GROVE COURT, Greenwich Village

by Kevin Walsh

The Village is full of narrow alleys that lead to back houses (buildings that don’t front on the street but instead stand in back of houses that face the street and can be reached only by gates with key access).

Grove Court, in the bend of Grove Street just east of Hudson Street, is probably the best-known of these. It too requires key access by the residents of the brick townhouses in the back of the court. Way back in 1999 at the Dawn of Forgotten NY I was lucky enough to be taking a walk past when one of Grove Street’s denizens was letting himself through the gate, I asked politely if I could get in, and I got a few pictures. That was 14 years ago and time has flown!

The court goes back to 1848 when local grocer/tavern owner Samuel Cocks built it to house tradesmen who would likely frequent his establishment. A frequent trope in NYC housing is little alleys filled with housing for people with modest means that, over the decades and now centuries, became exclusive hideaways for the wealthy. Grove Court is one of those.



celticgods April 16, 2013 - 9:41 am

My grandparents lived on Grove Street when my grandfather was in France during WWI. I think my mother was born in early 1922 after they moved onto Bleecker Street and then Brooklyn after that.

Tal Barzilai April 17, 2013 - 6:01 pm

The brick wall would have look truly historically preserved if that couple didn’t write on it.

Killington July 24, 2013 - 11:45 pm

Agreed. Luke & Kate are now forever memorialized as low-lifes..

June Leiser August 9, 2013 - 8:07 pm

My great grandfather lived @ 10 1/ 2 Grove Court !

Kenny March 28, 2014 - 10:00 am

At least Luke and Kate had the forethought to tag their love in (appears to be) chalk. Maybe their relationship lasted as long as the graffiti did.
Didn’t Washington Irving live on Grove Street?

David Ingram January 31, 2018 - 5:48 am

I was an apprentice navigator on an English cargo ship in the 1950’s and often visited my good friends Fritz and France’s Day at their home, 1 Grove Court when the ship was in NY. So I have many fond memories of evenings in their book filled house. They had a large photo of their Nat Herreshoff yawl ‘Desperate Lark’ on the wall above the couch. They kept her moored in Eggemoggin Reach on Penobscot Bay in Maine where I finally got to board her, 40 years later! I had first met them at The British Apprentices Club in the Chelsea Hotel. I last saw Frances in 2000, when visiting from New Zealand. In her ’90’s she could still drive me round Portland Me looking at Art Galleries.


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