Senator Duane joined the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), community, business, and religious leaders, area residents and others at a press conference and Columbus Day celebration that honored the South Village's Italian-American heritage and called upon the City to confer historic district status upon the neighborhood to preserve the social, cultural, and architectural qualities that distinguish it.
Senator Duane has been a longtime supporter of the South Village Historic District, having allocated member initiative funding for GVSHP's report, "The South Village: A Proposal for Historic District Designation," which was the result of years of research and proactive consultation with community groups. Earlier this year, he wrote to New York City Landmarks Preservation (LPC) Commission Chair Robert Tierney to urge LPC to begin the process of creating a South Village Historic District according the boundaries laid out by GVSHP.
Standing in Father Demo Square, on Sixth Avenue between Bleecker and Carmine Streets, Senator Duane thanked GVSHP staff and volunteers for their tremendous efforts; spoke of how Italian-Americans are a defining community in the South Village, which played host to a succession of quintessential New York constituencies; and called upon LPC to act quickly with a historic district designation to save the neighborhood's remaining historic buildings from demolition.
At the event, GVSHP announced the release of a 90-page report it commissioned by scholar Mary Elizabeth Brown of Marymount Manhattan College entitled "The Italians of the South Village," chronicling the Italian-American community's history and heritage in the neighborhood.