April 2024 Programs: Vanished Mansions, the Birth of Seventh Avenue South, and More

Did you know that Village Preservation members receive advance notice of many of our public programs? Our tours and other programs sometimes offer limited seating or spaces. By becoming a member, you can take advantage of that advanced notice and register before the general public. Find out how to become a member here.

For videos, details, and other media from our past programs, click here.

Vanished Mansions of Lower Fifth Avenue: Celebrating the Iconic Street at 200

Thursday, April 4, 2024 
6 PM 

Pre-registration required 

Location: Rockwell Gallery at Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street)

Co-sponsored by the Salmagundi Club Library Committee.

Opened in 1824, Fifth Avenue originally vied with several other locations for social supremacy, including St. John’s Park, Lafayette Place, and Second Avenue. By the Civil War, Fifth had become The Avenue superseding all other addresses in which to flaunt you had arrived.

In this talk, part of our celebration of the thoroughfare’s 200th anniversary, we’ll explore some of the early mansions constructed on Fifth Avenue below 14th Street in the years prior to achieving social victory. Only one of these early mansions — the Hawley Residence at 47 Fifth — still survives today in anything resembling original condition. It’s now the Salmagundi Club, where this talk will take place.

About the Speaker: 

Multifaceted Anthony Bellov is an award-winning videographer, pianist, tenor, singing instructor, and architectural historian with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pratt Institute and a master’s in museum leadership from the Bank Street College of Education. His video explorations of the world-renowned Merchant’s House Museum, in New York’s NoHo have generated great excitement among historic house and architectural preservation advocates. He says, “Successful architecture is a happy manifestation of function expressed as geometry and detail.” Through his still images of buildings, Bellov explores the overarching balance of form with the radiant exclamation point of detail.

The Birth and Life of Seventh Avenue South

Thursday, April 11, 2024 
6 PM 

Pre-registration required 
Location: Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street 

For just over a hundred years now, Seventh Avenue South has been running through the heart of Greenwich Village. And yet very little is known today about the context of the birth and the ongoing change of this unique thoroughfare and its unusual cityscape. Only a few publications on Greenwich Village mention the avenue and do so fleetingly, offering a general impression of rejection.

This talk, on the other hand, aims to present a first more comprehensive look at this intriguing avenue. Uncovering its multiple origins, revealing its violent construction and disastrous beginnings, and following its slow but steady evolution over a century, it proposes a new perspective and a better understanding of the way this thoroughfare appears at present. Underlining how far the avenue has developed since its opening in the mid-1910s is particularly relevant today as it seems to have finally succeeded in creating an urban and social space that fulfills at least some of the initial visions that went unrealized at the start.

About the Speaker: 

Patrick Leitner is associate professor of architectural and urban design and theory at the Paris-La Villette School of Architecture. When living and working in New York 25 years ago, he started researching urban interactions, principally between New York, Paris, and London. He holds a PhD degree and is the author of several articles on inter-urban relationships, developing the concept of “society of cities” of which Seventh Avenue South forms part and on which his research is ongoing.

Impressions of Great Establishments of Greenwich Village: An Evening with Artist Lily Annabelle Caleakav, Village Preservation, and the LGBT Historic Sites Project 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
6 pm 

Pre-registration required

Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue

Since the early 20th century, Greenwich Village has been a sanctuary for writers, artists, academics, and activists alike. As the century progressed, the charming tree-lined streets bore witness to the collection of quintessential theaters, bookstores, cabarets, jazz clubs, and iconic monuments that have contributed to New York City and American culture. 

Documenting these historic sites through illustrations has the ability to create an archival record of the past. Please join us to discuss the contemporary work of artist Lily Annabelle, who has illustrated many of these important sites as part of an exhibition opening at Jefferson Market Library on April 3.

Speakers from Village Preservation and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will share with the community the Village’s past and present, with highlights on music, theater, literature, and LGBTQ histories.

Some highlighted sites include:
•       The Public Theatre
•       Café Wha?
•       Three Lives & Co.
•       Cherry Lane Theatre
•       IFC
•       Julius
•       Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse  
•       Cubbyhole
•       The Stonewall Inn
•       Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop 

About the Artist:

Lily Annabelle is a West Village–based illustration artist. Prior to starting her art career in April 2023, Lily worked as a data analytics professional, holding a leadership position at a market research company. Despite being new to the art scene, Lily already started to gain ground in the city. Her illustrations are proudly treasured by over 50 famed New York establishments, among them such familiar names as Bergdorf Goodman, Smith & Wollensky, and the Comedy Cellar. Currently, Lily is preparing to publish her first book.

Use of library space for this program does not indicate endorsement by The New York Public Library.

Veselka: The Rainbow on the Corner at the Center of the World
Friday, February 16, 2024

Watch video here

Researching the History of Your NYC Building
Monday, February 26, 2024

Watch video here

Artists’ Homes & Haunts South of Union Square
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Watch video here

Staging America: The Artistic Legacy of the Provincetown Players
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Watch video here

Patchin Place: History and Literary Connections
Monday, March 18, 2024

Watch video here

March 21, 2024