the Greenwich Village Historic District in its history. It included streets and structures many would consider the heart of our neighborhood, yet lacked protections and were endangered by developers and institutions like NYU.
This is just one victory in a long line we’ve secured over the years, resulting in over 1,250 buildings landmarked in Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo, from the Hudson River to Avenue D, and nearly 100 blocks granted zoning protections. We don’t let up, because our neighborhoods, and their special character, history, and sense of place are too precious, and once lost, can’t ever be replaced.
That’s why we’re fighting to protect the area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square, where historic buildings are being demolished every day to make way for high-rise tech office towers, condos, and hotels. That’s why we expanded landmark protections to the Far West Village, and fight every day to enforce the provisions of the existing Greenwich Village and NoHo Historic Districts that protect those neighborhoods but are too often loosely enforced. And that’s why we’ve made a priority of expanding landmark protections in the East Village, where we got a tenfold increase in historic district protections in 2012, but by far the majority of that neighborhood remains vulnerable.
It’s why we’re working with local small businesses, theaters, and arts and culture groups to support them and help them survive the pandemic and shutdown, and remain the vital cornerstones our our communities.
We’re only halfway through the toughest year we (and most of you) have experienced in decades, but we’re not letting up. In spite of having to end all our in-person programs since late March, we’ve actually INCREASED the number of programs we’ve conducted over the last year and the total number of people who’ve attended (via zoom). With schools and our offices closed, we’ve implemented virtual programming to replace our children’s education and continuing education programs. And we’ve added scores of new online resources, including a new website, so you can explore, share, and protect the history of our neighborhood from the safety of home, or anywhere.
But we can’t do this without you. We know this is a tough time for many of you. We’ve had to postpone, possibly indefinitely, our main fundraiser for the year, and other sources of support have disappeared or are drying up, and no doubt more will. That’s why I am asking you, if you can, to make a tax-deductible mid-year donation to Village Preservation, so we can rise to the challenge of this incredibly difficult time, and continue to do what we were founded forty years ago to do — document, celebrate, and preserve the special architectural and cultural heritage of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo.