Designated June 18, 2019
Caffe Cino is considered the birthplace of Off Off Broadway Theater. Although the building itself was already designated as part of the Greenwich Village HD Extension II the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Caffe Cino as an Individual Landmark in recognition of its cultural history.
Joe Cino, an Italian-American gay man, opened the Caffe Cino in 1958 as a coffee shop and art exhibition space. Soon, the cafe was also used for poetry readings and small, experimental theater productions. The Caffe Cino emerged as a venue for new and unknown playwrights, most of whom were gay men. At this time, portraying homosexuality in theatrical productions was illegal under the Wales Padlock Law of 1927 and the Caffe Cino became a center for gay artists to share their work. Many of these projects overtly depicted homosexual themes in a positive manner on stage for the first time. Caffe Cino was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
*image courtesy of LGBT Historic Sites Project
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
Greenwich Village became a village after the American Revolution. The 1807-11 gridiron street plan bypassed the Village and the area kept its low scale nature. The district is known for its collection of early New York row houses in a variety of styles including Federal,...Explore the Neighborhood >
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