Greenwich and West Village

Greenwich occupies the area from Spring to 14th Street, between Greenwich and Broadway Street. The Village is one of the most colorful and trendy neighborhoods of New York. Greenwich is known as "New York's Bohemia." It used to be the scene of New York's Avant Garde and political radicalism.
Today, restaurants, coffehouses, craft shops, boutiques, theaters and art galleries make the Village a very heterogenous neighborhood attracting students, artists, business and tourists.
It is also a residential area with lovely tree-shaded streets, little houses, which draw comparison to the Chelsea district in London.

Sightseeing by area


Getting there

By bus: Lines ,3,5 and 13
By subway : W.4th st/Washington Square, lines A,B,C,D,E,F and Q or Christopher St/Sheridan Square, lines 1 and 9

Historical notes

The Village was named after the English town of Greenwich in 1696.

During the 18th century, Greenwich used to be covered by woods and streams and was occupied by farms. At the end of the century the land was sold to proprietors.
During the Epidemy of Fever at the end of the 18th century and the begining of the 19th century, many New Yorkers sought refuge in Greenwich Village. This was typified by especially rich families, bankers and traders. Bank Street is named after the Wall Street bank subsidiaries installed in the Village during the epidemy.

In 1828, Washington Square was designed and in 1830, the first neo-classical style houses were built.
Most of the townhouses were built at this period.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the houses were abandonned by the rich, who preferred the North of Manhattan. The area becam derelict until artists and writers became attracted by the low rent costs..
Between the two World Wars, the Village became the scene of prolific writing and artistic Avant Garde.

Today, the Village is one of the most expensive areas to live in New York.


Sights and monuments

- Washington Square :
Washington Square occupies the site of a former swamp where criminals used to be hanged and where poor people were buried.
Today it represents a charming park that provideds a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.


The Row:
N° 1 to 13 on Washington Square

This remains a very good example of the Neo-classical houses that were build around Washington Square.

At N° 3, the painter Edward Hopper used to live and John Dos Passos wrote Manhattan Transfer.


At the N° 18 Henry Miller Gran's parents used to live and the house which is no longer there, is evocated in the novel Washington Square.


Judson Memorial Church

55, Washington Square.
Open : 9am-noon, 1-5pm from Mon-Fri
Service on Suday at 11am

This church has been built by McKim, Mead and White in 1892 in a Romanesque style. Stained glass by John La Farge.

It is named after the first American missionary, Adoniram Judson, who was sent to Burma in 1811.


New York University:

NYU is the largest private University in the United States. It was founded in 1831 by Albert Gallatin. Today there are more than 45 000 students attending NYU.

Church of the Ascension:
5th Ave at 10th Street
Open noon-2pm, 5-7pm daily
English Gothic revival church designed by Richard Upjohn ( architect of the Trinity Church) in 1840-41.
In 1888, the interior was redone by Stanford White.
Altar relief by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Mural called the Ascension ( above the altar) by John La Farge.

First Presbyterian Church:
5th Ave at 12th st
Open: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri
Service: 12.15pm Mon & Wed, 11am Sun
This Gothic church was designed in 1846 by Joseph C. Wells on the model of the Church of Saint Saviour in Bath, England.

Washington Mews and Mc Dougal Alley:
Former stables of the neo-classical houses, these small alleys were turned into carriage houses around 1900.


 

 

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