history

Wooden Houses in Greenwich Village

There are days when my beloved city feels like an overwhelming mass of concrete—street after crowded street of brick and pavement. It’s not a wonder that even the most die hard of us New Yorkers often need to escape.

When I’m outside the city, I can’t help but marvel at scenery that feels a bit foreign: open expanses of grass, rolling hills, more trees than IВ can count. Plus, adorable wooden houses in rustic styles—a-frames, cabins, barns—that you never see in the city limits.

That’s why I was intrigued when I stumbled upon a listing for “Wooden Houses of Greenwich Village,” a talk from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Seriously? Wooden houses in Manhattan?

Apparently, there are a few! And they’re adorable.

This one, at 17 Grove Street, was built in 1822. (Love the red shutters and molding!)

17 Grove Street

And over at 121 Charles Street is another, which was transported downtown, from the Upper East Side, in 1967.

121 Charles Street

77 Bedford Street was originally a wooden house, though parts of its facade are now brick.

77 Bedford Street

The histories of these buildings are fascinating—read more about themВ here, on GVSHP’s blog.

I’m, unfortunately, not in the West Village all that often, so I haven’t stumbled upon these houses by chance. Though I know that once the weather gets warmer, I’ll be seeking them out to see for myself, in person.

(Images via the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; found via the NY Times)

1940s New York

I’m a big fan of all things NYC, both new and old. And since I’m also a spreadsheet-enamored, data-appreciative geek,В I’m really loving Welcome to 1940s New York, a new, interactive map that CUNY’s Center for Urban ResearchВ launched this week.

AsВ Gothamist describes it, the map is:

a slick mash-up of 1940s Census data, web maps and a rare 1943 book calledВ NYC Market AnalysisВ found byВ then-graduate student Steven Romalewski in 1997В and painstakingly scanned and placed onto a map of the city…Using newspaper and census data (including info from the Times, the Daily News, The Daily Miror, and the New York Journal American) the site gives you a peek into the “City of a Hundred Cities,” with each neighborhood getting a clickable description with photographs, block-by-block rental breakdowns and population statistics.

Of course, I went straight to my ‘hood, Washington Heights. The pop-up window showed me a few photos of different blocks from 1943. (The corner of Cabrini Boulevard and 181st Street doesn’t look too different!) It also has a color-coded key to apartment prices from that year. AndВ since all of us New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate, that’s pretty awesome.

Rent in my apartment building ranged from $75 to 99 a month. And since I live in a studio, I can safely assume that my rent would have been $75. It’s scary how much more I pay for the same space less than 100 years later!

P.S. More old-school photos of NYC.

(Image via Gothamist)