Fear and loathing in ’88


The top story in The Villager’s Jan. 7, 1988, issue, “Fear Demolition Will Ruin Neighbor,” detailed how Joe Roberto, longtime curator/director of the Old Merchant’s House, at 29 E. Fourth St., worried that an abutting building’s upcoming demolition and new parking lots could harm the then-155-year-old landmark. The other Page 1 story, “Effective Crack Busts Clean Up the Jane Street Area,” reported on robberies, drug dealing and prostitution around the old Jane West Hotel. However, the problem apparently hadn’t been wiped out. Sandy Anderson, manager of the freshly renamed Riverview Hotel, said, “If [police] do a sweep of Washington Square Park, they (the dealers) come over here. If they do a sweep of that park on Eighth and Gansevoort [he probably meant Jackson Square], then they come here. It’s like spraying for cockroaches, and they don’t have enough Combat.”