Alphabet City, Then and Now

Located at the northern edge of Alphabet City, EVGB represents the latest phase of nearly 200 years of urban development on New York’s East Side. This thriving, multicultural neighborhood is a hub for great art, fine cuisine, and historic architecture, while also being home to some of the city’s most influential counterculture institutions.
Keep reading to learn more about Alphabet City, past and present.

Two hundred years ago, the stretch of streets that now make up Alphabet City was part of a plot of farmland once worked by Peter Stuyvesant, forebear of the Dutch colonial family who, along with the Astors, owned much of Manhattan in the 1800s. Stuyvesant’s descendants sold the land to other wealthy Manhattan families who built large townhomes in the area, transforming the farmland into one of the city’s well-heeled enclaves. By the middle of the 1800s, these same families had begun to move uptown, making way for a wave of German immigrants who turned the neighborhood into “Little Germany.”

By 1900, the area was one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in New York City, with many residents finding low-wage work at nearby garment factories. The construction of the city’s subway system allowed workers to move to different parts of the city, opening up Alphabet City for a new wave of immigrants from Puerto Rico. The former “Little Germany” became “Loisaida,” Spanglish for “Lower East Side,” and was the birthplace of the Nuyorican movement, which blended the Puerto Rican immigrant experience with urban life in America to create a thriving subculture. To this day, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe stands as one of the city’s most important spaces for Nuyorican art and culture.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the relatively low rent in Alphabet City attracted bohemian artists, bringing a new cultural cachet to the often drug- and crime-plagued neighborhood. As the city’s demographics continued to change and the area’s art scene attracted increased attention and investment, Alphabet City entered a new phase, with formerly vacant storefronts being turned into high-end restaurants and apartments being renovated and brought up to modern standards.

Today, residents of the East Village rentals at EVGB live within walking distance of some of the hippest coffee shops, tastiest eateries, and trendiest boutiques in Manhattan, thanks to the building’s proximity to this historic neighborhood. So, head over to the EVGB availability page, and take your place in Alphabet City’s exciting next chapter.

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