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City Enlarges Greenwich Village Historic District to Include Area Famous for Beat Generation

By DNAinfo Staff on June 23, 2010 2:10pm

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to extend the Greenwich Village Historic District.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to extend the Greenwich Village Historic District.
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Courtesty of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

By Nicole Breskin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Following years of efforts by neighborhood residents and preservationists, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted Tuesday to grant historic protection to an 11-block stretch of 235 buildings in the South Village, some of which were once home to artists of the Beat Generation.

This brings the total number of landmark properties in Greenwich Village to 2,320, making it the largest historic district in the city.

“All of the buildings in this extension represent a thriving neighborhood that reflects nearly 200 years of development, and are a critical part of the history and character of Greenwich Village,” said LPC chairman Robert Tierney, following the vote.

The larger portion of the extension would stretch from West Houston Street to West 4th Street, and Sixth Avenue to Seventh Avenue. The smaller section includes buildings on the west side of Seventh Avenue South between Leroy and Clarkson streets.

Prominent buildings covered in the area include architect Matthew Del Gaudio’s 1928 Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Bleecker Street and the Varitype Building on West 4th Street, completed in 1907.

"We are thrilled that the first piece of this neighborhood which we have been fighting for nearly a decade to protect has finally been granted landmark status," said Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

But Berman is pushing for broader landmarking in the area.

LPC said they would approach additional historic designations in the area on a case-by-case basis.