The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a thirteen-block section of Greenwich Village for landmarking.
Preservationists and residents have pushed for the South Village Historic District since 2006 to protect long standing businesses and residences from overdevelopment. The landmarked zone includes blocks just south of Washington Square Park between La Guardia Place and Sixth Avenue and between the park and Houston Street.
"This is a long-overdue victory for this neighborhood and for anyone who loves New York's rich immigrant history and long tradition of cultural innovation," Andrew Berman, the Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said in a statement.
The neighborhood has played a key role as an incubator for artists such as Bob Dylan and E.E. Cummings.
Under landmarking rules, the buildings in the area cannot be altered without the LPC's approval. Berman said the Village's history is endangered byNYU's controversial campus expansion plans.
An NYU spokesman said the landmarking doesn't affect those plans. The school supported the LPC's decision to landmark the zone, which does include two established NYU properties, the spokesman said.