Saturday, 28 June 2008

Saturday Photo: Jane Jacobs' House in New York

Shortly after World War II, Jane Jacobs and her husband Bob moved into a three story building at 555 Hudson in the New York's Greenwich Village. Over the next two decades, they transformed the place into a comfortable home for their family of two sons and a daughter. The bedrooms were upstairs, and the living room, dining room and kitchen were on the ground floor. By all accounts they liked the place a lot--it served as Jane's point of departure for her ground breaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. But at the end of the 1960s they opted to move to Toronto and Canada, in large part because of their opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Since then 555 Hudson has gone through many changes. In recent years it's been returned to retail use: for a while it was an upscale kitchen shop, and now it is home to City Crickets, an equally upscale children's store.

Next fall my book The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs Street and Beyond will be published and right now we're lining up photos to illustrate it. The one was provided by Anne Marie of City Crickets, and we'll probably use it. Thanks a lot, Anne Marie.

1 comment:

Jack Ruttan said...

Reminds me of Double Hook. Despite the shelves and cash register, I kept thinking I was wandering into someone's living room.

Greene Street isn't exactly Greenwich Village, however, though I like wandering there.