Volume 77 / Number 48 - April 30 - May 6, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since
1933

1Celebrating 75 years:

Front-page news from back when The Villager was new

Front-page articles from The Villager’s early days show the paper was doing a lot more than just reporting on hokey happenings like flowerbox competitions and mass singalongs in Washington Square Park (even though the newspaper took great delight in organizing both of these). Major projects, like the construction of the High Line and the demolition of the Sixth Ave. El, made the news. So did quality of life issues, like creating more indoor market buildings to free the streets of pushcart vendors, park redesigns and the hotly debated issue of outdoor cafes on swank lower Fifth Ave. Another article reveals that the Washington Square Park fountain was made into a de facto kids’ play pool in the 1930s, though now the fountain appears to be headed toward more ornamental use in the Parks Department’s current renovation project. Interviews with famed muckraking journalist and local luminary Ida Tarbell were another favorite of the early Villager. Most of these articles are from the 1930s, though the one on the Norden bombsight’s Village origins is from 1945 and the story on the early TV studios in the Wanamaker building is from the 1940s, as well. The Wanamaker department store (in which the K-mart store at Fourth Ave. and Eighth St. is currently located) was a major presence in the Village and a major advertiser in The Villager.

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