Peter Warren acquired most of what is known as the West Village
back in 1731,
either through his dutiful service as a pirate for Mother
England or on his own as an astute businessman. He amassed
five parcels that spanned from Christopher Street to Chelsea
(West 21st Street). Upon his death, his three daughters inherited
most of the West Village. Many Village streets were named
for the extended Warren family including Abingdon Square and
Delancy Street, names still in use today. Others, such as
Skinner Road and Fitzroy Street were changed to Christopher
Street and Waverly Place respectively. By 1819, Abraham Van
Nest owned much of the Warren girls land and upon his death
in 1864, it was slated for development.
then, the Village, like all quality real estate, has grown
and changed hands many times. This continues to this day,
as does the historic flavor of the irregular patterned streets
and off the grid layout that we, as Villagers, cherish. This
section of The Village remains the most historic. No building
is more historically significant than the Jefferson
Market Courthouse (now library) that adorns the corner
of 10th Street and Sixth Avenue. Next to the courthouse stood
a Venetian Gothic style jail (razed in the 1920's) and then
replaced by the infamous Women's House of Detention in 1929.
one cannot forget the girls, whose heads could peak out from
the barred windows, screaming to their friends, passersby
and fellow residents.
to the 1969 designation of Greenwich Village as an historic
district, much of the West Village remains unchanged. Let's
keep it that way!