Just north of Washington Square Park between Fifth Avenue and University Place is one of the most charming streets in the city, Washington Mews. It seems out of time from the busy streets around it with little “houses” on a cobble stone lane. The buildings on it were originally stables for horses and carriages in back of the elegant townhouses that that were built on the north of the square and south of 8th Street in the early 1800s. In fact “mews” is an old word for stable.
In 1916 as automobiles became increasingly prevalent, the buildings were turned into studios and residences for artists. As New York University grew, it took over the buildings in the 1950s and they are now used as offices and faculty housing.
It is actually a private street with gates on both ends and the public is not allowed, but have a look from the gate if you want an atmospheric step back in time.
Learn more about remnants of New York History in the Secrets of Greenwich Village Tour.