South Village Preservation Efforts Continue

Looking to save S. Village
Before ‘the wolves’ tear it apart, locals seek historic district status
by amy zimmer / metro new york

MANHATTAN. The three 19th Century rowhouses on the corner of Bleecker and Carmine streets — believed to be the inspiration for Edward Hopper’s “Early Sunday Morning” painting — are sagging and deteriorating.

If preservationists get their way, these buildings — two of which are among Manhattan’s few remaining wooden structures — would be saved in the South Village Historic District they’d like the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate.

Proposed last year, the district — encompassing more than 800 buildings between West Fourth and Houston streets from Seventh Avenue to LaGuardia Place, plus a triangular extension south of Houston — would celebrate the area’s Italian-American and Bohemian history.

“This is a real village. We have nice people, good people. We want to keep it as a community,” said Lucy Cecere, a lifelong resident, who recalled the mornings decades ago when roosters from the Thompson Street chicken market would wake her. “We were like one family. We didn’t care who you were or what you did. We had Ernest Borgnine walking around in his cape.”

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