Bleecker Street

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Coordinates: 40°43′49″N 74°0′9″W / 40.73028°N 74.00250°W / 40.73028; -74.00250

Bleecker Street near the corner of Sullivan Street

Bleecker Street is an east–west street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is most famous today as a Greenwich Village nightclub district. The street connects a neighborhood today popular for music venues and comedy, but which was once a major center for American bohemia. The street is named after the family name of Anthony Lispenard Bleecker, a banker, the father of Anthony Bleecker, a 19th-century writer, through whose family farm the street ran.[1]

Bleecker Street connects Abingdon Square (the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Hudson Street in the West Village) to the Bowery and East Village.

History[edit]

LeRoy Place, south side of Bleecker Street, drawn in 1831. After 1852, the economic status of the area declined and these aristocratic buildings were all demolished by 1875.

Bleecker Street is named by and after the Bleecker family because the street ran through the family's farm. In 1808, Anthony Lispenard Bleecker and his wife deeded to the city a major portion of the land on which Bleecker Street sits.[2]

Originally Bleecker Street extended from Bowery to Broadway, along the north side of the Bleecker farm, later as far west as Sixth Avenue. In 1829 it was joined with Herring Street, extending Bleecker Street northwest to Abingdon Square.

LeRoy Place[edit]

LeRoy Place is the former name of a block of Bleecker Street between Mercer and Greene Streets. This was where the first palatial "winged residences" were built. The effect was accomplished by making the central houses taller and closer to the street, while the other houses on the side were set back. The central buildings also had bigger, raised entrances and lantern-like roof projections. The houses were built by Isaac A. Pearson, on both sides of Bleecker Street. To set his project apart from the rest of the area, Pearson convinced the city to rename this block of the street after the prominent international trader Jacob LeRoy.[3][4][5][6]

Transportation[edit]

Bleecker Street is served by the 4, ​6, <6>​, B, ​D, ​F, <F>, and ​M trains at Bleecker Street/Broadway – Lafayette Street station. The 1 and ​2 trains serve the Christopher Street – Sheridan Square station one block north of Bleecker Street.

Traffic on the street is one-way, going southeast. In early December 2007, a bicycle lane was marked on the street.

The Bayard–Condict Building at 65 Bleecker Street
The James Roosevelt House at 58 Bleecker Street
The Village Gate at Thompson and Bleecker Streets

Notable places[edit]

Margaret Sanger Square, at the intersection of Mott Street and Bleecker Street in Manhattan
Florence Crittenton Mission, 21 Bleecker Street, 1893

Landmarks[edit]

In addition, there are several Federal architecture-style row houses at 7 to 13 and 21 to 25 Bleecker Street on easternmost block of Bleecker Street, in NoHo between Lafayette Street and the Bowery.[12] 21 and 29 Bleecker Street were also once the home of the National Florence Crittenton Mission, providing a home for "fallen women". 21 Bleecker Street's entrance now bears the lettering "Florence Night Mission", described by The New York Times in 1883 as "a row of houses of the lowest character".[13][14] The National Florence Crittenton Mission was an organization established in 1883 by Charles N. Crittenton. It attempted to reform prostitutes and unwed pregnant women through the creation of establishments where they were to live and learn skills.

The building at 58 Bleecker Street (formerly 64 Bleecker Street) was built in 1823 for James Roosevelt, great-grandfather of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was there that Elizabeth Blackwell, America's first female doctor, established a clinic with her sister Emily.[15]

Across the street from the former home of the National Florence Crittenton Mission is both the headquarters of Planned Parenthood, and the Catholic Sheen Center, immediately adjacent to it. Bleecker Street now features the Margaret Sanger Square, at the intersection with Mott Street. Bleecker Street was the original home of Sanger's Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, operated from another building from 1930 to 1973. The street features in the 2020 drama film Never Rarely Sometimes Always, written and directed by Eliza Hittman.

Night spots[edit]

Restaurants[edit]

Former[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

177 Bleecker Street. In Marvel Comics, 177A Bleecker Street is the location of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.

Literature[edit]

  • Ted Lampron's 2019 novel The Bleecker Street Murders features a storyline about crime on Bleecker Street and its notorious saloons and clubs in 1890–91.
  • Valenti Angelo's 1949 novel The Bells of Bleecker Street is set in the Italian American community in that neighborhood.
  • Nobel laureate Derek Walcott wrote a poem about Bleecker Street entitled "Bleecker Street, Summer".
  • In Marvel Comics, 177A Bleecker Street is the location of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
  • "The Repairer of Reputations"—the first short story in Robert W. Chambers 1895 collection The King in Yellowincludes a storyline featuring an armourer on Bleecker Street.

Film and television[edit]

Music[edit]

  • Gian-Carlo Menotti wrote an opera The Saint of Bleecker Street
  • Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki visited Bleecker Street during recording of her (Miss)understood album. The pictures were later published in Hamasaki's famous "Deji Deji Diary" that is published in each issue of ViVi Magazine.[24]
  • Iggy Pop discusses dying on Bleecker Street in his song "Punk Rocker".
  • The Simon & Garfunkel album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. contains a song called "Bleecker Street".
  • "Growing Old on Bleecker Street" is a song featured on the debut album, Living Room, of pop trio AJR.
  • "Downtown Bleecker" is a modern instrumental jazz piece for saxophone which appears on the digital EP Midnight Sun, produced by independent artist Simon Edward.
  • "Country Boy and Bleecker Street” is a song which appears on the 1967 album “H.P. Lovecraft”, by the folk-rock band H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Fred Neil has mentioned Bleecker Street in multiple works in his carrier, most notably in two of his album covers.
  • Peter Paul and Mary mentioned Bleecker Street in their song "Freight Train" on the album "In the Wind"
  • Joni Mitchell mentioned Bleecker Street in her song "Song for Sharon" on the album Hejira.

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moscow, Henry (1978). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Hagstrom Company. ISBN 978-0-8232-1275-0., p.29
  2. ^ Crane, Frank W. (November 18, 1945). "Many Titles in 'Village' Area Traced Back to Old Ownerships; Admiral Warren, Who Gave Greenwich Its Name, and Aaron Burr Appear Frequently – Trinity and Rhinelanders Big Holders". Real Estate. The New York Times. p. 121. It was Anthony Bleecker, one of the most prominent members of the family, who with his wife deeded to the city the greater part of Bleecker Street in 1808.
  3. ^ Harris, Luther S. (2003). Around Washington Square: an Illustrated History of Greenwich Village. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-8018-7341-X.
  4. ^ Burrows, Edwin G. and Wallace, Mike (1999). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-11634-8., p. 459
  5. ^ "Changing Types of City Dwellings: Statuary Marble Mantels Indicated the Fashionable Home of Former Age" The New York Times (November 22, 1914)
  6. ^ "LeRoy Place" Moving Uptown, New York Public Library exhibition
  7. ^ "NYC Parks — Bleecker Sitting Area". Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "Bleecker Street Sitting Area Renovation". GVSHP. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  9. ^ Patterson, Clayton. "OVERTHROW FANZINE" (PDF). Overthrow Boxing Club. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Moynihan, Colin (January 16, 2014). "Emptying a Building Long Home to Activists (Published 2014)". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Gray, Christopher (November 6, 1994). "Streetscapes/Mills House No. 1 on Bleecker Street; A Clean, Airy 1897 Home for 1,560 Working Men". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Moynihan, Colin (January 16, 2014). "Emptying a Building Long Home to Activists (Published 2014)". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Work Among the Fallen.; Opening the Florence Night Mission in Bleecker-Street". The New York Times. April 20, 1883.
  14. ^ "A Bleecker Street home for "fallen women"". Ephemeral New York. February 3, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Elizabeth Blackwell's NYC: The historic sites where America's first female doctor made her mark". 6sqft. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Jacobson, Aileen (April 20, 2020). "NoHo, Manhattan: A Place to 'Live and Work and Create'". The New York Times.
  17. ^ "Lorraine Hansberry Residence". NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. February 6, 2021.
  18. ^ Parker, Hershel (2002). Herman Melville: A Biography. Volume II, 1851–1891. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8018-8186-2.
  19. ^ Curley, Mallory (2010). A Cookie Mueller Encyclopedia. Randy Press.
  20. ^ Nimura, Janice P. (May 18, 2021). "A Jeweler and Sculptor Who Takes Inspiration From the Walls of Her Studio". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  21. ^ Nagourney, Adam (June 25, 2000). "For Gays, a Party In Search of a Purpose; At 30, Parade Has Gone Mainstream As Movement's Goals Have Drifted". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  22. ^ Jim Naureckas. "Bleecker Street: New York Songlines". nysonglines.com.
  23. ^ Cohen, Joyce (September 5, 2019). "They Wanted a Downtown Loft With Few Walls. Which One Would You Choose?". The New York Times.
  24. ^ "Ayumi Hamasaki". Memorial Hamasaki — DataBase pour Ayufans. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  25. ^ "Bleecker Street Lounge". Disneyland Paris. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  26. ^ Dimenstion 20, [Dimenstion 20]. (2020, October 30). Borough of Dreams (Ep. 9) │ The Unsleeping City [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22jrl5-8tNQ

External links[edit]