Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Before the Village 7

Often, those of us who enjoy urban archaeology discover a building that used to be a movie theater, or we search out the ghosts of old cinemas. What happens when it's the other way around?

Before the Loews Village 7 stood on the corner of 11th St. and 3rd Ave. (before the Village Pour House was across the street, giving refuge to East Village pub-crawling frat-kids), there was this odd and lovely structure:

NY Times, via Microfilm

It was demolished in 1989 and, according an article in the New York Times, it was built in 1869 for the headquarters of the New York City Department of Public Charities and Corrections.

Wrote the Times, "The building was designed by James Renwick, of Renwick & Sands, already famous for his design of Grace Church of 1843 and St. Patrick's Cathedral of 1858... [It has] a typically ebullient, Parisian mansard roof. But the body of the structure, although richly ornamented, also has something of the restlessness of the neo-Grec style. It had chamfered pilasters that interrupted the wall plane, and there was visual conflict between the irregular, horizontal banding and vertical elements."

It was converted into a barn/garage in 1917, with its mansard roof taken off. It stood for a total of 120 years before being replaced by the Loews.

The only other photo I could find of it comes from the NYPL's Digital Gallery. Here's the view looking east on 11th toward 3rd. It's the little parking garage to the right of Webster Hall's very ornate marquee--and its "ebullient, Parisian mansard roof" has already been removed:



EV Grieve said...

I wish someone would demolish the Loews Village 7 now... Ugh.

Anyway! Very interesting...Wish we could track down some more photos of the previous building...

The Burmudgeon: My Own Brand of Curmudgeon said...

of course your disclaimer should be that you NEVER saw that building because you didn't live in NYC at the time. Just like you neve saw the bakery where the The Paper Stoe was, and that pic you posted of Third Ave/St Mark's Place is something you never saw.
many of us tire of your pretend
'New Yorkness' Own up Out of Towner!!!

VH McKenzie said...

Shut up, drew.

You don't have to be a born-and-bred New Yorker to mourn the loss of beautiful architecture.


The Burmudgeon: My Own Brand of Curmudgeon said...

Oh MY!!! I committed the HERESY of exposing and oppossing the False Prophet! Jeremiah's blustering, bragging uber-New Yorker persona is just plain annoying to we natives. This nonsense of being hunkered down writing an obituary for his dying city - it's a city that exists in his transplanted mind. And I think at this point the Prophet has so confused himself with his invented character of Jeremiah that he probably believes he saw half of these places.

Cav said...

I wish had more out-of-towners were like Jeremiah.

Kleindeutschland Remnant said...

I AGREE with Drew 100%. I'm third generation Avenue B - an old time holdout. Jeremiah is a johnny-come-lately, jump on the bandwagon wanna be New Yorker. The minute some old time establishment closes - he's there as if he was a regular forever. I, as a native, HATE those who waddle in false nostalgia for the things they never saw. He must be very insecure or ashamed of his roots.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

Remember it well. I regret taking too many pictures of forgettable people and not enough of memorable buildings.

c.o. moed said...

As a native New Yorker who in fact was in the neighborhood during this building's life, I am most grateful for Vanishing New York to document in a fashion that I don't have the skills or patience for. I did a series called They Came From Outta Town about New Yorkers who accidentally got born in the wrong city, but somehow found their way home. So glad Jeremiah found his way home.

Linda Danz said...

I am a native New Yorker, going on 60+ years. I love this blog and what perspective and respect it brings to my ever changing city. Most native New Yorkers are pretty easy going people with a great sense of humor and are open to the changes. Sometimes it takes an "outsider" to uncover the gems that we might have missed or somehow forgotten.

I'm not crazy about the NYUnification of the Villages and the tide of newcomers who deem my city their playground. But, this too shall pass.

Thanks for giving us this wonderful blog.

Jeremiah Moss said...

drew and kleindeutschland, you both share a very distinctive and similar diction, usage of all-caps, punctuation, etc., leading me to suspect you are probably the same person.

that said, i am sure you're not the only native who shares this sentiment. new york inspires territorial feelings in many of us. i appreciate your dedication to my blog--you clearly read it regularly, frequently, and with great enthusiasm.

and thanks to my supporters here--i appreciate the back-up. this debate about natives vs. immigrants, and who has the right to love the city and speak about it, always provides stimulating food for thought.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Wow, what a loss. I'm surprised it lasted until 1989.

I enjoy your blog, Jeremiah, and don't understand all the childish hate. It's your love for the city that is authentic.

Marjorie said...

Thank-you so much for this fascinating and interesting blog! Have you seen photos of the Loew's Sheridan movie theater, which used to be on 11th Street and 7th Avenue?

By the way, why do blogs bring out so many angry commenters? Why is "Drew" so angry with your blog? What does he care if your blog gathers stories about a vanishing NY? If he doesn't like it, maybe he should not read it.

I get the same kind of nasty comments at my blog... from a commenter constantly calling me the 'c' word and telling me I am pathetic. Who ARE these people? I finally just disabled comments.

Prophet Debunker said...

to be honest - I wish the False Prophet would indeed find his way back home - to Boondock, Alabama or wherever he came from. I'm so happy to read Drew's comments, and Kleindeutschland Remnant's as well - now I know I'm not the only one ticked off by his arrogant facade of being the Ultimate New Yorker. I say - go hunker down in some Ozark Cabin and leave our city to the real New Yorkers.

Marjorie said...

By the way, I applaud anybody's efforts to celebrate this great city... no matter where they are from. I know a few people in Florida and Alabama who have blogs dedicated to New York City and they have not lived here in 20 years.

Their blogs are about memories and one guy wrote a great entry about egg creams.

Why does "Drew" sound so angry about your efforts? He should create his own blog instead of being so fixated on yours.

Mark said...

I have a picture of this building, shot from my old terrace sometime in the late 70's, prior to the NYU Third Avenue North dorm being built. At the time, Con Edison was using it as a parking facility. I'll scan it and send it you soon.

In reference to your detractors, I am a born and bred New Yorker, and I resided in the East Village for 37 years, 32 of them in the same apartment. I mourn the very city he's writing about, and the changes wrought by Bloomberg, NYU and all the developers are high on the list as to why I left.

I did eat at Sutter's, crossed St Mark's Place at Third umpteenth times and celebrated life in this neighborhood for decades. Jeremiah has as much right to mourn our losses as I do, because he knows, as I do, that the quality of life in this city has diminished greatly...enough to make a native New Yorker leave town.

Marjorie said...

I mourn Sutter's and Jon Vie! Sutter's was actually next to where the Party Store was, or a few doors down from that corner. It did not occupy the same space.

I am tired of this city for so many reasons. Everybody is rushing all the time and it is so crowded. I think I say "excuse me" at least 20 times in one day.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Mark, i would love that photo--thank you. and thanks, too, for the kind words.

BabyDave said...

All my five decades have been spent in this town, mostly below 23rd Street, and I welcome anyone who shares my appreciation for the city's beauty -- both lost and ongoing. I salute you, Jeremiah, and your efforts to educate us all about this wonderful place.

The Burmudgeon: My Own Brand of Curmudgeon said...

I do NOT need to be educated about my native city by a pretentious fake who can't distinguish his real indentity from his pseudo-literary creation, and constantly tries to create the illusion that he's a regular in every longstanding nyc restaurant, shop, etc.

Marjorie said...

This is for "drew":
re: "I do NOT need to be educated about my native city by a pretentious fake who can't distinguish his real indentity (sic) from his pseudo-literary creation, and constantly tries to create the illusion that he's a regular in every longstanding nyc restaurant, shop, etc."

So, if you do not need to be educated, I suggest you stop reading this blog. I am wondering why you are so angry about "Jeremiah's" blog entries.
Your responses seem very weird. You appear too involved and over-invested in Jeremiah's identity and activities. Blogs require no qualifications.

I am a native New Yorker who loves and appreciates this interesting blog. Jeremiah creates no illusions. He does not need to meet any criteria to have this blog on this specific subject. You need to get over your fixation and channel your energy into creating your own projects.

VH McKenzie said...

In my house, with my kids, we consider "shut up" a swear word.

So....shut up, drew.

JakeGould said...

Drew, as a Brooklyn born and bred NYC resident I would like you to get over it. Quickly. Jeremiah does an excellent job of researching and preserving stuff that "real New Yorkers" like you don't do.

You see, I grew up here. But whenever I attempted to take pictures of places I liked and cared about as a kid, other idiots who stop me. Or mock me. Or general be anything than supportive.

Now decades later those same folks are suddenly appreciating the little bits of past I preserved and ask me for more. And guess what? I tell them this is all I got. I say to myself "Now you assholes care? Well 1% more encouragement and guess what? You'd have 200% more memories." Seriously, you know why there are so many photos of the same neighborhoods? The other places are filled with idiots who hate themselves so much they don't understand why anyone would care. Now what do these trolls do? Whine and grouse while going to the corner to buy Lotto and milk?

So Drew, may you stay healthy and happy in whatever territorial nonsense you mire yourself in. You ultimately like this stuff. And if you had genuine care to be a "real New Yorker" start sharing. Otherwise, take care of yourself.

drew said...

my oh my! how riled up and upset we all get when the False prophet is exposed! I stand by everything I've said. And I know who I am and where I'm from. And I'll continue to speak when I hear pretentious bluster from the False Prophet and his hunkered down nonsemse. That being said - good health to you all - many of you cross my path in my daily ten mile walks across every inch of my city (retirement thank god allows me the leisure)and be aware that I am IN LOVE with my native city.

Jeremiah Moss said...

sounds like a good note to end on, drew (aka kleindeutsch, aka debunker). you get to have the last word. this comment thread, which is completely unrelated to the actual post content, is hereby closed. thank you for playing.

Unknown said...

Sutter's was on the corner of 10th Street and Greenwich Avenue. Edison Sutter was my grandfather and I have fond memories of working at the bakery over summer and semester breaks. Grandpa took great pride in only using the very finest ingredients to make his confections...danish pastries, brioche, croissants, cheesecakes, a vast variety of cookies, napoleons...the list goes on! And, the smell would permeate my clothes well after I left for the day. Sweet memories indeed. Thank you.