clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

CurbedWire: Special Provincetown Playhouse Edition

New, 9 comments

GREENWICH VILLAGE?Anyone who thought that the news about NYU's new plan for the Provincetown Playhouse would please critics might want to start reassessing. The react is will start in earnest after the full plan circulates, but the early verdict is lukewarm. Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which has led the campaign to save the Playhouse, called the revision is "a victory for our efforts to prevent NYU from erasing New York's history" and that "agreeing to preserve the existing theater within the new building is a giant victory." Then, the "howevers" start coming, as in, "However, the remainder of the building is still quite historic, and we are still very concerned about any plan that would include demolishing it."

Here are some other passages from the email:

The original Provincetown Playhouse from 1916-1918 was at 139 MacDougal Street, at the north end of the current building, and iconic sites from the heyday of Greenwich Village bohemia including the Liberal Club and the Washington Square Bookshop, which was the hangout for Max Eastman, Theodore Dreiser, Margaret Sanger, and Sinclair Lewis, were found in #135 and #137 MacDougal Street (all now part of the Provicnetown Playhouse and Apartments at 133-139 MacDougal Street, which NYU proposed to demolish)...In short, saving the Provincetown Playhouse Theater is important, but the ENTIRE building is historically significant, and we would continue to argue that the whole thing should be saved. ...We believe that the remainder of the building, which at various times in its 160 year history served as home to the famous Liberal Club, Washington Square Bookstore, original Provincetown Playhouse, and the Provincetown Apartments, is historically significant as well, and should NOT be demolished, as NYU's still plans. The Liberal Club was one of the great intellectual hangouts of Greenwich Village's bohemian period, and the Washington Square Bookstore was one of its most notorious literary haunts. The Provincetown Apartments have over the years housed actors Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson and artist Dorothy Gillespie, among many others.

Bottom line: it's not looking like it's over just yet. [CurbedWire Inbox]