New and Upcoming Programs This May: Open House at the Whitney Study Program, The Many Lives of Greenwich Village, 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

New May 2024 Programs

Community Open House at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 
5–7 PM 

Pre-registration required


ISP Building, 745 Washington Street

Westbeth Gallery and Courtyard: 55 Bethune Street

Co-sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art

Please join the Whitney Museum and Village Preservation for a special community open house of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program (ISP) at the Roy Lichtenstein Studio, featuring a viewing of the program’s curatorial exhibition Not Everything Is Given, on Wednesday, May 22, 5–7 pm.

The 2023–24 ISP Studio Exhibition, At Odds With, will be available for a concurrent viewing at Westbeth Gallery located across the street at 55 Bethune Street, on Wednesday, May 22, 5–7 pm.

In 2023 the Whitney Museum of American Art completed a full renovation of artist Roy Lichtenstein’s former home and studio at 741/745 Washington Street in Greenwich Village, now the permanent space for the ISP. Only several months ago the participants of the 2023–24 ISP program, which trains the next generation of leading artists, curators, and scholars, moved to this new space, continuing the building’s legacy as a site for cultural production in the West Village. You are also invited inside the Westbeth Gallery to view the program participants’ culminating exhibitions.

The Many Lives of Greenwich Village: Collective Memory and Preservation

Registration Now Open

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 
6–7:30 PM

Pre-registration required

Location: Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, 526 LaGuardia Place

Organized by the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation in collaboration with Village Preservation, this program will discuss Greenwich Village as a space of collective memory and an important site of preservation in New York City. Greenwich Village built a reputation for eccentricity, experimentation, and artistic creativity in the 1960s and ’70s as the center of bohemian and countercultural movements. Although the neighborhood has seen dramatic changes over the decades, the memory of creative freedom and acceptance continues to mark Greenwich Village today. Panelists will discuss why the Village remains such a renowned and beloved space for the public, and consider ways to preserve this neighborhood’s memory in an ever-changing New York City.

Panelists include Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman; novelist and writer Michele Herman; and producer, writer, and director John Sorensen.

Upcoming May 2024 Programs: Spaces Still Available

1830s NYC: A Decade of Social, Political, & Geographical Upheaval

Thursday, May 16, 2024 
6 pm 
Zoom webinar 

Pre-registration required 

Co-sponsored by the Merchant House Museum and Salmagundi Club 

While New York is a city continually changing and evolving in almost every aspect, it’s hard to top the upheaval of the 1830s. From the worst fire in New York City history to absolute pandemonium surrounding Moving Day — when all NYC leases expired simultaneously — it was truly one of the city’s wildest periods. It’s time to uncover the stories and remnants of 1830s New York like never before.

Join Village Preservation as we explore lower Manhattan and the notable sights and scandals of 1830s New York, with a close look at 1835 and how a single year forever changed New York City in big ways.

Led by James Scully — NYC tour guide and director/co-creator of the award-winning historical audio fiction soap opera, Burning Gotham — our digital showcase of one of New York’s wildest decades will include:

  • An overview of New York City in the 1830s and why this period of social, political, and geographical upheaval is so underserved.
  • A discussion of important landmarks in Lower Manhattan dating back to the 1830s including Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green, and South Street Seaport.
  • Some of the big news stories that were the talk of the town, including why the United States was on the verge of war with France, the lack of clean running water in New York, and NYC’s Penny Papers orchestration of the greatest hoax of the 19th century.
  • A look at one of Manhattan’s most historic chapels, along with the site where John Jacob Astor built the city’s largest hotel in 1836.
  • The full scoop surrounding the Great Fire (December 16, 1835), the worst fire in New York City history, which destroyed everything in Manhattan’s chief merchant district (and caused the modern equivalent of $500 million in damage) — and while an investigation ensued, no public blame was ever assigned. 

My Greenwich Village: Dave, Bob and Me

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 
6 pm 

Pre-registration required 

Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Avenue of the Americas

Terri Thal was part of the 1960s Greenwich Village folk music world. She was Bob Dylan’s first manager shortly after the 21-year-old musician came to New York City. She also managed Dave Van Ronk (her then-husband and always friend) and others, including Maggie and Terre Roche and the Holy Modal Rounders. Her apartment on Waverly Place was a gathering place for musicians such as Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton; and her “home away from home” was the now-legendary Gaslight Café on MacDougal Street, where she met and hung out with old-timers like Mississippi John Hurt.

Thal’s other passion is social justice. She was a member of a socialist organization through most of the 1960s, worked with civil rights and civil liberties groups, lost a job because of FBI intervention, and later meshed her professional work in not-for-profit organizations with her work for social change. 

When you meet Thal, she’ll talk mostly about her folk music world, which she says was musically exciting, professionally supportive, and one in which people had fun. What was it like to be the young, female manager of Van Ronk and Dylan? She’ll tell you. Why did she become involved in the left-wing movement just after the McCarthy era? She’s figured that out. Questions? She’ll answer them.   

She’ll sign copies of her book, My Greenwich Village: Dave, Bob and Me (McNidder & Grace).

Historian, Artist, Activist: Jonathan Ned Katz in Conversation

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
6 pm
Zoom Webinar

Pre-registration required

Join us for an evening with historian, artist, and activist Jonathan Ned Katz, the subject of Village Preservation’s most recent oral history. A renowned public historian and author, whose pioneering work helped to found the fields of U.S. LGBTQ and heterosexual history, Katz grew up in Greenwich Village in a house on Jane Street and attended the Little Red School House.

Katz in 1971 joined the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), and in June 1972 used his name on a documentary play, Coming Out! produced by GAA at its rented firehouse on Wooster Street. The mainstream publicity received by the play led a publisher to offer Katz a contract for the collection of documents and interpretation published in 1976 as Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the USA. At that time within academia, young scholars were warned that producing work on this history would ruin their careers. Katz’s play and book led to his joining a network of gay men, lesbians, and bisexual and heterosexual women that met regularly in study groups over the following decades –– often in the Greenwich Village house on Jane Street where Katz had lived as a child –– enabling he and others to found the academic field of LGBTQ history and studies.

In this conversation with Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman, Katz will also focus on his little-known career as an artist; on the Greenwich Village family that encouraged his precocious child art and talented teen art; and his work as a textile designer at the Jack Prince Studio.

Katz will discuss with Berman his memoir in progress, Coming of Age in Greenwich Village: A Painter, His Paintings, His Life, and show examples of his art, celebrating the male nude, and featured in a one-man show at the Leslie Lohman Museum in 2013.

Down the Bridle Path: Vestiges of Greenwich Village’s Equine Past

Thursday, May 30, 2024 
6 pm 

Pre-registration required

For centuries New Yorkers relied on horses to transport them uptown, downtown, crosstown, and beyond, often retracing the paths created by the Native Americans on horseback who had come before them. However, nearly all of the city’s equine culture has been forgotten, supplanted by a cacophony of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. Nevertheless, the horse in New York City’s past is not only present, but palpable in Greenwich Village, which still offers vestiges of this way of life through its former horse walks, stables, mews, and other associated objects. Join architectural historian Gregory Dietrich as he takes you down the bridle path of this all but forgotten, yet tangible, legacy of Village horse culture.

Gregory Dietrich is the principal of Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting, where his work entails historic architectural and landscape studies, designation reports, historic-tax-credit applications, and grant writing. In addition to consulting, he served as an adjunct instructor within the Interior Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) between 2008 and 2018, and currently serves as an adjunct instructor within New York University’s Urban Design and Architecture Studies Department within the College of Arts & Science. In addition to teaching, he has served as a guest lecturer, panelist, and tour guide for a range of educational, cultural, and civic institutions both here and abroad.

May 9, 2024