This almost-gone ad, seen from Sixth Avenue, is like a time capsule from the gritty, druggie Village of the 1960s and 1970s.
Judging by the few accounts of it I could find, the Village Plaza Hotel, at 79 Washington Place, was a squalid mess. Yes, as the ad says, it was air conditioned. But a 1972 New York Times article describes it as a dumping ground for criminally inclined welfare recipients.
And a Times article from 1967 cites it as the final home of Linda Fitzpatrick, the Greenwich, Connecticut teenager who was one half of the “Groovy Murders”—killed along with her hippie boyfriend, Groovy Hutchinson, on Avenue B that year.
According to the article, Linda Fitzpatrick’s wealthy family had no idea she was living in a filthy SRO hotel:
“The Fitzpatrick’s minds were eased when Linda assured them she had already made respectable living arrangements. ‘She told us that she was going to live at the Village Plaza Hotel, a very nice hotel on Washington Place, near the university, you know,’ her mother said.
“The Village Plaza, 79 Washington Place, has no doorman. A flaking sign by the tiny reception desk announces ‘Television for Rental’ amidst a forest of other signs; ‘No Refunds,’ ‘All, Rents Must be Paid in Advance,’ ‘No Checks Cashed,’ ‘No Outgoing Calls for Transients.’”
Tags: East Village in the 1960s, faded ads, Greenwich Village in the 1960s, Greenwich Village in the 1970s, groovy murders, Linda Fitzpatrick, Village Plaza Hotel, Washington Place Greenwich Village, Welfare hotels in New York City