New April and May 2024 Programs: Walking Tours, Histories of Fifth Avenue and The Village Voice, 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

Walking Tour: “The Tredwells’ World”

First Tour: Sunday, April 14 at 1:30 PM 

Second Tour: Sunday, April 28 at 1:30 PM

Free for members of Village Preservation or Merchant’s House Museum

$20 for general admission

Co-sponsored by the Merchant’s House Museum.

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite “Bond Street area,” home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll see how the neighborhood surrounding the Tredwells’ home evolved from a refined and tranquil residential enclave into a busy commercial center. Visit important 19th-century landmark buildings on this tour through 21st century NoHo.

Walking tours are 90 minutes and meet outside the Merchant’s House Museum at 29 East 4th Street (Lafayette Street/Bowery).

Reinventing the Bond Street Neighborhood, 1865-1900

Saturday, April 20, 2024
1:30 PM

Free for members of Village Preservation or Merchant House Museum 

$20 for general admission

Co-sponsored by the Merchant’s House Museum.

Join us for a captivating journey to discover the pivotal changes that shaped the “Bond Street area,” once a residential neighborhood for wealthy merchant families like the Tredwells. On this 90-minute tour, we’ll witness the dramatic changes that unfolded as commercial interests began to encroach, compelling these families to move uptown and triggering a metamorphosis of the entire neighborhood. Homes evolved into boarding houses, business establishments, or were demolished. By 1900, the once-fashionable neighborhood was primarily a commercial area, known for printing and manufacturing. Our walking tour will lead you to the majestic landmarks — from the imposing De Vinne Press to the Schermerhorn factory, Robbins & Appleton, and the historic Fire Engine #33.

Walking Tours are 90 minutes and meet outside the Merchant’s House Museum at 29 East 4th Street (Lafayette Street/Bowery).

Fifth Avenue, Architecture and Society: History of America’s Street of Dreams with Professor Mosette Broderick

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
6 pm

Zoom webinar
Pre-registration required

Fifth Avenue, which begins at Washington Square, was born in 1824, and quickly became New York’s premiere residential address. Its development began at its southern end, where the grandest mansions New York had ever seen were built, and that grandeur quickly made its way up the island as the city grew. The city’s richest families and its most celebrated architects joined forces to build some of the most eye-popping monuments to opulence and excessive wealth ever seen. 

With her newly published book, Fifth Avenue: America’s Street of Dreams, Professor Mosette Broderick will explore the rich history of this street; its architecture; the social, cultural, and economic forces that shaped it; and its transformation over the years. Many of those lavish homes are now gone- but some remain, and in some cases, are the first and only structures to have ever been built on their sites. Join us for this fascinating talk on the 200th anniversary of Fifth Avenue’s beginnings with one of the leading authorities on New York City architecture and history. 

About the Speaker:

Professor Mosette Broderick
 specializes in 19th and early 20th-century American and English architecture, and has been a professor of architectural history and urban issues at New York University since 1989. She wrote the history portion of the book, The Villard Houses: Life Story of a Landmark (Viking Press, 1980), and is the author of Triumvirate: McKim Mead & White—Art, Architecture, Scandal and class in America’s Gilded Ages, (Alfred A Knopf, 2010), as well as Fifth Avenue: History of America’s Street of Dreams (Unicorn, 2023).  She has begun a study of the American beach style of the 1980s popularly known as the Shingle Style. She is also working on the collection of works of art from a Florentine dealer of the late 19th century.

In addition to the above research, Broderick is the director of the London MA Programme in Historical and Sustainable Architecture as well as director of the Urban Design and Architecture Studies program.

The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture — Book Talk with Author Tricia Romano

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 
6 PM 

Zoom webinar 
Pre-registration required 

Join us for a live virtual talk with former Village Voice writer Tricia Romano about her new book, containing more than 200 interviews with the paper’s legendary writers, editors, and photographers, including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, the late cultural critic Greg Tate, gossip columnist Michael Musto, and feminist writers Vivian Gornick and Susan Brownmiller to tell the periodical’s story. 

Either you were there or you wanted to be. A defining New York City institution co-founded by Norman Mailer, The Village Voice was the first to cover hip-hop, the avant-garde art scene, and the AIDS crisis with urgency and seriousness when other papers were dismissing it as “the gay disease.” It invented new forms of criticism and storytelling, revolutionized journalism, and covered cultural and political moments, often long before big outlets like The New York Times did.  

The Voice gave voice to an army of reporters and cultural critics, including Wayne Barrett, whose coverage of Donald Trump went back to 1979; news reporters Jack Newfield and Tom Robbins; the civil libertarian columnist Nat Hentoff; fashion reporter Lynn Yaeger; and self-appointed “Dean of American Rock Criticism” Robert Christgau. It also provided a visual forum for photographers who defined the look and feel of the paper — including Fred W. McDarrah, Sylvia Plachy, and James Hamilton; printing groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize–winning illustrator Jules Feiffer and off-the-beaten path artists like Stan Mack, Mark Stamaty, and Lynda Barry. The Freaks Came Out to Write is not only a story of American journalism but American culture. New Yorkers, fans of the Voice, and readers interested in the evolution of media will find a home in this definitive and rollicking oral history of The Village Voice — a New York City institution that became America’s most iconic weekly newspaper.

Romano will read selections from the publication (available for purchase), share stories of its writing and her time at the Voice, and answer questions. 

About the Author: 

Tricia Romano began her eight-year career at The Village Voice as an intern. As a contributing writer she wrote features and award-winning cover stories about culture and music. Her reported column, Fly Life, gave a glimpse into the underbelly of New York nightlife. She has been a staff writer at the Seattle Times and served as the editor in chief of The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative newsweekly. A fellow at MacDowell, Ucross, and Millay artist residencies, she has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Men’s Journal, Elle, Alta Journal, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. She lives in Seattle, Washington. This is her first book. 

Saul Leiter Plaque Unveiling

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 
6 pm 

Pre-registration required 

Location: 111 East 10th Street (Second/Third Avenues)

Werk von Saul Leiter. Aus der Ausstellung “Saul Leiter-Retrospektive”, Deichtorhallen Hamburg 2.2.-15.4.2012.

Join us for the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque honoring internationally acclaimed American photographer and painter Saul Leiter at the building where he lived and worked. We will hear about Leiter’s approach to street photography, much of which took place in the East Village, and about the painterly quality of his color work and the features that made him one of the key figures in the New York school of photography.

This is our 24th plaque unveiling. Our plaque program has honored and marked the homes of local figures from Jane Jacobs to James Baldwin and Jean-Michel Basquiat; Allen Ginsberg to Charles Mingus; Frank O’Hara to Frank Stella; and Martha Graham to Lorraine Hansberry; as well as historically significant sites such as the former NAACP headquarters, the Fillmore East, and Julius’ Bar.

You can learn more about our plaque program and explore the other plaques here and here

Spots Still Available 

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.

The Birth and Life of Seventh Avenue South

Thursday, April 11, 2024 
6 PM 

Pre-registration required 
Location: Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street (Hudson Street/Seventh Avenue South)

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.

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

Thursday, April 4, 2024 
6 PM 

Zoom livestream
In-person sold out 

Co-sponsored by the Salmagundi Club Library Committee, The Coffee House Club, the Merchant’s House Museum, and the Victorian Society New York.

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.

April 1, 2024