Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village
Neighborhood of Manhattan
Skyline of Greenwich Village
Country United States
State New York
CityNew York City
BoroughManhattan
Named forGroenwijck (Green District)
Area[1]
 • Total0.75 km2 (0.289 sq mi)
Population [1]
 • Total22,785
 • Density30,000/km2 (79,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Villager
ZIP codes10003 (east), 10011 (north), 10012 (south), 10014 (west)[2]
Area code212, 646, 917
Greenwich Village Historic District
453-461 Sixth Avenue.jpg
453–461 Sixth Avenue in the Historic District
Greenwich Village is located in Manhattan
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is located in New York City
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is located in New York
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is located in the US
Greenwich Village
LocationBoundaries:
north: W 14th St; south: Houston St; west: Hudson River; east: Broadway
Coordinates
Architectural stylevarious
NRHP reference #79001604[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 19, 1979
Designated NYCLinitial district: April 29, 1969
extension: May 2, 2006
second extension: June 22, 2010

Greenwich Village (/ GREN-itch, n-/ GRIN-, / -ij)[4] often referred to by locals as simply "the Village", is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan, New York City. In the 20th century, Greenwich Village was known as an artists' haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and '60s counterculture movements. Groenwijck, one of the Dutch names for the village (meaning "Green District"), was Anglicized to Greenwich.[5][note 1] Two of New York's private colleges, New York University (NYU) and the New School, are located in Greenwich Village.[7][8]

Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization;[9] the four ZIP codes that constitute the Village – 10011, 10012, 10003, and 10014 – were all ranked among the ten most expensive in the United States by median housing price in 2014, according to Forbes,[10] with residential property sale prices in the West Village neighborhood typically exceeding US$2,100 per square foot ($23,000/m2) in 2017.[11]

Geography

Boundaries

MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village

The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the North River (part of the Hudson River) to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north,[citation needed] and roughly centered on Washington Square Park and New York University. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north. The East Village was formerly considered part of the Lower East Side and has never been considered a part of Greenwich Village.[12] The western part of Greenwich Village is known as the West Village; the dividing line of its eastern border is debated. Some[who?] believe it starts at Seventh Avenue and its southern extension, a border to the west of which the neighborhood changes substantially in character and becomes heavily residential. Others[who?] say the West Village starts one avenue further east at Sixth Avenue, where the east-west streets in the city's grid plan start to orient themselves on an angle to the traditionally perpendicular grid plan occupying most of Manhattan. The Far West Village is another sub-neighborhood of Greenwich Village that is bordered on its west by the Hudson River and on its east by Hudson Street.[citation needed] Greenwich Village is located in New York's 10th congressional district, New York's 25th State Senate district, New York's 66th State Assembly district, and New York City Council's 3rd district.

Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square – based on the major landmark Washington Square Park[13][14] or Empire Ward[15] in the 19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" (subheading "Greenwich Village") states that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding. The newer district of SoHo has since encroached on this border.

Grid plan

The intersection of West 4th and West 12th Streets

As Greenwich Village was once a rural, isolated hamlet to the north of the 17th century European settlement on Manhattan Island, its street layout is more organic than the planned grid pattern of the 19th century grid plan (based on the Commissioners' Plan of 1811). Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas that were already built up when the plan was implemented, west of what is now Greenwich Avenue and Sixth Avenue, resulted in a neighborhood whose streets are dramatically different, in layout, from the ordered structure of the newer parts of Manhattan.[16]

Many of the neighborhood's streets are narrow and some curve at odd angles. This is generally regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid.[16] When Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, and many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.[16]

Street signs at intersection of West 10th and West 4th Streets

Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village typically are named rather than numbered. While some of the formerly named streets (including Factory, Herring and Amity Streets) are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood.[16] For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street.[16]

A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, and no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place.[17] Redevelopment in that area is severely restricted, and developers must preserve the main façade and aesthetics of the buildings during renovation.

Most of the buildings of Greenwich Village are mid-rise apartments, 19th century row houses, and the occasional one-family walk-up, a sharp contrast to the high-rise landscape in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.

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