Jane Street, known as an exclusive address in the West Village, is seen in the lower right of the following photo taken by Scott Casazza from an August 2010 helicopter ride.
For example, 61 Jane is the left of the two brown buildings right of center, and 31 Jane is between the tall light-colored Standard Hotel near the Hudson River and the now
closed St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Below is a close-up of the area, showing 2 and 12 Horatio Street; the old RCA Institutes of radio engineering; the former St. Vincent’s Hospital; and 31 Jane Street,
between the Gansevoort Hotel and the Standard Hotel (atop the new High Line). Aerial photo was taken by Scott Casazza of Jane Street.
Of the two tall buildings left of center, below, 31 Jane is the one on the right.
The picture was taken from the roof of 61 Jane.
Jane Street is in the west part of Manhattan's Greenwich Village. As the map shows, it is only five blocks long, from Greenwich Avenue
to the Hudson River. (Using the
blue tube at the bottom, you can extend the map.)
Greenwich Village Humane League. The house
where Hamilton died is shown on the wrong side of the street.
High School (now the
gay center), the Bank Street College of Education, etc. (It's a wide
picture - adjust the screen to stretch over beyond 6th
replaced a late Federal house at the corner of Jane and Greenwich,
in addition to the two town houses next to it on the Greenwich Avenue side.
for the DeKlyn Estate.
a merchant who had purchased the land. Dr. David M. Halliday,
whose wife Mary was a DeKlyn, owned #4. Buildings #6 and #8 retain their
appearance. [When the warehouse at 247 West 12th caught fire in 1922, #8 Jane was damaged and two firemen died in the fire.]
house (#9 1/2) built in 1854.
The structure supposedly was fire-resistant, but
Terry Miller’s Greenwich Village and
How It Got That Way (Crown, 1990), describes how it burned
five days and nights, exploding when whiskey or flash powder caught fire. The
garage was replaced by condominiums, and the Jane Street side
Street Methodist Episcopal Church, which had established itself
here in the mid-1840s. Two 3-story townhouses once stood at each side of the
Jane is the 18-story Rembrandt co-op, 31 Jane Street.]
inside the entrance door, decorate the entrance hall.
entrance was re-painted, but a later change eliminated Sarg's work. Following
is his "Fish Footman," described by one person as "almost too
proud to speak to anyone," from a 1930 production of
apartments in 1952. A
former resident of 20 Jane, Reynold Weidenaar, reports that the building is
better described as "a 5-story tenement with
ground-floor stores. It was
very much a classic low-end tenement, with tiny interior bedrooms that had
windows only to the hallways. The census
records for 1880 listed names and
occupations of the occupants -- there were 17 families, nearly 60 people,
living in the building. All the adults were
immigrants. No indoor toilets before 1900. There was a 5-seat "school sink" privy in the back yard. Not an easy life." Reynold Weidenaar has a firt-rate study of 20 Jane street at the following: http://20janehistory.magneticmusic.ws
on the second floor.
This compact brick carriage house was bought by Jim Dine in 1997 and in 2013 the 3,800 square feet of indoor space and an 850- square-foot roof deck has an asking price of $9.1 Million.
#24 & 26 Two five-story stone buildings were erected in
1885-1886 for two brothers, James and
Isaac Lowe, who lived here.
built other houses in the Village, constructed it in 1870.
corner site on 8th Avenue.
The main entrance is at 31 Jane. The co-op rents space to a store and a dry
cleaner on the 8th Avenue side. A Russian-born
sculptor who had studied in
Paris, Gleb W. Derujinsky, resided
here and became known for his busts of Lilian
Gish, Mrs. Henry Hammond, and
Theodore Roosevelt. “This
eighteen-story apartment house . . . represents a breaking away from the
scale, the quality, and the beauty that we have
come to associate with The Village. The windows are still articulated as individual entities but are already being grouped in ever-larger multiples
unrelated to anything which adjoins the building. This block, with its
three tiny houses flanked by apartment houses, is an example of the fate
The Village if such new construction is permitted without any preliminary review of its design."
had an English basement entrance but now retains little of its original character and has been completely smooth-stuccoed.
been completely altered and
a stable at the back of the lot.
2003. Cater-cornered across the street at 31 Eighth Avenue, which has an
entrance partly on Jane, the Tavern on Jane was the setting of a
feature film, The Tavern.]
Jane Street Looking west toward the Bistro and 4th Avenue
The Corner Bistro, which many swear has the best burgers in the city.
Jane Street looking eastward
toward Greenwich Avenue.
and Tender Mercies . The corner building
can be entered with one foot on Jane and the other on Eighth Avenue.]
here in the mid-1930s.
Blaine, Judith Rothschild, Leland Bell, Louisa Matthiasdottir, Ida Fischer,
Larry Rivers, and Albert Kresch (at 80 and now a resident in
the only survivor in 2009). A 2003 Times article by Grace Glueck
described the group as "a cozy, bonded group, almost equals in age, with
cocksure opinions about what art should be," and they designed the sets
for Lorca's If Five Years Pass at
the Provincetown Playhouse. . . . Bonsignor, a
pastry shop, is at this address now.]
by St. Vincent’s Hospital. The garden was
started on what was a burned area of land. In 1975, after a developer bought
the site and was denied
permission by the Landmarks Commission to build, the
city took over the property and charged the Jane Street Block Association to
use it. When the
association became unable to pay, it was turned over to the
West Village Committee, which negotiated a new lease and has cultivated and
cared for the
garden through volunteer labor and cont
ributions. It contains
two varieties of crabapple trees; a range of roses; and shrubs such as
dogwood, firethorn, crape myrtle, yew, hydrangea, smoke
tree, rose of Sharon,
boxwood, jasmine nudiflorum, red bud, Chinese and American holly. Its flowers
include violets, narcissus, tulips, bleeding heart,
alyssum, lilies, foxglove, mint, astilbe, iris, hosta, dahlias, hollyhocks, and
asters. . . . At the Jane Street Fair in 1999,
Sandy Koufax visited one weekend, but equally noted celebrities
are and have been full-time residents. . . . .Since
1988, Billy Romp, a tree farmer from
Shoreham, Vermont, has sold Christmas
trees on the corner. Christmas on Jane Street (1998) describes his, his wife
Patti’s, and their three children’s
annual trips to Greenwich Village.
Sleeping in their tiny camper parked nearby, they became known as “the tree
2007), for she lived in the Village in 1969 when the garden's site was occupied by 3-story Greek Revival Buildings
on 8th Avenue. In 1975 the plot
now known as "36 Jane St.,
Block 625, Lot 34" was bought at auction by a novice real estate
developer, 26-year-old Gregory Aurre Jr. of West 12th,
who hired architect
Stephen Lepp to design a 4-story combined apartment/commercial building for
the site. Jane Streeters charged that it was not in
keeping with the
street, and rumor had it that the building was to be a high-class
brothel. On May 12th, a workman sent by Aurre entered the garden
dug it up. An angry crowd led by Jean
Verral arrived to help save what had not been destroyed. Ultimately
Landmarks rejected Aurre's proposal,
and the city rented it to the Jane
Street Block Association for between $6,000 and $10,000 a year. In
1977, Aurre pleaded guilty as part of a 24-count
federal indictment for
participation in an unrelated banking conspiracy in which he obtained
$160,000 in fraudulent loans between 1973 and 1975 -
he was sentenced to prison. . . . The garden then was replanted and a
landscape designer re-did the area ("Pamela R. Berdan, a creative,
visionary but nonetheless a bit of a witch"). An old-fashioned Dutch windmill was built in the garden by Evan
and Arthur Stoliar, and a Dutch theme
coinciding with the visit of a
Dutch princess was planned at the 3rd annual Jane Street Fair, 9 October
1982. According to Fieldsteel, when the
limousine disgorged the
princess and Mayor Ed Koch spotted "the lone, bewildered princess across
the street, [he] ran to her rescue, yelling "Here,
Princess!", she nodded graciously, and he
escorted her to the dais. The festival netted $20,000.
. . . Bill Bower and the West Village
Committee are credited with obtaining a
25-year lease at $40/year to maintain the space as a community garden.
Bower and Berdan, who had worked
together on the St. Vincent's Hospital
garden, did not continue working happily. He held the keys and locked
Berdan out. With two escorts, Berdan
was permitted to remove plants
she'd put in at her own expense. . . . The street at one time was adopted by an individual calling
himself "The Friendly
Neighborhood Poet," or as he said,
"poyt," and he accepted remuneration for bringing
"poytry" to the area (until he was found to be selling items with
neighbors' Social Security Numbers on them and was reported to the Sixth
Precinct. Sleeping beneath the windmill, however, and not noticing that
had caught fire, he escaped the fire but was escorted to Rikers . . . and the damaged windmill was torn down.
Fieldsteel's article is filled with other
memories that Janestreeters will not want to overlook.]
Where Jane Street crosses 8th Avenue and continues westward to the Hudson River
its building at
30-32 Horatio Street and stands on the site of a church erected in 1836, one
occupied by successive Presbyterian church groups, first by
the village Presbyterian Church, then the Jane Street Church, and finally the Fifth Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Church. In 1966-1967 it
was remodeled as an apartment house, the upper floors of which have central triple windows flanked by single windows.
Jane Street looking west, the former electrical substation now apartments on the right
popular at his period.
#42 In March 2013, Jack Wetzer e-mailed his memories of the area. He now lives in Key West, Florida, lived on the first two of four floors of 42 Jane Street. The ground floor – from the front, lowest level, half below sidewalk level – very like Lavern and Shirley, the television situation comedy that ran on ABC from 1986 to 1983 – was the yard. It was concrete but we were able to have a BBQ, chairs, planters, etc. It was small. The yard was shared with the cooking school which was located on Eighth Avenue, adjacent to the garden. I can’t recall the owner’s name (but keep thinking Lydia Marshall) was married and was French. She had celebrity chefs come to the school on occasion and had James Beard and Julia Childs in attendance once in awhile.
#42-50 Here is a fine row of Greek Revival houses, all
built on land which was sold by the estate of
Richard Townley in 1845 and dates from 1846.
People who lived there were Ira
Crane, a mason, at #44; Thomas Crane, who owned a granite company, at #46;
and Gustavus A. Conover, a builder, at
the parlor floor, that had
4-foot-by-8-foot windows looking south on Jane between Eighth Avenue and
Hudson Street.” Click here
for the article (with
information about homelessness, transgendered
hookers, crickets, cicadas, mockingbirds, etc.)].
neighborhood. A fourth story was added to #49 after
1858. In 1870 the front of #47 was extended forward for J. W. Johnston. Both
houses were altered
in the 20th century to provide basement entrances.
Revival style. In 1851, #54 was built for an agent of
the Merchants Exchange, John M. Patterson.
Georgia College and State University:
I lived at 52 Jane from 1958 to 1967 while I attended
Southerland Junior High (Hudson and Grove), Stuyvesant H.S. (345 E. 15th St)
NYU (Washington Square). My mother, Frances Wegner, was a newspaper
reporter for the Long Island Star-Journal and Long Island Press.
stepfather, Lloyd Wegner, was a photographer. He was friends with Leon
Seidel who owned the Lion's Head Tavern, and Cora Wright
who was a columnist
for Popular Photography . They were like my uncle
fed about twenty cats in her yard every day. They all gathered at
the appointed hour of the feeding, and it was quite a spectacle. The tag-line
was, of course, that they kept coming for weeks
after she died.
the block. #62 and 64 have fine craftsmanship and design of the ironwork of
their hand railings at the stoops. The stair rails are wrought
castings set between the vertical spindles. #62 displays square openwork
panels of wrought iron that make the transition from the stair hand
to the more widely spaced railings of the landing itself. #62 retains its
original wrought iron areaway railing with modified Greek Revival fret
at the base. #64 has ornamental latticework cast iron porch at its landing
and respects the design of the original ironwork. The stone basement
three-unit row is handsomely rusticated.
624 Hudson Street.
to a height of 19
stories. Built in 1962-1964, it has not attempted to band or streamline the
windows horizontally in the manner which was so
in the 1930s and carried over to the 1950s. The windows, which have
wood sash, are grouped in twos and threes and, in the wider grouping of threes,
a picture window is inserted in the middle. More
attention to neighborhood fenestration might, at no extra cost, have produced
a more compatible
Guitarist-singer Jimi Hendrix; actor Brad Midnight Express Davis; and Limelight Cafe operator Helen Gee once lived here.]
and the Boston Public Library) by David H. King Jr. It
was built in 1897 for Helene M. Cavarello. “Although not in character with
the residences in
the area, this is an unusually fine commercial structure
and set a standard for this area which was never surpassed.”
Lethbridge owns the garage, a workshop on the corner. According to the street’s oldest resident, Jean Verral , silent movies were sometimes shown in
that vacant lot.]
erected in 1855. The row was built for Joseph Harrison, a merchant and real estate speculator.
at #75. The other houses were built as residences for two lumber
merchants, William Foster (#73) and William Dunning (#79); and a planer,
Clark (#71). Stephen H. Williams (#81), a carpenter-builder at 105
Bank Street, likely planned and built this row.
is said to have built a house at 81 Jane in 1750, but it
was torn down in 1800.]
Weehawken with Aaron Burr. He had been brought, still
alive but paralyzed from the waist down, to the William Bayard House, close
to but not
specifically at #81 Jane, except that the street then was curved
in the direction of Horatio Street. According to Greenwich Village and How It
Way, by Terry Miller, the William Bayard House never stood at #82
but, instead, was “just below the present Gansevoort Street.
. . close to the present
Horatio Street—possibly even in its path, as Horatio
wasn’t mapped until 1817 or opened until 1835.”]
resident of 82 Jane Street was John J. Harvey. Harvey was
pilot of the FDNY fireboat Thomas Willett known as Engine Co. 86 and berthed
at Pier 53,
Bloomfield Street. On 2/11/1930 he operated the Willett at
the fire aboard the North German Lloyd liner Muenchen berthed at Pier 42,
It is notable that he was stationed and was killed near his
Jane Street home. The new fireboat completed the following year
was named for Harvey.
It is no longer owned by FDNY but has been
preserved and is on the National Register.]
The fireboat John J. Harvey
crowned by an Italianate cornice with vertically placed, paired
console brackets and paneled fascia.
added. #86 retains its stoop, which is enhanced by a
simple iron hand railing. Both residences, erected for Samuel D. Chase as part of a row of
crowned by bracketed Italianate cornices of identical design.
houses were altered to a stable and carriage house. It now
serves as a garage and factory building.
corner, #94 Jane Street.
Looking eastward from Washington Street, showing a cobblestone road in need of repairs
of the lot was a later addition. Not the slightest
effort was made to reconcile window sizes to each other or to relate them to
the large door. The building
serves a useful purpose in the community but, at
no extra cost, the varied window sizes might, in the hands of a skillful
designer, have been made
exceptionally attractive, befitting its location in
an Historic District.”
completely renovated. Across the street, buildings on
the corner were taken down in 2009, and new ones will be built.
Architecture of The Greenwich Village Waterfront (NYU Press, 1989).]
it had an octagonal tower that housed a beacon light.
Later, it became Jane West Hotel and is now called Hotel Riverview. First
described as a
home-away-from-home “for seamen of all ranks and all
nationalities visiting the Port of New York” and “a temporary refuge for
“seamen in distress,”
in 1912 it housed surviving crew members of The
Titanic. It is a six-story hotel that includes on the ground floor, where the
hotel’s formal ballroom
once was, The Jane Street Theatre, which seats 280
and has a small balcony.]
the bar (which was not allowed in the original hotel):
Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
The empty lot below became a parking lot.]
multiple dwelling, Harbor House.]
Blake, Aaron, The Literary Map of New York
More about the 1961 map, above:
Last updated November 2012
HAS ANYONE THE ANSWER?
(14 November 2012)
Brian Flanagan asks:
My Grandmother, Mary Jane White, lived on Jane Street back in the 1920's or early 1930's. She perished in a fire set by a space heater.
Greetings from Australia!