Each year since 1991, Village Presentation has solicited nominations from the public to honor the people, places, businesses, and organizations that represent the spirit of our neighborhoods! We then gather at our Annual Meeting in June to present these amazing people, places, and institutions with a Village Award and celebrate their unparalleled contributions to the culture and character of our community.
To mark the opening of the 2023 Village Awards Nominations season, we’re rounding up a few of our esteemed awardees from previous years. Make sure to check them out and nominate your favorite Village fixtures for this year’s Village Awards!
The Restoration at First Presbyterian Church
We’re throwing it back to the very first Village Awards in 1991 with a spotlight on the awarded Restoration at First Presbyterian Church (12 West 12th Street)! The historic and revered Gothic Revival complex underwent a 3-year restoration that prioritized sustained and authentic preservation. The church, which celebrated its 300th birthday in 2016, went the extra mile in their efforts to restore the space by bringing a building conservation expert onto the staff and training church personnel in construction and conservation techniques. These initiatives ensured that the restoration would become an ongoing effort to preserve the church’s unique and celebrated architectural heritage past the initial restoration. With “doors that remain open and welcome to all,” First Presbyterian Church on Fifth Avenue has exhibited a centuries-long commitment to celebrating the people and history that make our neighborhoods so special!
Verna Small (1916-2008) was a pioneer of Greenwich Village preservation and principal actor in the campaign to establish the unified Greenwich Village Historic District in the 1960s. A contemporary of other trailblazing Village pillars and preservationists including Ruth Wittenberg and Evelyn Haynes, Small emerged as a leader at a time when Greenwich Village desperately needed one. After winning the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District, Small did substantial work for our community on the landmarks committee of Manhattan’s Community Board 2 while encouraging historic preservation in SoHo and fighting to establish a Greenwich Village Waterfront Historic District. Learn more about this Village Awardee and preservation pioneer from her fascinating 1996 Oral History.
The Women’s Prison Association
The Women’s Prison Association (110 Second Avenue) is the nation’s oldest organization for women impacted by incarceration. With their eyes firmly set on addressing the root causes of involvement in the carceral system, the WPA conducts innovative programming, fierce advocacy, and forward-thinking policy work. Founded in 1845 by abolitionist and activist Abby Hopper Evans and her father Isaac T. Hopper, the WPA has deep roots in our neighborhoods. Hopper Home, the WPA’s a transitional home dedicated to rehabilitating and training formerly incarcerated and houseless people, was originally located on Fourth Street near Eighth Avenue. but moved to the East Village.
Previous Village Awardees have come in all manner of colors and stripes but are undeniably united by their diversity, uniqueness, and ubiquitous Village-ness! Don’t forget to submit your nomination before the deadline on Mar 31, 2023.
As a reminder, past awardees, employees or trustees of Village Preservation, and entities located outside of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo are not eligible for Village Awards. Make sure to check out our complete list of previous awardees here and be on the lookout for more information about this year’s Annual Meeting!