Volume 80, Number 4 | June 23 - 29, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Minetta Brook, Molotov cocktails, Soho lofts legalized and $57 rent

The June 23, 1960, issue of The Villager reported that Minetta Brook, the 3-mile-long river that flows under Manhattan’s streets, was brought back to the surface by excavations for a new apartment building on Sheridan Square. Work was halted while workers tried to find a burst water main, and eventually determined that they had stumbled upon an underground remnant of the forest that Manhattan used to be.

In the classified section of the same issue, a two-bedroom apartment on E. Fifth St. and Avenue A was listed as available to rent for $57 per month.

The June 25, 1970, issue of The Villager reported that live-in studio lofts in Soho were made legal, after having been a common occurrence for some time. Under the new law, only working artists would be eligible to live in Soho, since the justification for legalizing habitation of the lofts was that artists needed the unusually large (for Manhattan) spaces to work.

The same issue of The Villager reported
that negotiations between the City Com-mission on Human Rights and 12 of New York’s largest advertising agencies resulted in an increase from 691 minority employees in 1968 to 1,365 at the time of the article.

The same issue of the paper also reported that three Molotov cocktails were exploded at the construction site of New York University’s Bobst Library.

The June, 19, 1980, issue of The Villager reported that repairs of damage caused by an accidental fire in St. Mark’s Church (the oldest religious site and second oldest public building in New York City) were completed; and the next phase of the restoration — the raising of $1 million to ensure the church’s future preservation — had begun. The church was already serving as the vibrant arts and community center that it still is today.

Lilly O’Donnell




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