As part of its ongoing work to document the history of the Village, GVSHP has conducted some illuminating research on the relationship between painter Edward Hopper and important sites in the Village — research which intersects with some important current development and landmarking efforts.
In 2007, GVSHP Trustee Linda Yowell documented how the endangered building at 233-237 Bleecker Street (at Carmine Street) in our proposed South Village Historic District was the probable inspiration for the iconic Edward Hopper painting “Early Sunday Morning.” Based upon this, GVSHP urged the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the building, along with the entire South Village (read the request and research HERE). Last month’s designation of the first phase of our proposed South Village Historic District included 233-237 Bleecker Street, thus helping to ensure its preservation for the future.
On the other hand, legend has often pointed to the now-empty MTA owned lot at the corner of 7th Avenue South and Greenwich Avenue as the site of the diner pictured in Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” and in recent proposals by the MTA to construct an Emergency Ventilation Shaft on the site, they have cited this legend to justify some fairly bizarre and objectionable design schemes (which GVSHP has opposed).
However, research conducted by GVSHP has found that apparently no diner such as the one pictured in “Nighthawks” ever existed on that site. Instead, GVSHP research points to a few other nearby sites as having contained diners which may have served as the inspiration for the iconic painting, or Hopper may have created a mental composite of several sites in the neighborhood, or imagined the location altogether. To find out more, you can view GVSHP’s research HERE, or read a recent article about it in the Villager newspaper HERE.