This Columbus Day, GVSHP Launches Save the South Village Video Project
Columbus Day is traditionally a time to celebrate the contributions made by Italian-Americans to building our country. This Columbus Day, GVSHP is launching its “Save the South Village” video campaign, a new effort to highlight the incredible history (Italian-American, and so much more) of the South Village, and to call upon the City to keep its word and landmark this irreplaceable but endangered neighborhood.
The South Village is one of New York and America’s great historic gems: built largely by and for immigrants in the 19th century, in the 20th century it was the home of groundbreaking artists of all persuasions, from Dylan Thomas to Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg to Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Burroughs to Jimi Hendrix. It’s the home of America’s oldest Italian-American Church (St. Anthony of Padua), and was the home of the first non-profit theater (Circle in the Square) and the birthplace of modern American theater (Provincetown Playhouse).
This rich history has led to New York State finding the entire neighborhood eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places. But the South Village is also increasingly endangered, as voracious developers, NYU, and rezoning proposals for nearby Hudson Square threaten to further erode its historic character – so much so that earlier this year the South Village was named one of the seven most endangered, historically significant sites in New York State.
New Yorkers love this neighborhood, and recognize its incredible contributions to our city and our country’s history. So we’ve asked a few of them to talk about why the South Village means so much to them, and to urge Mayor Bloomberg and Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Tierney to move ahead with landmarking the South Village right away.
We’re launching the campaign today with actor/performer John Leguizamo, who talks about how the South Village helped inspire and launch his career; click below to view it:
Owners of noted South Village business, local religious and community leaders, and South Village residents with deep family roots in the neighborhood are among those who have also contributed videos, some of which can be viewed HERE.
This Columbus Day, please join John Leguizamo, GVSHP, and countless other New Yorkers in urging city leaders to take the necessary steps to get the South Village landmarked – just click HERE for letters you can send NOW.
For more information on the history of the South Village and efforts to preserve it, click HERE. To support this and other preservation efforts by GVSHP, click HERE.