A Hand-Drawn Map of Bohemian Greenwich Village, 1925

Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights
June 5 2013 1:35 PM

A Hand-Drawn Map of Bohemian Greenwich Village, 1925

The Vault is Slate's new history blog. Like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter @slatevault; find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

This map is an affectionate representation of Greenwich Village printed in a 1925 issue of Quill magazine. Billed as “almost accurate,” the map was sketched by the magazine’s publisher, Robert Edwards.

Quill, founded in 1917, carried the tagline “A Magazine of Greenwich Village.” During a time when the neighborhood represented the utmost in urban bohemia, the magazine covered the art, literature, and culture of its residents. Quill even addressed sex directly, publishing the work of the controversial Margaret Sanger.

Advertisement

Edwards’ map showed the businesses that he thought were important to his community: bookshops, coffee shops, restaurants, theaters. Many of these landmarks are now gone. The website Greenwich Village History collects images of some of the vanished businesses’ interiors and exteriors, including a photograph of the Washington Square Book Shop at 17 W. 8th St. (now a spa). Some spots, like the Provincetown Playhouse at 133 MacDougal, still persist, having made it through renovations and changes in ownership.

Besides showing the businesses that mattered to Edwards, the map gives a sense of the diversity of populations living in the Village. Washington Square North, Edwards wrote, was the property of the “Aristocrats” and the “Idle Rich.” “Erin” (Irish immigrants) held down W. 10th St. between Waverly and Greenwich, and “Italia” and “Artists” populated several blocks on the south side of the map.

The corner of Cornelia and Bleecker carries a simple notation: "Tough Kids."

I first saw this map in a post on the Harry Ransom Center's blog, where it was featured in connection with their exhibit about Frank Shay's iconic Greenwich Village bookshop.

Greenwich Village Map

A map of Greenwich Village fromThe Greenwich Village Quill(1925). Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 18 2014 10:42 AM Scalia’s Liberal Streak The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 18 2014 9:57 AM “The Sun Never Sets Upon the British Empire,” Explained in GIF by an Old Children’s Toy
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 18 2014 8:53 AM The Other Huxtable Effect Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 10:07 AM “The Day It All Ended” A short story from Hieroglyph, a new science fiction anthology.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?