Bleecker Street is a west-east street in New York City borough of Manhattan. It is most famous today as a Greenwich Village nightclub district. The street connects a neighborhood today popular for music venues and comedy, but which was once a major center for American bohemia.
LeRoy Place, south side of Bleecker street, drawn in 1831. After 1852, the economic status of the area declined and these aristocratic buildings had all been demolished by 1875.
Bleecker Street is named by and after the Bleecker family because the street ran through the farm of the family. In 1808, Anthony Bleecker and his wife deeded to the city a major portion of the land on which Bleecker Street sits.
Originally Bleecker Street extended only as far west as Sixth Avenue. In 1829 it was joined with Herring Street, extending Bleecker Street northwest to Abingdon Square.
LeRoy Place is the former name of a block of Bleecker Street between Mercer and Greene Streets. This was where the first palatial "winged residences" were built. The effect was accomplished by making the central houses taller and closer to the street, while the other houses on the side were set back. The central buildings also had bigger, raised entrances and lantern-like roof projections. The houses were built by Isaac A. Pearson, on both sides of Bleecker Street. In order to set his project apart from the rest of the area, Pearson convinced the city to rename this block of the street after the prominent international trader Jacob LeRoy.
Joni Mitchel sings in her album "Hejira", Song of Sharon: "There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street; I went in to see her as a kind of joke; And she lit a candle for my love luck; And eighteen bucks went up in smoke."
Japanese pop superstar Ayumi Hamasaki visited Bleecker Street during recording of her (Miss)understood album. The pictures were later published in Hamasaki's famous "Deji Deji Diary" that is published in each issue of ViVi Magazine.
^Crane, Frank W. "Many Titles in 'Village' Area Traced Back to Old Ownerships; Admiral Warren, Who Gave Greenwich Its Name, and Aaron Burr Appear Frequently --Trinity and Rhinelanders Big Holders", The New York Times, November 18, 1945, Real Estate section, p. 121. "It was Anthony Bleecker, one of the most prominent members of the family, who with his wife deeded to the city the greater part of Bleecker Street in 1808."