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New Research and Support Powers Push for South of Union Square Landmarking


The six buildings within the area south of Union Square for which we are seeking landmark protections connected to Grove Press are (clockwise from top l.) 795 Broadway, 64 University Place, 61 Fourth Avenue, 841 Broadway (landmarked earlier this year), 53 East 11th Street, and 80 University Place.

Village Preservation research has uncovered even more information regarding the historic significance of the area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square which we are seeking to have landmarked, and based upon our prior submission to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the Anais Nin Trust has joined our push for landmark designation.

Village Preservation recently submitted this letter to the LPC documenting the vital role that six different buildings in the proposed historic district played in relation to critical shifts in culture around censorship, race, sex, and literature in the second half of the 20th century in connection with radical publisher Grove Press and its Evergreen Review and Theater, and their owner Barney Rosset.  From these six sites, watershed battles were waged to change what literature and ideas were available to the public, for the first time exposing Americans to the works of Henry Miller, D.H, Lawrence, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Malcolm X, Che Guevera, and many others. The radical transformation spearheaded by Grove Press and Rosset was not limited to literature, but included film as well, breaking barriers around the frank representation of sex and sexuality on screen. This groundbreaking and highly successful movement was centered in this area south of Union Square because it was such a center of radical thought, publishing, and the arts in the mid-to-late 20th century. Read all about it here, and read coverage here.


Some of the great literature connected to Grove Press.


Following up on our research and submission to the LPC in September about other important histories connected to buildings in this area, the Anais Nin Trust has supported our campaign for landmark designation for the area, writing to the LPC urging them to take action to protect the building so connected to Nin and her writings, as well as their surroundings – read their letter here.


The location of the Grove Press buildings within the area proposed for landmark designation.

Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square face tremendous development pressure right now resulting from a lack of zoning and landmark protections, and city policies encouraging the replacement of low-to-mid-rise buildings, often historic and residential in nature, with high-rise commercial development.  This has been exacerbated by the approval of the Mayor’s 14th Street Tech Hub last year by City Council at the behest of Councilmember Carlina Rivera. 

There are two important ways you can help to protect this area:

Attend these meetings --

Land Use Committee Meeting of Community Board #2
(covers the area WEST of Fourth Avenue)
Wednesday, November 13th at 6:30 pm
NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place (Wash. Sq. E.) rm. 408

Land Use Committee Meeting of Community Board #3
(covers the area EAST of Fourth Avenue)
Wednesday, November 20th at 6:30 pm
Sirovich Senior Center & Volunteers of America
331 East 12th Street (1st/2nd Avenues)

While both meetings are open to the public, we strongly recommend that you attend the meeting of your community board (depending upon which side of Fourth Avenue you live). The City will be presenting its plan for a hotel special permit requirement in the area, supported by Councilmember Carlina Rivera, which will only channel development in the area towards office towers, and will still result in the demolition of low-rise, historic, and residential buildings in favor of high-rise office buildings. We need to send a message that this is no help whatsoever, and more needs to be done, like landmarking.


Send a letter to the Mayor, the LPC, and Councilmember Rivera demanding landmark protections for this area NOW!



Next: 11/12/19

Previous: 10/30/19

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