Greenwich Village history starts very far back in American history. The Village was started as a small settlement as far back as 1713, when common council records referred to it as Grin’wich. Several times in the mid to late 1800’s, wealthy residents of New York City fled plagues that were overtaking the crowded atmosphere. Many of them came to Greenwich Village and ended up staying there, which is why The Village is still full of period architecture, including some interesting Greek Revival homes and townhouses.
In the early 1900’s, The Village started to draw many artistic sorts and those who were ready for a break from traditional culture and ideas. Since that time period, Greenwich Village, New York has been an area for new ideas, artistic techniques, and political movements to spring up before traveling to the rest of the nation. The Whitney Studio Club, a place for emerging artists to display their work, was one of the first major draws for artists in the area.
Later on, The Village started the Off-Off-Broadway movement, which wanted to cut all ties with commercial theater. This really began with the famous Cherry Lane Theater, which author Edna St. Vincent Millay helped to found.
Since the 1960’s, Greenwich Village has slowly been turning into a more middle class area. Now, the majority of the residents fit into the upper-middle-class category, which is mainly because housing costs are so high. The starving artists and radicals have moved to other areas of New York, such as SoHo and TriBeCa.
Still, many famous actors, actresses, and authors call Greenwich Village home, and to this day The Village retains some of its artsy character. It’s also home to many who still practice the liberalism that got the area on the world map in the first place.