Bank Street (Manhattan)

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Turning from Bleecker to Bank Street

Bank Street is a primarily residential street in the West Village part of Greenwich Village in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It runs for a total length of about 710 metres (2,330 ft) from West Street, crossing Washington Street and Greenwich Street, to Hudson Street and Bleecker Street where it is interrupted by the Bleecker Playground, north of which is Abingdon Square; it then continues to Greenwich Avenue, crossing West 4th Street and Waverly Place. Vehicular traffic runs west-east along this one-way street. As with several other east-west streets in the Far West Village, the three blocks west of Hudson Street are paved with setts.

Bank Street is named for the Bank of New York, which bought eight lots on the street in 1798 and established a branch there. A clerk in the bank's main office on Wall Street had contracted yellow fever, leading the bank to buy land in Greenwich Village in order to have a branch office away from Wall Street where it could conduct business in the event of future emergencies.[1][2][3]

Historical locations and notable residents[edit]

The Bank Street College of Education, which was founded in 1916 as the Bureau of Educational Experiments, was located on Bank Street from 1930 to 1970. It retains the name but is no longer located there.[4]

Grace Jones once lived at no. 166.[2]

The former Bell Laboratories headquarters, now a National Historic Landmark, occupied the Westbeth complex at no. 155 on the north side of Bank Street. That complex now houses the Westbeth Artists Community where a large number of notable artists have been in residence. It also provides several performance spaces.

The HB Studio, an acting studio founded in 1945 by Herbert Berghof and his wife Uta Hagen, is located at no. 120. Many notable actors have taught and studied there. Opposite, Pearl Bailey lived in no. 109 in 1968. Next, in no. 105 lived John Lennon and Yoko Ono from 1971 until 1973; their neighbours at no. 107 were John Cage[5] and Merce Cunningham,[6] whose phone they'd use to avoid FBI wiretapping.[7] Cunningham's studio was in the Westbeth complex, a block away.

The 17-year-old Betty Bacall, soon to be known as Lauren Bacall, moved into no. 75. On February 2, 1979, Sid Vicious died of a drug overdose in no. 63.[2]

The journalist Charles Kuralt lived downstairs at no. 34 which was built in 1844 in the Gothic Revival style. The upstairs apartment of that house was described in Martin Amis' 1984 novel Money and Christopher Hitchens was a house guest there for six months when he arrived in New York from England. Mark Knopfler bought the neighbouring no. 36 in the late 1980s. The restaurant The Waverly Inn at no. 16 was bought in 2006 by Graydon Carter who moved in at no. 22.[8]

The writer John Dos Passos lived at no. 11 in 1924–25 when he worked on his novel Manhattan Transfer. His publisher, James Laughlin, lived next door at no. 9.[2] Writer Willa Cather lived at no. 5 from 1913 until 1927 when that building was demolished during the construction of extensions to the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line; it became then nos. 1–7 where Patricia Highsmith lived with her family in 1938/39.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Naming New York: Manhattan Places and How They Got Their Names, Sanna Feirstein, p. 89, published 2001, ISBN 0-8147-2712-3
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bank Street", New York Songlines
  3. ^ Henry Moscow (1990). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. Fordham University Press. p. 25. ISBN 9780823212750. 
  4. ^ "A History of Bank Street". Bank Street College of Education. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ John Cage Talking To Hans G. Helms On Music And Politics, Edition S Press – S Press 27/28/29, 1975, liner notes: "This interview took place in John Cage's apartment, 107 Bank Street, New York City, on April 7th, 1972, during the production of the TV film BIRDCAGE."
  6. ^ Michael D. Minichiello (July 1, 2009). "Arnold S. Warwick". Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  7. ^ "Uncovering The 'Truth' Behind Lennon's FBI Files", David Bianculli, Terry Gross, Jon Wiener, Fresh Air October 8, 2010, NPR
  8. ^ "The Best Little Block in the World: Bank Street", Peter Foges, May 14, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′11.6″N 74°0′20.28″W / 40.736556°N 74.0056333°W / 40.736556; -74.0056333