Architect Explores New York City's Greenwich Village | Walking Tour | Architectural Digest | Summary and Q&A

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August 16, 2022
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Architect Explores New York City's Greenwich Village | Walking Tour | Architectural Digest

TL;DR

Take a walking tour of Greenwich Village, a historic neighborhood in New York City with rich architectural and cultural significance.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was Washington Square Park originally used for?

Washington Square Park was initially a cemetery called the Potter's Field for people who couldn't afford proper burials. It was later redeveloped as a front yard for townhouse developments.

Q: Why is the Washington Square Arch significant?

The Washington Square Arch became a permanent structure and symbol of the neighborhood. It also marks the termination of a street, similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Q: How did the landmark status affect the development of Greenwich Village?

The landmark status in the 1960s preserved the architectural character of the neighborhood and limited major changes without approval from landmarks. It helped maintain its historic charm.

Q: How did the integration of the subway impact Greenwich Village?

When the subway was built underneath Seventh Avenue, it required demolishing parts of existing buildings, creating unique architectural scars and exposing the backs and sides of the buildings.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Greenwich Village was originally farmland and later became a cemetery, known as the Potter's Field. Despite redevelopment, there are estimated to be 20,000 burials underground.

  • The Washington Square Arch, built as a temporary structure, became a permanent landmark and symbol of the neighborhood. The surrounding townhouses showcase Greek Revival style.

  • Greenwich Village went through preservation efforts in the 1960s, becoming the first major neighborhood with landmark status in Manhattan. The bombing incident in the Weatherman House influenced the subsequent development in the area.

  • The first home of the Whitney Museum of American Art reflects a mixture of 1830s Greek Revival and 1930s Art Deco styles. It exemplifies the transition of the neighborhood into a bohemian hub for artists.

  • The integration of the secret of New York City into Greenwich Village caused some buildings to be sliced off or modified. The oldest house on Bedford Street showcases simple federal architecture.

  • The heart of Greenwich Village is characterized by its bohemian atmosphere, with diverse uses and community services like the Northern Dispensary. The neighborhood has remained relatively unchanged since the 1960s.

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