In 1906, the "trial of the century" took place inside Greenwich Village’s Jefferson Market Courthouse. Reporters flooded the square to cover the court case against millionaire Harry Thaw, who allegedly shot society man Stanford White on Madison Square Garden’s rooftop.
Today, the courthouse at 421-425 Sixth Ave. is part of the New York Public Library system, but it has a long and storied history — all of which can be accessed with a click.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village Historic District, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has released a "Then and Now" online tour and map, which gives free access to the histories and preservation stories of more than 2,200 buildings within the area with photos of how they looked in 1969 and today.
The photos and tours at gvshp.maps.arcgis.com are grouped by street and by cultural significance, including immigration landmarks and places where the course of history was changed, according to Village Preservation.
Among the places to digitally explore are:
- The home of Emma Lazarus, the author of "The New Colossus" —18 W. 10th St.
- The first racially integrated nightclub in New York — 1-2 Sheridan Square
- The building that was accidentally blown up by the Weathermen/Weather Underground —18 W. 11th St.
- The home of The Dial literary magazine (founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson) that published T.S. Elliot’s "The Waste Land" — 152 W. 13th St.
- The birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, the Stonewall Inn — 53-55 Christopher St.
- A hangout for great literary minds and Irish longshoremen’s bar, The White Horse Tavern — 567 Hudson St.
“The Greenwich Village Historic District is one of the most historically, culturally, and architecturally rich places on earth, and we hope this new tool will allow native New Yorkers and people across the globe to engage with and appreciate the tremendous resource it provides," Andrew Berman, the Village Preservation executive director, said in a statement. "Few places in the world have been the home to so many great artists, writers, thinkers, and advocates for social change, have witnessed so many trailblazing events in history, and contain so much charming and historic architecture."
Between 1969 and today, Village Preservation, which was founded in 1980, has secured landmark designations for more than 1,250 buildings, 11 historic districts and historic district extensions beyond the original Greenwich Village Historic District.
There are more than 1,000 entries on its map, but more photos, tours and information will be added to it throughout the year.
"We’re so proud that our forebears fought hard 50 years ago to secure landmark designation of this area and ensure that this wealth of history and architecture is protected and preserved for all to appreciate," Berman said. "On this golden anniversary, we invite the world to share in the truly transformative history, culture and architecture which remains embodied in this place, and to think what might have happened if we had not succeeded 50 years ago in protecting it."