I’m kind of sick of the bad press afforded to West Village Houses. That is why I want to set some basic things straight, both as a long time resident at WV Houses, and as a residential real estate broker.
The 40, five-story walk-up buildings are located on six sites: Bank Street to its North and Morton Street to its South, with Washington Street as its East anchor, and three buildings on West Street, between Barrow and Morton, makes-up the complex known as West Village Houses.
Site one actually consists of an entire square block: Washington Street on its East and West Street to its West with Barrow on its North and Morton to its South. The townhouse-like homes encompass an expansive common garden with planted greenery and a gated courtyard where residents can picnic; parents can feel comfortable watching their children in a safe and secure environment to run and play.
Each of the other five sites also have common gardens, in differing size, but all West Village Houses’ residents have accessibility to enter into any of the common garden areas. The valuable location of West Village Houses is evident by its super close proximity to Hudson Park; three of the buildings actually have frontal views of the Hudson River; the HighLine and the Whitney Museum are a hop, skip and a jump away from the complex.
Yes, the buildings are modest, architecturally-speaking, but what’s wrong with that? Give me modest brick construction anytime over ostentatious glass new high rise development. I like low-scale buildings that I can easily escape from while also keeping our human scale in check.
Do the new buildings have thick plaster walls to keep out noise? No, sheet-rock is used today just as it was used for West Village Houses’ walls. I honestly never hear my side neighbors; insulation can be used for above and below. While the buildings were built in the early 1970’s, the units have less of a generic feel, with flexible layouts, generous proportions and room sizes. For example, a one bedroom apartment boasts over 16’ x 10’5” for the bedroom with a 19’ x 14 1/2’ living-room plus 8 closets including a walk-in. Some duplexes have 16’ ceilings in the living-room with a mezzanine above. Looking at new development, I’m always struck by the small bedroom size of these multi-million dollar apartments.
Our complex is valuable both in location and our enduring history, and I know most of us celebrate and applaud its existence that allowed us to be part of a special community.