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East Village Architecture

The East Village's reputation for quirkiness is evidenced not only by its residents and sites but also in the many incongruous structures that somehow coexist so easily that they can go almost unnoticed. Keep your eyes open as you explore the streets. You never know what might turn up: the Hells Angels' Headquarters tucked into a residential block of 3rd Street between 1st and 2nd avenues, surrounded by a bevy of show-stopping bikes. The architectural "joke" on New York City atop the Red Square building on Houston Street at Norfolk, where a statue of Lenin points to the sky and a clock has lost its notion of time. The shingled Cape Cod–style house perched on the apartment building at the northwest corner of Houston and 1st Avenue, one of the city's many unique rooftop retreats. It's best viewed from the east. Two privately owned, nearly hidden but airy "marble" cemeteries (New York Marble Cemetery and the New York City Marble Cemetery) established in the 1830s on 2nd Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets hold the remains of thousands in underground, marble-lined vaults thought to prevent the spread of disease in a time marked by cholera epidemics. The gardens are surrounded by 12-foot walls made of Tuckahoe marble, and are entered through wrought-iron gates. Although rarely open to the public they can be visited by appointment.

Updated: 2014-06-25

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