Celebrate Women’s History Month with the women of Greenwich Village from the past and present!
Greenwich Village has been home to some of the most important and iconic women in history. During Women’s History Month we take a look back at some of the women who live, work and own businesses in the Village today, and the one’s who’s legacies still affect our lives to this day.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, the famed Pulitzer prize winning poet and playwright lived in the Village during the 1920’s. Her residence at 75 Bedford Street remains to this day the narrowest house in the Village at just 9.5 feet wide!
Jane Jacobs was an urban activist, thinker, and author, who lived in both New York City and Toronto. While she had no formal training in architecture or planning, Jacobs was very engaged in civic life in New York City. She opposed efforts like slum clearance planning practices of the 1950s and 1960s. Her most notable (and successful) campaign was in opposition to the Lower Manhattan Expressway project proposed by City and State official Robert Moses and the Moses Men.
Margaret Anderson, founder and editor of the avant-garde literary journal The Little Review (1914-1929), and her partner and assistant Jane Heap shared a top-floor apartment at 27 West 8th Street from 1918 to 1920, when they serialized James Joyces novel Ulysses, then considered to be obscene literature. Both were prosecuted and fined, and offending issues of the magazine were destroyed by the U.S. Post Office.
130 MacDougal Street is now home to part of NYUs Law School, but in 1868, Louisa May Alcott wrote the final paragraph of her beloved classic Little Women at the residence. Alcott is said to have lived in the home, which belonged to her uncle, between 1867 and 1870.
The queen of manners and etiquette lived at 12 West 10th Street as a teenager. Emily Post moved with her architect father to the residence in the 1880s. She later went on to write Etiquette, a book on social skills and lessons.
In its original state, the 19th century building at 4 St. Marks Place was an elegant townhouse in the Federal style on one of the citys most fashionable blocks. From 1833-1842, No. 4 was the residence of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the widow of Alexander Hamilton, killed years earlier in a duel with Aaron Burr. From the 1970s until early 2017, the lower floors have been home to Trash & Vaudeville, the trendy rock n roll fashion outlet to stars such as Bruce Springsteen, members of The Ramones, Marie Presley and Cher.
Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving First Lady of the United States. While her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was in office, she became an outspoken figure on controversial issues, including race relations and womens rights. Following the death of her husband in April 1945, she moved into an apartment at 29 Washington Square, living there for five years before moving uptown. Roosevelt remained active in politics following her husbands death, becoming a delegate to the United Nations and serving as Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights during the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and chairing President John F. Kennedys Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
With the advent of the automobile in the early 20th century, most of the stables in Greenwich Village became studio workshops for artists. In 1907 wealthy socialite and sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitneyfuture founder of the Whitney Museum of American Artleased a stable in MacDougal Alley for her workshop, and soon became a patron of less-affluent artists in the Village. She went on to create the Whitney Museum in its first location at 8 West 8th Street.
Explore the residences of these women and more through our self-guided tour of Inspiring Women in the Village.
The Greenwich Village Women of Today
To celebrate today’s Village women, we have created a list of women-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. Know of another Women-Owned Business in Greenwich Village not on the list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org