The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

13 November 2014


Documenting the History and Significance of 121 Charles Street, the West Village's "Cobble Court" Farmhouse

GVSHP Launches "Business of the Month" Program -- Nominate One Today!

Save Our Community Center/former Charas el Bohio P.S. 64 Town Hall Mon., 11/17 at 6:30pm


Documenting the History and Significance of 121 Charles Street, the West Village's "Cobble Court" Farmhouse

Like many others, GVSHP was shocked earlier this year when the West Village's venerable "Cobble Court" Farmhouse at 121 Charles Street (at Greenwich Street) -- also known as the Margaret Wise Brown House, for the author of Goodnight Moon who lived and wrote there -- was advertised for sale for $20 million and as a potential "blank canvas...for development."

Concerns about the house's imminent demise, however, may have been greatly exaggerated; the house is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, and thus no changes can be made to it without undergoing a rigorous public review and approval process, subject to the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Since the house was first advertised for sale and the ensuing outcry which followed, the reference to the "blank canvas" has been removed, and there has as of yet been no sale and no application for alterations, demolition, or construction. However, that may change at some point in the future.

In light of this, GVSHP has been gathering information documenting the incredible history of this wooden house, and its unlikely rescue from the wrecking ball in 1967 and relocation from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The preservation of the house and its arrival at this site was truly one of the great preservation success stories from the decade which kicked off the modern preservation movement, and integral to the history of Greenwich Village.
Using first-person accounts, interviews with the family involved with the saving and relocation of the house, and voluminous research, GVSHP has captured Cobble Court's many lives and many layers of history, irrefutably detailing its unique and irreplaceable significance. Read the report HERE.

GVSHP Launches "Business of the Month" Program -- Nominate One Today!
We are excited to announce the launch of GVSHP's new "Business of the Month" program. Each month, a local, independent business will be featured on GVSHP's website and blog Off the Grid, and shared via our electronic newsletter, showcasing one of the Village, East Village, or NoHo's great and unique retail or commercial treasures.

Please nominate a special small business by clicking here.

Local businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, and many find themselves in an increasingly tough, competitive environment of rising rents and proliferating chain stores.
But GVSHP is committed to highlighting and celebrating those businesses that help keep our neighborhoods unique and special, and provide a service, atmosphere, or specialty that can't be found anywhere else.

And we're asking you, the public, to nominate your favorite businesses for consideration for our "Business of the Month." Each selected business will be profiled, and its story shared via social and electronic media. To nominate a business just fill in a very brief form here.

Send in a nomination today, and help spread the word about a local business you love!

"Save Our Community Center" Town Hall
about the former CHARAS el Bohio P.S. 64
Monday, November 17 at 6:30pm

Please join GVSHP, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Community Board #3, and a coalition of community groups for a Town Hall meeting this coming Monday, November 17th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Casa Victoria's Community Room, 308 East 8th Street (btw. Avenues B & C). We'll be talking about how we can Save Our Community Center -- the former CHARAS el Bohio Cultural Center/old P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street (btw. Avenues B & C).

Our coalition won a great victory recently when we got the City to reverse a decision by the Department of Buildings allowing a sham "dorm" to be built at the old P.S. 64. But we still need to fight to return this historic, landmarked building back to the true community use it served for ma ny years when it was the CHARAS/el Bohio Center, a font of cultural and community life in the East Village and Lower East Side. In 1999 the City evicted CHARAS/el Bohio from the formerly-abandoned, city-owned building they had occupied and revived. Soon after the City sold the former P.S. 64 to a developer who has consistently sought to tear the building down, remove architectural elements, and create a "dorm-for-hire" on the site.  

Each one of these plans have been stopped, and in 2006 the building was landmarked, thus ensuring the historic structure's physical preservation. Join us on Monday night as we strategize how to return the building to a true community use.

You help make it happen!


The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
232 East 11 Street, New York, NY 10003 : 212.475.9585 :


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