October 2023 Programs: Native New Yorkers Walking Tour, Book Talks, 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

Native New Yorkers Walking Tour with Evan Pritchard

Thursday, October 5
5:00pm – 7:00pm 
Outdoor Walking Tour.

Pre-Registration is Required.
Spaces are limited.

Meeting Place: Chelsea Triangle on Ninth Avenue and 14th Street 

One might assume that New York’s streets are as old as Dutch settlement, but many of the thoroughfares we use today actually began long before that. Early Dutch and English immigrants adopted many pathways that were originally carved by truly native New Yorkers, and these routes were incorporated into the more formal city plan as development spread across the island. On this extended tour, Evan Pritchard, author of Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York, will take you on a journey through the history of New York’s streets from west to east. Starting in the Meatpacking District, you’ll traverse the island through Greenwich Village before ending at the St. Mark’s in-the-Bowery graveyard in the East Village where Peter Stuyvesant is interred. Along the way, you’ll see the streets and plazas through Native American eyes and explore how New York’s indigenous history influences our modern streetscapes and public spaces. Drawing upon archaeology, linguistics, and oral and written histories, this walk will link the legacy of the Lenape with Abraham Lincoln, modern luxury, and more.

This tour is free. Please select the $20 option if you wish to also purchase a signed copy of Evan Pritchard’s book, Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York. 

More than a Building: The Settlement House as Cooperative Structure

Tuesday, October 10
Zoom Webinar

Pre-Registration is Required.

Join Village Preservation and East Village Community Coalition (EVCCNYC) for a virtual discussion with writer and educator Joyce Milambiling on her new book More than a Building: The Settlement House as Cooperative Structure. Christodora House was founded in 1897 as the Young Women’s Settlement. However, the building at 143 Avenue B was only one of the physical locations where Christodora staff welcomed neighbors of all ages. The 16-story structure was, and remains, a remarkable physical space, but the work accomplished at Christodora House and that continues at settlement houses and community centers throughout the city transcends brick and mortar. The book, Skyscraper Settlement: The Many Lives of Christodora House, tells the story of how an idea held by two young women developed into one of the many settlement houses established in New York City. The settlements and centers function as cooperative structures made up of people from diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds, all striving together to reach goals based on principles of equality and social justice.

Joyce Milambiling is a writer and educator with a PhD in Applied Linguistics, who has enjoyed a long career teaching foreign language and ESL teachers in New York and Iowa. She is a seasoned traveler fascinated by the complexities of history and culture. A member of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and the New York Historical Society, she has written articles that have appeared in Academe, English Teaching Forum, and Theory into Practice.

Before Washington Square: The Often Forgotten Story of How Washington Square Came to Be

Thursday, October 12
In Person 

Pre-Registration is Required. 
Spaces are limited.

Location: Westbeth Community Room, 55 Bethune Street

Join us for a concise history of the development of what has become Washington Square, from the time of Dutch settlement to the now-lost Rhinelander mansion at Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North. The remaining Greek Revival facades of Washington Square North provide the last vestiges of tangible architectural evidence of what was the most fashionable neighborhood of New York City before the Civil War.  How that neighborhood came to be and prior land use is often shrouded in folklore and fable belying the fascinating and complex story of Greenwich Village.

This lecture will be presented by TR Hamilton, an architectural conservator and historian with degrees from the University of Mary Washington and the University of Edinburgh.  He is a native New Yorker who specializes in the conservation of 17th- to early 20th-century buildings. He currently serves as president of the American Country House Foundation and works with the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.

Tour of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation with Executive Director Sasha Davis

Tuesday, October 17

Pre-Registration is Required.
Spaces are limited.

Location: Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, 526 LaGuardia Place

For Village Preservation members at the $250 level and above.

Enjoy an exclusive opportunity for our Sustaining members and above to receive an insider’s tour of The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation with Executive Director Sasha Davis. The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that preserves and interprets the historic home, studio, and art collections of renowned 20th-century sculptor Chaim Gross (1902-91) and his wife Renee (1909-2005). In 1963, the Grosses converted a four-story art storage warehouse in Greenwich Village into their home and studio. They added a sculpture studio to the ground floor, which is illuminated by an enormous skylight that underwent extensive restoration work in 2017-18. The Foundation’s collection numbers over 12,000 objects, with significant holdings in African, American, European, Oceanic, pre-Columbian, and decorative arts, in addition to an extensive library and archive. The first floor showcases work spanning Gross’s entire career in the studio and adjacent gallery. The second floor houses a temporary exhibition space. The third floor features a historic, salon-style installation of African, American, European, Pre-Columbian, and decorative arts collected by the Grosses.

The Foundation’s mission is to further the legacy of Gross through high-quality research, exhibitions, and educational activities around our historic building and art collections for audiences in New York and beyond.

Sasha Davis is executive director of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, the historic home and studio of American sculptor Chaim Gross (1902-91) and his wife Renee (1909-2005). Prior to becoming the foundation’s executive director in 2017, Davis served as its Curator of Collections. Davis previously held internships at The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and the Newark Museum. Davis received a BA from New York University in Art History with a minor in Studio Art and a certificate in Arts Administration and Collections Management, also from New York University. She regularly presents on Gross’s work and the collection.

Tuesday, October 24
6:00 pm
In Person 

Pre-Registration is Required. 
Spaces are limited.

Location: La Nacional, Spanish Benevolent Society, 239 West 14th Street

James and Karla Murray speak about their newly published collection of popular and critically acclaimed photos that celebrate New York City’s unique history and culture — from long-disappeared icons to still-thriving favorite haunts. For decades they have been on a mission to document and preserve on film the various small shops of New York City — many of which are quickly disappearing — and a culture of authenticity that is hanging by just a thread. The book features glorious new reproductions of images from their past books as well as never-before published photos. Filled with diversity and character, these images honor destinations lost to rising rents and changing demographics. Together they comprise both a guidebook and a love letter to a city that never sleeps, and is always evolving.

James and Karla Murray are husband-and-wife architectural and interior photographers and multi-media artists based in New York City. For over twenty-five years they have focused their lens on the streetscape through portraits of storefronts and shop owners and have strived to capture moments of city life that often go undocumented but capture the spirit, energy and cultural diversity of individual neighborhoods. They made it their mission to thoroughly document unique “mom-and-pop” stores when they began to notice the alarming rate at which the shops were disappearing.

Their critically acclaimed books include STORE FRONT NYC: Photographs of the City’s Independent Shops, Past and Present; Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York; New York Nights; and Store Front II — A History Preserved and Broken Windows-Graffiti NYC. The authors’ landmark 2008 book, Store Front, was cited in Bookforum’s December 2014/January 2015 issue as one of the “Exemplary Art Books From The Past Two Decades” and heralded as “One of the period’s most successful New York books.” New York Nights was the winner of the prestigious New York Society Library’s 2012 New York City Book Award.

Roy Lichtenstein Plaque Unveiling

Thursday, October 26
6:00 pm
In-person event

Pre-registration is required. 

Location: 741-745 Washington Street  

Accessibility: The event is outdoors and sidewalk-accessible

Join us for the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque honoring internationally acclaimed American artist Roy Lichtenstein at the building where he lived and worked during the last decade of his life. We will hear about Lichtenstein’s innovative style, which became one of the foundations of the Pop Art movement, and about the former ironworks foundry that became his studio and that, after serving as the Estate and Roy Lichtenstein Foundation offices, was conveyed by the artist’s family to the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

We’ll be joined by Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Dorothy Liechtenstein, President of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and the widow of the late artist, among others. 

This is our 23nd plaque unveiling. Our 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. Register today to secure your spot!

Walking Tour: Reinventing the Bond Street Neighborhood, 1865-1900

Saturday, October 28
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Outdoor Walking Tour

Pre-Registration is Required.

$20; free for Merchants House Museum and Village Preservation members.

Co-Sponsored by Merchant’s House Museum.

In the first half of the 19th century, the Bond Street area was a fashionable enclave for wealthy merchant families like the Tredwells. As commercial interests encroached, these families began moving uptown, transforming the neighborhood. Many homes evolved into boarding houses and business establishments; some were torn down and replaced with manufacturing and commercial buildings. By 1900, the once-fashionable Bond Street neighborhood was primarily a commercial area known for printing and manufacturing.

During our walk, we will see some of the grand buildings that defined the era, including the imposing DeVinne Press Building (1886), where several leading American magazines were printed, including Scribner’s Monthly. In 1888, William C. Schermerhorn demolished his family mansion on Lafayette Street and constructed a stunning factory building designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, which he then rented out to a manufacturer of boys’ clothing.

Walking tours are 90 minutes and meet outside the Merchant’s House.

September 26, 2023