It is 8th Street, but from Third Avenue to Avenue A it is called St. Marks Place and is named for St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, which is not even on 8th Street, or St. Marks Place, but at the intersection of 10th Street, Second Avenue, and Stuyvesant Street. The land there has been a site of Christian worship since 1660. The history of St. Marks Place doesn’t go back that far, but a surprising amount of history has happened on these four blocks.
2 St. Marks Place was the location of the legendary jazz venue the Five Spot Café
8 St. Marks Place was the location of the first cooking school in the country, the New York Cooking School, founded in 1876 by Juliet Corson
33 St. Marks Place was the home of poet Anne Waldman
from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s and in 1977 Manic Panic, the first U.S. boutique to sell punk rock
attire, opened here.
60 St. Marks Place was where Joan Mitchell
had a studio from 1951 to 1957.
77 St. Marks Place was where Leon Trotsky
worked on the dissident newspaper Novy Mir
(The New World) in 1917.
85 St. Marks Place was the birthplace of Lyonel Feininger
, the painter and caricaturist, on July 17, 1871.
That’s just some of the history of this East Village street.
Incidentally, St. Mark is the patron saint of notaries and the protector of Egypt, interpreters, secretaries, tanners, shoemakers, painters, pharmacists, glaziers, opticians, basket weavers, and Spanish cattle breeders, making him about as varied and interesting as St. Marks Place is today!