In collaboration with the Creating Digital History class at New York University, Pastmapper is adding map and resident data for 60 years of New York City’s Greenwich Village.
The project presents detailed data from five federal censuses (1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940) onto historically accurate maps for the corresponding years. Under the guidance of professor Cathy Moran Hajo, Ph.D. in the Department of History, students are transcribing census data to create a full record of the past residents of West 9th Street, a one-block thoroughfare in the heart of a vibrant and old neighborhood in Manhattan.
West 9th Street is an ideal subject for a project of such depth. A veritable microcosm of New York City itself, this street has seen Mark Twain, Mae West, Ida Tarbell, Maurice Sendak, Barbra Streisand, and Trude Heller play roles on its storied stage. Real estate agencies today boast of celebrity inhabitants like the Rolling Stones at 54 West 9th, Uma Thurman at 18th West 9th, and Susan Sarandon at 61 West 9th. Wealth, influence, and high-society scandal have been mainstays of the goings-on here for decades, as summarized in LindaAnn Loschiavo’s 2005 history of this one thousand feet of Manhattan real estate in an article for The Villager. Even the New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission penned a flowery tribute to the street in their 1969 Designation Report for Greenwich Village:
“Looking through this block from the eastern end, we are primarily aware of an air of solid respectability, of tradition and culture. One senses the comfortable life which these Greek Revival houses made possible, and the elegance of the later rows of Italianate houses with their handsome rusticated basements.”
The Pastmapper project for West 9th Street features buildings, businesses, and neighborhood features through the years. Check out the maps of the area prior to 1914 to see the original alignment of 7th Avenue when it still terminated at 11th Street, or between 1871 and 1938 to see the 6th Avenue Elevated Railway. The project will launch to the public at the end of the fall semester 2012.