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Around Washington Square: An Illustrated History Of Greenwich Village
by Luther S Harris
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press 2003
Category: Non-fiction19th century20th centuryManhattanNeighborhoodsArchitecture/Built EnvironmentUrbanismPhotography/Art/Design
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Describing Washington Square, Henry James wrote that it was as if the wine of life had been poured for you, in advance, into some pleasant old punch bowl. Created in 1826 through the visionary efforts of philanthropist and New York City mayor Philip Hone, the elegant and vibrant square anchors one of the world's most storied neighborhoods, Greenwich Village. Today, the quarter retains much of the charm it possessed in earlier eras when it served as a mecca for artists and activists, intellectuals and indigents, brahmins and bohemians. Yet its history has been clouded by half-truths and myths, while some of its most colorful and influential residents — and its role in the city's growth — lie undiscovered. Neighborhood historian and preservationist Luther S. Harris has spent twenty years researching the real story of New York's social and cultural hub, and in Around Washington Square he has produced the definitive history of Greenwich Village, illustrated with more than two hundred photographs and engravings, many from his private collection. Harris's prodigious research efforts among city council minutes, real-estate tax and conveyance ledgers, directories, family histories, architectural records, institutional and business inventories, newspapers, private collections, and public archives have uncovered surprising facts about the origins of Greenwich Village and its influence on the development of Fifth Avenue and upper Manhattan.

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