GROVE Court in the Village can be found in a bend in Grove Street between Bedford and Hudson Streets. In fact if you look at a street map you will notice that four streets in the Village have a similar bend: Grove, Barrow, Morton and Leroy. The story goes that the bends came about because the streets were rerouted at an old property line. Grove differs from the other four, as its bend is wide enough to build several “back houses” which are a fairly frequent occurrence in the Village.
As you can see there are six brick townhouses in the back of the court, which has a gate that requires a key entry. 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.
This court reminds me of an unusual occurrence that happened in the spring of 1999, the Dawn of Forgotten New York. I was emailed, before the days of facebook and twitter, by a woman who was intrigued by Forgotten NY and wanted to meet me. We met at a Starbucks at Broadway and 80th, and I had one of my average two coffees per year. The memory is hazy after nearly a quarter century but we wound up taking the train downtown to the Village, as she must have wanted me to show her some stuff down there, and we wound up on Grove Street. As it happened a resident with a key happened by and we gained access, the one and only time I have been in Grove Court. I snapped a couple of photos with my film camera that are in a sealed plastic envelope in the closet. We later wound up on Prince Street, but that’s all I recall. We were apparently undazzled with each other, and I never saw her again nor do I recall her name after all these years, but at least I got into Grove Court!
If you’re the woman who was with me that day, Comments are open!