Two East Village historic districts proposed

Proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District in Manhattan. Image: Courtesy of LPC.

Landmarks takes first steps to designate East Village/Lower East Side Historic District and East 10th Street Historic District. On June 28, 2011, Landmarks proposed designating the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District and the East 10th Street Historic District in Manhattan. The districts were developed in the early half of the 19th century and reflect the social history of the various waves of immigrant groups that once occupied these areas.

The proposed East Village/ Lower East Side Historic District would include 270 buildings along Second Avenue between St. Mark’s Place and East 2nd Street, as well as the adjacent side streets. The district would also include buildings along East 6th and East 7th Streets as far as Avenue A. The area is dominated by tenement apartment buildings which replaced older rowhouses built to house German and Irish immigrants in the 1850s. The tenements reflect a variety of architectural styles, including Italianate, Neo-grec, and Queen Anne. The area along Second Avenue became known as “Yiddish Rialto,” due to the number of Yiddish-language theaters. Latin American immigrants moved to the neighborhood after World War II. The area grew more desirable following the removal of the elevated Third Avenue line in 1955, and shortly thereafter the neighborhood was christened the “East Village” by realtors seeking to attract middle class tenants.

The East 10th Street Historic District would include 26 buildings across from Tompkins Square Park along East 10th Street between Avenues A and B. Following the opening of the park in 1834, speculative investors developed the block to attract wealthy residents. At least five of the buildings were designed by architect Joseph Trench, who also designed the landmarked Odd Fellows Hall on Grand Street and the A.T. Stewart Department Store on Broadway. The Tompkins Square area did not remain fashionable for long, and the buildings were eventually converted to multi-family dwellings while the block’s vacant lots were developed with tenements.

Landmarks did not set a date for public hearings on either proposed district.

LPC: East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, Manhattan (LP-2491); East 10th Street Historic District, Manhattan (LP-2492) (June 28, 2011).


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