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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Photos: No stranger in this Village, James Baldwin recognized with official plaque

New York City laid a claim to one of its most distinguished native sons last Wednesday, October 7, when a plaque honoring James Baldwin was officially unveiled at 81 Horatio Street in Greenwich Village.

The plaque in honor of James Baldwin at 81 Horatio Street
in New York City, unveiled on Oct. 7, 2015.

Baldwin lived at 81 Horatio Street from 1958 to 1961 and wrote part of his 1962 novel Another Country there. The plaque commemorates his time at the address and acknowledges in a more tacit way the influence Greenwich Village had on Baldwin’s art and activism ever since he first found a refuge there, while still in his teens, in the early 1940s. (Rufus Scott, the doomed protagonist of Another Country, thinks of the Village as “the place of liberation”—years before real-life events in the neighborhood would give that term added resonance.)

The plaque is a project of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, with the support of the Two Boots Foundation; its unveiling made an apt coda to the recent citywide “Year of James Baldwin” marking what would have been the author’s 90th year.

At the ceremony Library of America publisher Max Rudin was part of a roster of speakers that included James Baldwin’s nephew Trevor Baldwin, writer Fran Lebowitz, and Gregory Pardlo, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

Enjoy photos from the scene via the gallery below, and click here for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s video of the complete ceremony.

All photos © Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Trevor Baldwin addresses the crowd on Oct. 7, 2015.

Library of America Publisher Max Rudin, writer Fran Lebowitz,
and Karen Loew of the Greenwich Village Society for
Historic Preservation before the unveiling on Oct. 7, 2015.

Max Rudin offers remarks on Oct. 7, 2015.

A crowd fills Horatio Street to hear Fran Lebowitz speak
from the stoop (far right) on Oct. 7, 2015.

Click here for complete information on Later Novels, the third and final volume in The Library of America’s Baldwin edition.

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