South Village mission accomplished, at last!

Andrew Berman, director of G.V.S.H.P, left, and Councilmember Corey Johnson, celebrating at Film Forum Tuesday night, worked together to make the landmarking of the final third of the South Village Historic District happen. Photos by Tequila Minsky

Tuesday morning, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the final one-third of the South Village Historic District that was originally proposed by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation a decade ago. Included in this new historic district are the likes of St. Anthony’s Church and the late Tony Dapolito’s former Vesuvio bakery on Prince St., along with many tenements that were purpose built to house the droves of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe in the late 19th century. The famed album cover photo for “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” featuring Dylan and Suze Rotolo, was shot on a snow-covered Jones St. in this district. The 10-block area stretches from Houston St. down to Watts St., with its western boundary along Sixth Ave. and its eastern boundary along West Broadway and Thompson St. Later Tuesday night, G.V.S.H.P., local residents and activists celebrated at Film Forum, where they filled one of the theaters to capacity. There were speeches, congratulations and thanks and a shared feeling of satisfaction among friends and neighbors over a hard-won victory for the community.

Longtime local activist Frieda Bradlow, left, talking with a fellow preservationist at the G.V.S.H.P. celebration, lives in the nearby Charlton-King-Van Dam Historic District.
Tobi Bergman, who was chairperson of Community Board 2 for the past two years, also played a key role in making the landmarking a reality. It was used as leverage in the approval process of the St. John’s Partners development project in nearby Hudson Square.

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