Remembering Important Anniversaries in Neighborhood History — ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas,’ Hudson Waterfront Transformation, LGBTQ+ History, and South Village Landmarking

Our neighborhoods have witnessed myriad transformative events that changed the course of history. We recently marked a few big anniversaries of some particularly significant dates: 

Two hundred years ago this Saturday, on December 23, 1823, the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known by its first line, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”) was first published. The poem has been called “arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American,” and is largely responsible for the modern conception of Santa Claus. Did you know it was written by a Greenwich Village resident, inspired by a December sleigh ride through the neighborhood? Read more HERE.
Fifty years ago, on December 15, 1973, the Miller (West Side) Highway collapsed at Gansevoort Street. This set in motion the closing and dismantling of the hulking elevated structure that for a half century separated the entire West Side south of 59th Street from the Hudson River waterfront, and led to the transformation of that waterfront into the public park and recreational space it is today. Read more HERE.
Press conference announcing the founding of the National Gay Task Force, 1973

Also 50 years ago, on December 15, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, precipitating a cascade of transformative legal, social, and political changes over the next half century. This watershed event resulted from work spearheaded by activists in our neighborhood, who formed the first national gay rights organization in the country, which was headquartered South of Union Square — read more HERE.
Finally, 10 years ago, on December 17, 2013, the South Village Historic District was designated — the largest expansion of landmark protections in Greenwich Village since 1969, and one of the city’s first historic districts to honor and preserve immigrant and countercultural history. Village Preservation proposed and fought for these groundbreaking landmark designations. Read more about the South Village Historic District designation HERE, and why we celebrate December as South Village month HERE.
December 19, 2023