tv History of Greenwich Village CSPAN June 5, 2016 4:45pm-6:01pm EDT
every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. american history tv, architectural historic and -- historian discusses the creation and evolution of new york city's greenwich village. he talks about the many changes the neighborhood has experienced since the early 19th-century and how it has been influential in american society and culture at large. topics include the building of the washington square arch, the rise and decline of bohemian art culture, the rise and decline of ethnic culture. the new york historical society hosted this. >> we are thrilled to welcome back barry lewis to new york historical. he specializes in european and
american architecture of the 18th and 20th centuries and teaches. he is best known throughout new york for his video walking tours presented by channel 13 including the emmy-award nominated shows "42nd street," "broadway," and "harlem." he has lectured at numerous venues including columbia university on university of pennsylvania come of the smithsonian institute and the harvard graduate school of planning and architecture. this is where all of these great architects come from, from barry's classes. if you have a cell phone or electronic beeper, please turn it off. we ask for no photography. and now, please join me in welcoming barry lewis. [applause] barry lewis: you are ordering a special hook at the end of the lecture.
we're looking at greenwich village. for those of you who grew up in new york, you have your memories of greenwich village like i did. that is why it is my favorite lecture. it did not exist until about 100, 110 years ago, but we will see that in a moment. we are in new york on broadway. it is about 1819, we are looking past the new city hall. inyou had walked up broadway about five minutes, you would be in the country. that is how small it was in 1810. if you want further up the river, the hudson river, you would see where christopher street started off from hudson river. is one of the oldest roads in manhattan. most of the old roads are actually american indian roads. in the early 18th century apparently, some of the buildings went up at the west end of christian street by the river. they called their little village greenwich. really, you know what greenwich,
england, is like. it is a real suburb. it has magnificent buildings by indigo jones, christopher wren, a floridian goes through it. but this was a tiny little burg. they finally got a great building in the 1790's. the city built its new prison, newgate prison. if you got into trouble you wound up down at the battery. you got sent up the river to newgate. when this area finally started getting middle class people in the 1820's and 1830's, they immediately closed newgate and renamed it sing sing. and they are still being sent up the river to sing sing. with this map, obviously lower manhattan is on the left. the yellow-shaded area is the built-up city between the battery on the left and what is now city hall park.
the red line is the road that they carved out of the waterfront on the west side of the island in the 18th century so it could finally reach the greenwich. it was called the road to greenwich. some of it was filled-in land. we call it greenwich street today. not greenwich avenue, greenwich street. please remember that today there is washington street and west street. way, you notice the blue line in the center of the map. that is broadway. it starts out at bowling green and runs up past city hall park, ends in a vast swamp. this is a swamp that extended from the hudson river about two thirds of the way across the island. from that, broadway was washed out. so, if you wanted to get out of town, you went to the east up what we call park row, up what
we call the bowary , and you wind up the east side of the island. if you were coming from greenwich, the top of the map, the blue line through it is christopher street. you notice you would have to go all the way across the island get to the north-south road because the north-south road had to go around the swamp in the 1800's and 1810's. in the 1820's, they drained the canal. they called it a canal and they would extend it. now, in this map, we see the blue lines -- sorry -- the blue lines are the grid of 1811. after 1811, they are not going to build after the 1820's and 1830's.
the grid basically starts around housin street but we know instinctively as new yorkers that in fact west of broadway, it is not houston street that is the beginning, you have to go way up --actually, the northern end of this green area, that is greenwich avenue at the northeast border of this green area. that green area was a series of street systems laid out by different property owners and they got together and fought the city because they did not want the grid to rip down their street lines. it is ironic that this section of town already started fighting city hall in the 18th century but they did. they got their way, but it worked against them in the later 19th century. as middle class new york moved into the grid, people began not wanting to go to lower greenwich avenue or 4th street, they said no, narrow streets, different
street systems, we are always getting lost. we like it, we find it sweet. he did not find it sweet. they found a dangerous, uncomfortable. they gave this area over to the irish by the 1850's and 1860's. the 1890's, the italians move in and stay there for the century and then they are mostly moved on by now. you notice in this map, broadway has been cut through the meadows and it runs north. that allows developers to build suburban housing. we are talking about the 1800s and 1810s here. you notice that broadway finally, the yellow road is the bowery. the main road out of town. remember, it is on the eastside. they both meet and unite broadway and the bowery. the united at 14th street and as we get union square from. it is nothing to do with labor unions, nothing to do with civil
war. it has to do with the union of broadway and bowery. you notice the blueline? what they called the lower east side, we call it today greenwich village. the creek still runs under there in a culvert. but that is why you have so many street systems, they had to fit them around the creek. there were a number of streets and places called minetta. by the mid-19th century it became one of the first areas where african-americans settled in. that is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in the city. now, by the 1820's, the 1830's, 1840's, pre-civil war new york, the rich left the old city and moved up to these new london style squares. what am i talking about? union square, madison square,
washington square, stuyvesant square, gramercy park. you can imagine these were the northern suburbs of the city. this is where the wealthy moved to. this is what is known as middle class flight. they were leaving the city of the 1930's to commerce, to the industry coming in and of the immigrants. they are getting out of there and moving to different parts of town. on the north side of washington square, we see what is still there today. built in 1831. probably one of the finest residential complexes in the country at that time. when they built this in 1831, a few blocks north was in the country. that is how small the city was. by the way west of fifth avenue, the road is east of fifth avenue. east of fifth avenue, this is what washington square looked like until about 1951 when in order to build at the bottom of
fifth avenue, they demolished these buildings. they basically demolished these two huge greek revival mansions and these brownstone houses. it gives you an idea of how long this area was poshy. it stayed a posh area for quite a long time. now, had you been in that area in the late 1820's or early 1830's, we're looking west. the street that runs across it is broadway. we are looking at basically houston and broadway. the church you are looking at by the way is st. thomas's. it was built in 1827. posh people lived around that area. by the 1870's the congregation was way uptown. st. thomas gave up and moved to 83rd street where they still are today.
by the way, when st. thomas moved in the 1870's, this would be the upscale shopping district and upscale district. st. thomas's was probably replaced by a fancy store. by the 1890's, they rebuilt it on that site. mckinley and white was asked to do the building at the corner. when they built it in the 1890's, in the basement of the building they had a huge room that housed the cable machinery for the cable cars which ran along broadway. they called it the cable building and today the angelic theater is in the building where the cable machinery was. on the west side of washington square, we are talking very posh, upscale washington square, on the west side of it in 1836, 1837, up goes the second university in new york. the first was columbia. columbia dates back.
the men gave their males a classical education. ,hey cut them into greek, latin they could talk to cicero if they could dig them up. they went home to their business fathers who said, i do not need you to speak latin, i want you to make money. the merchants of new york widened a more modern users the -- modern university in as what he built and why you. -- nyu. davis was the firm who built it. a fellow in the firm got the idea of wrapping this brand-new university in a running country, they wrapped it in a gothic revival style that reminds you, is supposed to remind you, of cambridge or oxford. i love the way we americans think, and by the way the chapel in the middle is actually modeled on king's chapel in cambridge. remember, it is going up the posh new part of town.
when it goes up, when you know it, the stock market crashes and the posting area canal boom is over and nyu, a single building and they could not dealt it up. we know nyu is on the way to being the 51st state, so how could this be? one building and they can't fill it up? they could not. there was a depression. so they went to the classrooms out to artists and it became de facto, by accident, one of the first centers upon unionism -- of bohemianism in new york. you had a j davis, the architect, another architect from paris. his first studio was in there. winslow homer, do i have to explain winslow homer? he is in there. samuel epstein morris, he was the art professor at nyu. we know him from the morse code.
don draper, pioneer of photography takes his sister to the roof, photographs her, creates the world's first outdoor photograph portrait. so, this building was alive with artists. of course they identified with the building. remember, around them, including the people who owned the house on the left, was wealthy upside -- upper east side new york. the building is identified with artists. here is a photograph of it. it was replaced in the 1890's. our galleries are now in that building. when they replaced it in the 1890's, industry was moving into broadway and lafayette street and they thought the main building would eventually be some kind of a factory and they were concentrating on their new campus in the 1890's, 1900s. their new campus in the bronx which is now bronx community college. when this building came down in the 1890's, richard morris hunt had a studio in there.
he was heartbroken. heartbroken because this was his youth coming down. i wanted to say, richard, welcome to new york. right? you know, i where you hang out when you are young is probably not there anymore because that is how the city works. this gives you a better view of just how, pre-1811, at part of the city goes. i never know where i am. it's just part of being in the village. . there is guns worth street, greenwich avenue, and that represents one of the old east-west roads. you see it becomes the northern frontier of pre-1811 new york. beginsonic that this over at this street and when you stand at the southern end and look downtown, it's ironic --
you were standing over here. you are standing in post 1811 new york and looking into premodern new york. squareember, washington east of 6th avenue, the lower west side -- never the twain did meet. if you grow up in washington square, you know how new york works. gone past 2nd avenue -- i don't know what's there. in,he whole of russia moved they just wouldn't know. in 1857, a new center of just eastm went out on the north side. lasted and is now a red brick apartment building. this was a studio building. richard morris hunt designed it.
the first building built in the united states for artist studios. remember, we are a puritan country and the visual arts in this country were frowned upon. most americans said, haha you are not his, you just want girls to take their close off. -- their clothing. these studios wrapped around a central room that ran the height of the building with a huge skylight and you can use that central room for art shows, expositions, wine and cookies, that kind of thing. there were doors between these studios and on the weekends it was open house for people to
shop for art. the artists opened all the doors and people can circulate around the entire building so it is not just for making art, it is selling art. a very yankee building. if you saw the front of it, redbrick, 1857. this was a hunt building. hudson river brick. slab of plaster of rent make it look marble and then my verizon and everyone whipping was marble. not this building. roughhewn hudson river brick. look at those decorations. it is almost like a precursor to 1930's architecture and the streamlining of the 1930's. it was turned down in the 1950's. -- torn down in the 1950's. here is one of the studios. it might be richard more sense but i am not sure. the architect of the building moved to studio to this building. look at this ceiling height. remarkable two-story height. there was a fashion in the
cities to turn them into studio apartments. two-story high rooms. sleeping balconies with kitchens underneath. here on 77th there is one, 60 seven st a lot of them. these artist studio buildings. today, what they call a studio apartment is basically a one-room closet. you are supposed to be happy you are living in new york, you know. probably the idea for the original studio apartments came from the studio building itself. this was up until 1953. i'm met someone who lived in it. they were thrown out when the building came down. here are prince of uptown middle-class people coming downtown to 10th street in the 1870's. these people are shopping for art, probably living on 42nd, 57th street.
coming downtown, probably inside the four-story glass-esque ceilinged main room. here they are looking in the studio. i am sure the art is probably provided them with plenty of sherry and port to make the art look better. i know know if this is an artist or this lady's husband, but the artist that these people are dealing with, respectable artists. they looked like an artist, but they came from respectable families and respectable people. a few blocks away worthy not respectable artists. walt whitman, openly gay. ada minkin, not exactly his girlfriend. but they would hang out in 1857, 1858. a swiss german opened a bar
underground. the west side walk of broadway. these characters, walt whitman was openly gay. ada minkin, these actually were a lot of clothing or her. she loved to wear pantaloons. she ran around in pants and the 1930's, smoked cigars long before marlena dittrich did. she was quite a girl with quite a career. they identified not with the neighborhood. above them was the luxury shopping district in the 1850's. they did not identify with that, they were literally underground. 1878, 6th avenue l train opens. like in chicago and philadelphia.
a true l-subway system. little cars. a two-track line. took forever to get you to harlem but it was better than the street for sure. it gave us what we already understood. east of 6th avenue was washington square. west was the lower west side. nobody ever crossed that line. west of 6th avenue mike ross the avenue to work as a servant in washington square, but believe me, the people in washington square never went on the other side of washington square. believe that. on the lower right, opened in 1878, going past the practically brand-new jefferson architecture house. in 1870 six, they put up a courthouse. courthouses all over new york city and those days because the court served whenever crime was
committed in their district. so they built this courthouse in 1876, by the way because of where was located in 1906 is where the trail was for the murder of stanford white. because he was murdered at madison square garden when it was in madison square, which was nearby. jefferson market, the farmers market, they gave the farmers a 24-hour american hall -- market hall. then they had a four-phase clock in the day when nobody had watches. a pocket watch was expensive. so that was a public service. that was a fire watchtower, by the way. then there was a police precinct and a jailhouse. whenever i look at this, i think of rudolph giuliani.
i picture him shoving the perpetrator. he is a happy man. [laughter] >> this complex came down except for the courthouse which was still in operation in the 1920's and up went, on the site of the prison, the women's house of detention. i do not know how many of you have found memories of the women's house of detention but i know i was on greenwich avenue in the 1970's and the love letters of the girls on the sidewalk was one of the colorful aspect of being in the village back in the 1960's and 1970's. when they toured on the house of detention fought back and this
became a garden as it is today. the jefferson market course else itself, one of -- courthouse, one of my favorite buildings. part of american architectural history. the codesigner of central park did this 10 or 15 years after central park. this is a punk building. plain hudson river red brick just like the artist studio but this is a court house. plain red brick. plain white limestone. like a woman going out without her underscore. basically it became the route of modern design in the 20th century, form follows structure. all these decorations, mindy she -- medici gothic decorations. this would later be demolished. margo get a nearby, in the future she is going to found the french architecture and fight to save so home. her first fight was to -- to save soho. first she saved it does and it turned into the library.
the architecture was a wonderful man but people thought he was crazy because in america you do not recycle old buildings. that is ridiculous. he said no and did a number of projects but one of my favorites is the courthouse. to show you how different these populations were, bleecker street when i was the main street of the italian greenwich village. 1930's, before mayor laguardia took away the pushcarts and made them in illegal. he hated the pushcarts. bleecker street was always, for years the main street. if you go along bleecker street on sixth or seventh, you can
still find a little bit of the shops left. remember, those italians who shopped on bleecker street, they lived in these act streets. this is minetta street, and 1890's, early 1900s. none of us would've gone there back then. you will went there if you are looking for trouble. drugs or prostitution. in only a few years, the new generation of middle-class young people are going to discover this neighborhood and start moving in and they are going to debit with a new name, greenwich village that none of the people in this photograph ever heard. in the 1900s and 1910s in this tenement apartment, this young couple would be there and in the next apartment, and italian them
who thought they were the lower west side. you are looking at jefferson courthouse. patchin place is in this photograph. slum alley. only a few years later, it becomes a center of residence. i think judah barnes actually lived in patchin place. louise bryant probably came over. maybe it does st. vincent delay, maybe evident goldsmith. there were a lot of women and greenwich village. they gave the man a run for their money. look how different the world is a few blocks away. believe me, people who lived in a street and 5th avenue never went to patchin place. when i was a kid, e.e. cummings the poet was there.
we would always recognize him. we were new york kids. only tourists and people from jersey went there. this was the whole of the world from patchin place. if you looked away, it was so new york. paris is like that, that is why i enjoy it. the pre-civil war richard would not move out of washington square until the end of the 19th century. in 1889, the 100 anniversary of george washington, they built a triumphant arch spanning university and eight street. if you want to know what their life was like, pre-civil war, look at washington square. read henry james's washington square or see "the heiress," with a live you do havilland and montgomery clift.
what a movie. oh my. they loved the idea of in arch because i think they felt that by the 1890's, the uptown rift -- rich, vanderbilts, morgan's, we did not hang around with them so they built the downtown -- the downtown rich built a permanent arch. it became the symbol in the future of what would be greenwich village. as a matter of fact, that is the arch that in 1916, a bunch of people broke into the arch and they got to the roof in 1916 and declared the independent republic of greenwich village. that is not why it was built in 1891. here is another matter. there is washington square. very well-to-do. the dmz zone.
the lower west side. a new generation of young people discover this area. what is happening is the tenements and italians are moving from the south from the lower east side, gradually moving up to the southern ends of washington square. on the east side, factories are moving in from broadway and lafayette and on the west side, you have the mostly italian immigrant city. a ghetto.
she didn't square was surrounded on three sides by tenements and get is from the fourth side, where the old houses. they were hanging on. when the young people in the 1900s and 1910s discovered this area, the radicals were all a bunch of middle-class, but the more waifish ones settled into the tenements and housing south of washington square. mcdougal became the main street for these young people. that is where the cafes were, the bars where were they hung out and got dead drunk. the theaters were there. mcdougal street, right here, is washington square west. mcdougal street became the main street. sixth avenue runs north. seventh avenue begins at greenwich avenue and runs north. what is going to happen in the 1910s, with the expansion of subways, 7th avenue will be plowed through the middle of the village in 1917. it was so isolated prior to that, which is why the young people loved it but it is suddenly on everybody's map and it is so easy to get there and will change everything. in the 1910s, this new young generation is going to produce a whole new kind of culture and is very much seen in additions of
this magazine called "the masses." a social magazine founded in 1911. in 1912, 2 young men took it over and we did it graphically and read did it in such a spectacular way. they understood the 20th century was all about visual. and they redid it to grab you. several years lady -- later, they were socialists, against world war i. they were shut down by the government. the government try to throw them in jail for sedition. it went to pre-trial and never got anywhere. in 1917, it made roy dell and max is and the most famous men in america and put greenwich village on the map. this is the beginning. the graphics of this magazine are absolutely sensational.
so beautiful i cannot believe it is a socialist magazine. they ate vegan meatloaf. they dressed horribly. never danced at bar mitzvahs. i would never be a socialist. some of the illustrations included a painter, one of his views of the village. looking up 6th avenue. the l hudson runs down leaker to west runway and seventh. in the distance is the jefferson market courthouse. it is typical of john fleming's paintings, called the ash cans school, simple, everyday paintings. what are these guys doing? they are trying to pick up these girls. that is original. this is everyday life. it is this generation of painters who discovered factories, everyday life on the seat. 1913, the armory show, they have
the famous armory show and these guys become famous across the united states. that armory show, three women put it on. this is jon sloan. there's max eastman on the left. along with floyd dell, they transform the masses. they think the layout had a lot to do with the new yorkers. based on max eastman's ideas. he is with his sister, not his wife. that is his sister. they came from to minister
parents. very progressive minister parents. in the early 1910s, max eastman married a young german girl. she wanted to keep her maiden name. akin those days, it was a big deal. the newspapers had photographs of them. oh my goodness gracious. one of the paper said, if women were allowed to keep their maiden names it would lead to lose morals, sexual promiscuity, and divorce. we know from 100 years later, they were right. but they were having a good time. so, you know, a goodness. what about this couple? jon on the left. louise on the right. both very strong people. talk about eight wills. i do not know -- equals. they were at each other all the time but had great respect. he started a communist
reporting. she did reporting for which she did tremendously good reviews. she died of typhus in russia. he wrote a book -- he was disillusioned but he died. so they do not have to kill him. she comes back to new york and marries a third time. her third husband was boring. everybody divorces a spouse who is born. you can imagine the divorce rate. her third husband found her in bed with a woman and got the kids in the divorce. everything that is done now, i look and say, oh please. if you know history, it has already been done. here is where everybody hung out. a playhouse founded in provincetown, rhode island in 1915 or 1916 came to new york city and studied -- settled on
mcdougal street. mcdougal street on washington square became the place where all these bohemians hang out. the term bohemian itself goes back to the 1840's, the french dreamed it up for these young middle-class kids who came to paris and did the starving artist routine. they lived in carrots, lived on press of bread for three days. they would be jumping around from apartment to look apartment and people said they were gypsies and in those days everybody thought gypsies came from bohemia, which is now in the check republic. a frenchman wrote i don't know if it was a play or novel but he wrote "the keys to the bohemian life." 40 years later, the opera.
this provincetown playhouse started a tradition of off off broadway theater that runs in the village into the 20th century. and that is, 1960 when it opens up, 1924 agnes st. vincent play opens a theater on the west side. when i was a kid, and there was a circle in the 1960's, a great pioneer in alternative theater and after him, a theater opened on the east side. one on cornelia street. we used to sent on the floor and the actors would be sweating on you. this is all on mcdougal street. right next to the provincetown playhouse was the first real
hope amy and playhouse that was not based on a bar. -- the first real bohemian playhouse that was not based on a bar. bohemian celebrities, i don't think any of you recognize them and i certainly do not which shows you. the only person i know in this old caricature is floyd dell. it is floyd dell and max eastman that the united states will go out in the sedition -- actor in the sedition trial. and here's where floyd dell and max eastman began their addition of the masses.
and one of the first feminist clubs. the heterodoxy club. also upstairs, the liberal club, which actually invited boys from harlem to join them. a big deal. this is what the real one looked like. this started a tradition of bohemian cafes. a lot of them run by gays. in the 1920's, the gays were open about their lifestyle. that changed in the 1930's with the coming of repressive laws. the fascist 1930's would change things but this was the 1910s, the 1920's, when to be gay was
no big deal. a number of famous 1920's figures were gay. for instance, at the st. vincent delay. when she walked into a room, women fell in love with her, menthol of there, she fell in love back. interestingly enough, by 1925, she leaves the village, goes off and marries. she and her husband had in open marriage but they truly loved each other. they were very much a soul couple but whatever they did on the side was their business. they really loved each other. 1949 he died, 1950 she dies. interesting, interesting person. edna st. vincent milary. interesting, interesting woman. this woman was married to a dentist in buffalo, did not find that exciting, so came to new
york. she was lovely. she lived at ninth and fifth. she had her own salon. it regular get together. in the 20th century, she brought together a lot of writers, is. even one of the black writers from harlem would come down here. which is interesting because all of the readings i do, you do not hear about too many blacks from harlem. the harlem renaissance was already starting in the 1910s but there was not too much mixing as far as i could see but she really -- it is kind of interesting she invited one down
here. what she was good at we are not sure, but she certainly looked good posing. she did that very well. by 1914, she had had it with greenwich village and she went up somewhere else. i don't remember where, but she went up. talk about north of washington square, the women bohemians. gertrude vanderbilt whitney. an interesting lady. came from this uptown rich family. went downtown and created a second life. had both lives at the same time. they goodness, no facebook, note twitter. what she did in the village stayed there. she got herself a stable on an alley and turned it into an artist loft. she was a sculptor. not terrific at she was a great collector of modern art and by the late 1920's, she creates her studio in a stable in 1907 or 1908 and 20 years later, she has
an incredible collection of modern art. she opened the metropolitan museum of art. they said, are you crazy do want that garbage? she opens in on it street in 1930. how interesting, right? the whitney has now left the upper east side home they are now on guns worth street and who is in the whitney museum but deep metropolitan museum. this is the lady that started all of that. there she is at her work desk. here she is a few years later. she is going to create the whitney museum. her artist studio is down here. mcdougal alley. we are looking east. if we were looking down mcdougal alley, it is still there today. the stable is on this side of the alley for washington square north houses. the stables on this site for 8th street houses. it was an artist, i do not
remember his name in 1900 who was the first to turn one of the stables into an artist studio. he got other artists to join him. gertrude and about whitney joined him. now, she is going to gradually let her collection grow. she is going to break through to the house on 8th street which then stable was for. here they are constructing what would be the new whitney museum and here they are opening up in the 1930's. today it is the studio building, the studio of in art school and it is a lovely place and one of
the last places in greenwich village dedicated. i wish them the best with the real estate values. i do wish them the best. a wonderful stuff of people. this is the entrance, it still looks like that today. it is the studio school and you would still see that today. here is the original whitney. i love it. barry bonds. different from what martial warrior gave them a 1950, right? the studio school, if you walk in today, it still looks exactly like that today. and back of the studio school, coming in from 8th street, is the stable that gertrude bought in 19 -- 1870 and turned into an artist studio. this is that stable. in 1970 -- 1917, she hired a wild and crazy guy from one of those mayflower families.
if he was on the mayflower he probably would have sunk it. he would plaster and redo the fireplace, chimney, ceiling. by the way, it was all done and brilliant colors. sometime in the 20th century, they whitewash the whole thing. today the studio school is trying to raise the money, they now have a lot of money, they are trying to raise the money and the day they restored it will be fabulous to walk into. if you look closely at the fireplace and chimney you'll notice the flames rising up. look closely at the flames and you will see devils, which is, and i don't know what else you are going to see. if you get to the ceiling, here is the chimney.
there is a smirking son and the rays of the sun cut across the ceiling. and among the clouds, here's just one view. i do not know if you can see that as well. there is a ingrained. and what looks like a small shark. what is holding onto the stingray is a nude man who looks like he is going through the flames of hell. a fortress probably. there is another nude male who looks like he is going through the fires of hell. you could line the floor with gertrude vanderbilt's party and trip. the day they restore this it is going to be an amazing piece of history. we thought we were crazy when we were hippies in the 1960's. really, it just shows you craziness comes with every generation if you look for it.
all of that is going to change with the coming of the new subway line. the original subway on the left bypassed greenwich village but in 1913 they made a bunch of new lines and the west side line was extended through the middle of the village under 7th avenue and this isolation you see is going to disappear with the coming of the subway and the trial, the three trials of sedition for these guys in 1917. remember, they were against the war. the government never convicted them. instead, the government made them deem most famous people need united states and if this was the 16th century, most people would say or none at the state but this was the 20th century and most people said, i
am going to go to new york and go to greenwich village and see the bohemian lifestyle they are talking about and maybe some of that will rob and suddenly greenwich village was on the map. everybody in america wanted to get on the bus and forget the metro poem -- much of college and opera and metropolitan museum, they wanted to go to greenwich village. it became a tourist trap. people would hire friends, put them in a smock, put them in a crummy apartment or studio and throw paintings around and threw paint around and bring a tourist from midtown or out of town and this was an artist tour of the real greenwich village.
if you go to williamsburg, you get the same thing, i'm sure. here is a 1924 map. there are maps all over the place. i am going to show you the real greenwich village. the real scandal, the real story. there is washington square. remember, when it was redubbed greenwich village suddenly the whole area was greenwich village. six street was no longer a dmz zone between the right and wrong side. mcdougal street became the main street. tea shops during the day. province town playhouse. when i came along in the 1950's and 1960's, this is where we went to see bob dylan when he first came to new york. leader, paul, and mary the first year they were together. joan baez. we saw them all on mcdougal street. even in the 1920's, mcdougal
street was the heart of the commercial part of greenwich village. there was a second kind of subsector and that was christopher street and that was because of the subway and that became a second center and came to be identified with gays in the stone wall is going to be built in the 19 60's. the bookstores, the tchotchke shops. the guide would say, i know the secret greenwich village and will show you that. you can see from the women's dresses it was the 1920's or 1910s. the cafes on mcdougal got more and more touristy. they all had a theme. long before disney, a theme for every restaurant. here is a woman wearing a smock dress. they all had to be on the basement, you could not be on the top floor and had to be in the basement or it was bourgeois.
here she is, the furniture is all furniture found on the street. everything purposefully mismatched. here is another place. i love this guy, look at him. he is probably looking for another pirate, he is not too interested in her. [laughter] >> that was east village, greenwich village, you found your own kind. everybody had their favorite place in greenwich village. exposed brick wall. halloween decorations hanging from the ceiling. no table cloths. mismatched crockery. that was the stick of going to greenwich village. a dive. a little hangout. town it was linen tablecloths,
red velvet on the floor, waiters and tuxedos. not there. you could let it all hang out. she in her many layers of clothing, he and his suit, they are letting it all hang out in greenwich village. in 1913, there was a paterson labor strike in paterson, new jersey. when of the few instances they got together for a political purpose and what did they do? they hired a halt, it is still there. and, it was so popular, the 1913 ball, they started having them all the time and the drag ball at webster hall were infamous. sometimes they had two of them a
week. i think it was only the depression that stop them. you think, we are so clever today. we are transsexuals, whatever we had today. but no. they had it all. and they let it all hang out until the 1930's closed it down. and you know the story, the village becomes popular. developers come in. they got these places and turn them into middle-class places for people from uptown. this is like bushwick today, the same thing. but he 1920's, the village has become bourgeois. the days of the bohemians seem to be over. you have number 1 5th avenue on the left, one of the great article buildings of the city. eleanor roosevelt, i think that was the building she lived in. but it is a sign that the village has become gentrified.
you still have the whitney museum on 8th street and the new school that built its headquarters on 12th street in 1930 one. i just went past it. i am an alumnus and social research, actually. a very village touch was given in 1931 by giving it an industrial look. here it is in a photograph on the right dated 1931. he doesn't to the theater as part of the new school still in operation. i just walked past it a few weeks ago. it is a wonderful theater, very much german expression is stick and a way. the seats are wrapped around the stage. the architecture. it reminds you perhaps of radio
city music hall a few years ago. by the way, there is the lobby. the theater is on the right. not much of a lobby. the new school, amazingly had to, not 1, 2 murals. where in new york to get murals? you get them in europe, france, not new york. you get/funding in new york. financier in. but the new school has very different artists to do these hand this is kansas city. this is thomas hart benton. he does america today, meaning 1928, 1929, when he went across america and sketched it. he was a macho guy from kansas. later in life, he became rather right wing. it is interesting in this visual essay of america in the 1920's, there is some really far out
images that were quite controversial with the right wing crowd. the way he sketched women. the way he sketched the hooch encouraging dancers. he is hired along with jose clemente orozco, a communist mexican winter. he is painting social justice in the world. he painted it in a room that was the meeting room or cafeteria or dining room, today it is used as a classroom. he did it in fresco. benton painted in oil. benton was mr. wright wing, mr. macho.
and roscoe was a communist. they are wonderful. it totally and rock shoe because it runs round the whole room and the fresco, where new york to get fresco? i have to explain to design students what fresco is. american kids do not know what a fresco is, tying kids do. communist kind of thing. there is jose clemente orozco doing his work. a fellow communist painter, diego rivera is doing a famous mural across the way, which is destroyed. but rivera got his revenge. that is the rockefeller murals slightly changed. i cannot really find it, but
somewhere in there diego rivera painted orozco as a -- he got back at rockefeller, rockefeller did not deserve that but that is a different story. but you can see the mural in mexico city. wonderful. it gives you an idea of the tensions of that decade. depression, fascism, politics. a grim decade and isn't it ironic that in that decade the village got its mojo back. i was fascinated when we did an interview of the village vanguard. i never realized it was famous for poetry. i always thought it was a jazz
publication. when i was a teenager, you could drink at 12 if that is what you wanted to do. that's while the kids from new jersey threw up on the sidewalk. but vanguard, the owner on the left died in 1980, his wife took over, now the daughter runs it. in the late 1940's, the vanguard was -- it started the whole trend of the folks singing trend. they had to disband but they really are the basis of peter, paul, and mary and bob dylan and all the different folkies of the 1960's, they started it. in the village vanguard, they also had judy holliday, comity. lenny bernstein who became famous later for his musical talent. all of this began at the village
vanguard and what about this club in the ground floor of this building off sheridan square in 1938. barney josephson, a shoe salesman, opens up cafe society. cafe society was the first integrated nightclub outside of harlem. the harlem nightclubs were segregated, but not all of them. but the first integrated club outside of harlem was this one. he said, i am going to open a
club where anybody could come and they did. on the upper left is judy holliday at the cafe society. there is barney josephson. his brother was a communist and the club had to close down by the late 1940's, early 1950's a record made from the cotton club for one of the -- not cotton club, cafe society jam sessions in hand some of you may remember when he had the potpourri, 8th street and university, now a barbecue for many years. and he brought back a singer, she is probably now in her 80's. she was wonderful, from the old school. you don have that kind of singing anymore. we were so lucky to have her,
barney josephson brought her back. the reason i put this in, i think greenwich village is not getting enough credit for integrating new york. i was a kid in the 1940's and 1950's, white new york was ethnic new york. there were no blacks around. you did not hang around with black people. it was simple. i was a teenager, we would go down to mcdougal street, hang out in the jazz clubs. we would go to because clubs. it was integrated. it was the first time in my life i associated with black people and i had no problem with that and it took me two seconds to act, ties and that was it. a done deal. after that, the civil rights movement, alabama, montgomery, i said, what is their problem? we don't give enough credit to greenwich village. in this time, if you went up to the latin quarter, it was probably all white.
i can tell you when i was in my 30's, i was talking to a black guy who was growing up in harlem when i was great but in queens, he told me what he was taught growing up in harlem in the 1950's, the role was no blacks out between five and 10 street after dark unless you a job. ask anyone warned during that time and they will tell you that was the way it worked. and greenwich village help stop that and i think them for that and and the 1940's and 1950's you get a whole series of club -- clubs run by jews and what did they showcase? gays and blacks. here we are today and a whole different world. i saw barbara streisand. i went down the stairs, that i was going into hell and she came out and i looked at her and i said to my friend, are you sure
about this? she was wearing used clothing. second-hand clothing. and yet a jewish know she would not fix and i said, i don't know about this. she is a little kooky. then she opened up and can you imagine that voice? extraordinary. i saw all of these guys. richie vallance, bob dylan, peter, paul, and mary. there is a young barbra streisand. and you know something, you could show up at the venue 10 minutes before the show, put down your money, walk in. now you have to go at midnight on line by five seconds after mid-night every ticket is taken. who needs that? i would rather stay home and watch pay-per-view television. the other pioneer in the village of course. christopher street station of
the one-to-three lines open to the late 1960's. a whole different kind of gay place from before. the windows were not ordered up. the windows were open, you could see inside. people went there, every type of person you can imagine. they did not care who knew they were gay. it was one of the reasons in 1968 these guys fought back and rated the joint. they would regularly write them. they fought back. they cannot possibly imagine that one day there would be gay marriage and america. i mean, they could not possibly imagine that. in the 1970's, by the way come along with the gay scene in the village, i was so lucky. he died of aids in the 1980's, but in the 1970's, in the same spot that cafe society was located in the 1930's, charles
had a theater of the ridiculous and he was brilliant and funny. hysterical. we're are on the floor laughing like crazy. oh, we had wonderful times at his theater down in cherokee square. and in june of 1969, who would know the gay movement would achieve what it achieved today. i hand up in this scene with 1961. we know what she is doing but i love this one on the left. this is what we used to call a coed. she is now a woman. a young woman. she is dressed like a security -- sorority girl but with those sunglasses and hairdo, we know she is a hip chick sitting there in washington square in the early 1960's because a few generations earlier, these people on the upper right gathered together on mcdougal street and basically created the
first of america's bohemian greenwich village. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> interested in american history tv? visit our website. you can see our upcoming schedule or watch recent programming. at c-span.org/history. >> citizens have got to feel that their vote matters, that their rights matter, and that they cannot spare a single cent to help a person running for office. their concerns, their
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presidency, colonial williamsburg hosts a lecture by uestorian peter henriq on george washington after he retired from the presidency. here's a preview. >> remember, washington's farm is five farms in total of five acres. now it has nine miles offenses, to give you it -- nine miles of fences. in one sense he is running a hotel, because everyone, friends, visitors, want to see the greatest men of the age. there's an interesting note he wrote in his diary. he said, if no one pops in for dinner, they would be the first time in 20 years that martha and i have dined alone. that gives you a little idea of the different schedule he might have as opposed to the rest of us. got over 50,000 acres of
land out west, he's trying to collect his rent, dealing with the potomac canal company, to connect the east to the west. he's got lots in the capital city that will be named for him, and he is deeply involved in the building. >> watch the entire program sunday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern, here on american history tv, only on c-span3. coverage of the presidential race continues tuesday night with primaries in six states -- california, montana, new jersey, new mexico, and north and south dakota. >> a more different vision for our country than the one between of democrats for progress, for prosperity, for fairness and opportunity, then
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>> i am a history buff. i enjoy seeing the fabric of our country and how things work and how they are made. american artifacts is a fantastic show. >> it's something i really enjoy. tv gives youistory that perspective. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> each week, american history visitserican artifacts historic places. up next, we travel to new orleans to visit the road to berlin exhibit. this begins with a d-day invasion and continues with the story of the european theater through the fall of the third reich.