In May, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), working in partnership with the Two Boots Foundation, launched the first historic plaque program for Greenwich Village, the East Village and NoHo. The program will commemorate sites of special significance due to their architecture, events, historic figures who lived, worked or gatheredthere or notable institutions.
Historic plaques are a great way to highlight the incredible history of our neighborhoods and sites connected to the critical people and events that shaped our culture. Appropriately enough, our first marker was placed on First Street at #50 East, the former site of the Justus Schwab Saloon. Schwab was a radical labor organizer whose saloon in the ground floor of the building in which he lived was an epicenter of political and social agitation on the Lower East Side in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Close associates Emma Goldman and Samuel Gompers both wrote about the critical role Schwab’s saloon played in the life of the city at the time, and The New York Times reported that his funeral in 1900, with a public procession through the East Village’s streets, brought together nearly every radical and activist in New York City at the time.
Our inaugural plaque unveiling was accompanied by a community celebration with music, food and drink, courtesy of Two Boots. We look forward to continuing the program throughout the Village, East Village, and NoHo. See www.gvshp.org/plaque.