Greenwich Village (grĕnˈĭch) [key], residential district of lower Manhattan, New York City, extending S from 14th St. to Houston St. and W from Washington Square to the Hudson River. North of the main settlement of New York City in colonial times, in the 1830s it became an exclusive residential section, described in Henry James's novel Washington Square (1880). An influx of foreign immigrants settled there after 1880. Around 1910, the Village gained renown as the home and workshop of artists and of freethinkers. Barns, stables, and houses along the narrow, crooked streets were converted into studios, eating places, nightclubs, theaters, and shops, and the Village acquired a reputation for bohemianism. Interesting old buildings, many dating from the early and mid-1800s, remain, although there is an increasing number of modern apartment houses. Washington Square Park, with its McKim, Mead, and White arch (1892) is a popular meeting place. New York Univ.'s campus surrounds the park.
See J. S. Ramirez, Within Bohemia's Borders (1990); C. Stansell, American Moderns (2000); R. Wetzsteon, Republic of Dreams, Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910–1960 (2002); G. W. McFarland, Inside Greenwich Village: A New York City Neighborhood, 1898–1918 (2005); J. Strausbaugh, The Village (2013).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.