Why the “New” WestView News?

WestView News began nearly two decades ago as the Charles Street News. With amazing insight, George Capsis, a long-time resident of Charles Street, decided to expand the Charles Street News to become WestView, which became WestView News about 2012.

WestView News grew into a monthly paper which residents of the West Village (as far east as 5th Avenue, and as far south as Washington Square Village) looked forward to. WestView had local stories no one else had. It fought hard to keep St Vincent’s Hospital from closing, played an important role in keeping Beth Israel Hospital open, served as a forum for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, had local listings, pieces on the arts, local fashion, and historical pieces about local architecture. For a period a Federal Judge wrote, as did some major columnists who donated a piece on the side. All writers were volunteers, and the editorial staff worked for very little.

But as George got older he started to allow his caregiver to have more of an active role. Over the last several months the entire staff quit, and many of the core writers stopped writing. The last issue of WestView News was disconnected, for the most part, from Greenwich Village (except for some excellent pieces by Brian Pape, who will be joining us).

So the staff decided to take matters into their own hands, partly based on an agreement by George to pass on ownership and control to Arthur Z. Schwartz, our local District Leader and a prolific contributor over the years, and partly because we appreciate the spirit of Greenwich Village, which was once declared by a small group of artists as “The Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square,” even taking over the Stanford White-designed arch in the middle of Washington Square Park to prove their point.

So here we are with our first issue: The “New” WestView News. You may see one more issue of the old, dying WestView News, but the local writing staff, production staff and photographer Maggie B. have all come together to continue the tradition. We continue to respect George, who, we hope, will join his old staff once again, absent the distractions.

Free local press is so important to our identity as a community, and we hope to grow what we do – in print and online.

Please write for us! Send letters and comments. You can send hard copy to New Westview News at 78 West 12th Street, or email us at editor@newwestview.com

—The New WestView News Team

The Washington Arch in Washington Square Park is a ubiquitous symbol of Greenwich Village. Seen in this 1900 photo looking south from Fifth Avenue, The Arch commemorates the centennial of George Washington’s 1789 inauguration as first President of the United States. Constructed of white Tuckahoe marble as designed by Stanford White, who referenced triumphal arches built during the Roman empire era, the Arch was built and dedicated in 1895. It was not until 1918 that two statues of Washington were added to the north side piers, facing the current southern terminus of Fifth Avenue. The horse-drawn carriages in the photo rode through and around the Arch as Fifth Avenue continued south into lower Manhattan, on streets that were later changed from Fifth Avenue to LaGuardia Place and West Broadway. Credit: the Village Alliance.