Sunday, June 16, 2019

Then and Now: Greenwich Avenue at Sixth Avenue, NYC

Sixth Avenue at 8th Street in Greenwich Village, NYC

Sixth Avenue at Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village,
Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Avenue, NYC, in the 1980s.
Greenwich Village never really seems to change. Partly, that is by design, since many of the buildings are preserved and it is difficult to change them. However, there are changes, subtle as they may be. For instance, my old stomping grounds around lower Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village offered a good view of the World Trade Center - when it wasn't cloudy. The photographer for the picture above apparently found the disappearing WTC worthy for posterity. Little did he or she know that this would be a sign of dreadful things to come. This picture captured a moment, so I decided to use it to do a comparison of Greenwich Avenue at Sixth Avenue from the 1980s to 2017.

Sixth Avenue at Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village,
Sixth Avenue at Greenwich Avenue in November 2017 (Google Street View).
Well, the first thing to notice in the 2017 photo is that ... things haven't changed very much. There's still a flower shop one block in, though its name has changed from Tucker's to Casey's. Tucker's was a good shop, by the way, I was in there several times. The Yum Yum Yogurt Ice Cream Shop (yogurt ice cream was a fad) has been replaced by a Sprint Wireless store, a sign of the times. Otherwise, the view hasn't changed that much aside from the new World Trade Center building.

136 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village,
136 Waverly Place, Manhattan (Google Street View).
A couple of blocks down, 136 Waverly Place still looms over the storefronts, which it has since it was built in 1928. The Sixth Avenue El used to run right by here (from where the above photo was taken) until it was demolished in 1939.

Sixth Avenue at Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village,
Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Avenue, looking north, in 1938. You can see the north side of 8th Street in the foreground. The Sixth Avenue El was closed in 1938 and torn down in 1939. The original photographer in the photo at the top of this article would have been standing where the old Women’s House of Detention was (the huge, hulking building at the left). It was torn down in 1974.
Greenwich Village has gone through a lot of changes over the decades, and the world has changed around it. However, the essentials endure.

Sixth Avenue at Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village,
A look back toward the original photographer's position in the 1938 phot. The Sixth Avenue El is long gone, though there are still some remnants under pavement (Google Street View).
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the entry in my "the more things change, the more they stay the same" series. Please visit some of my other entries if you are interested in how a city changes over time.


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