Italians Of The South Village


Report commissioned by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and funded by The J.M. Kaplan Fund in 2007.

From the report:

Beginning in the last decades of the nineteenth century, the southern part of Greenwich Village, known as the South Village, became a bustling Italian enclave. Between the 1880s and the 1920s, over 50,000 Italians settled in this area south of Washington Square Park [Figure 1].    These immigrants occupied the newly‐built tenements and the converted old row houses, raised their families, attended one of the two Italian Catholic churches in the area, worked in the neighboring manufacturing districts, and opened their own businesses, establishing a community of Italian immigrants and Italian‐Americans, all of whom have contributed greatly to the history of Greenwich Village.  This essay will explain the conditions in Italy which prompted these immigrants to come to America, their journey to the South Village, and the formation of a viable Italian‐American culture that had an important impact on Greenwich Village throughout the twentieth century and even into the twenty‐first century.