If you happen to be in the West Village on a beautiful spring or summer day, please take a walk down Grove Street—it will be one of the most pleasant city strolls you’ll ever experience.
Starting from Grove Street’s eastern end—where it meets Christopher Street, across from the historic Stonewall Inn—Google Maps notes that it is a six-minute walk down to its western end where Grove hits Hudson Street. But I assure you, this is no brisk six minutes. The narrow tree-lined Grove Street, flanked by a mixed bag of 19th-century architecture, calls for more of a leisurely walk. Once you get to Bedford Street, look to your right to find the oldest wood-frame house in the Village. Due to devastating fires across Manhattan, wood-frame construction was banned in 1849, and this home, built in 1822, is one of the very few remaining.
Cross Bedford, but make sure you’re on the left side so that you’re able to get a proper look at Grove Court, an enchanting private outdoor space made viewable by the street’s gentle curve and a wrought iron gate. Set back from Grove Street, the town houses of Grove Court were originally built between 1852 and 1854 in what was then the backyard of the Federal-style homes (1820–1834) that sit directly on Grove Street. Originally erected by a local lawyer to house the working class, the town houses of Grove Court are today worth millions of dollars. The residents of Grove Court maintain a small garden that sits in the middle of the court, delighting passersby throughout the year with unique seasonal flowers and decor. As you continue along to the end of the street, be sure to catch the facade of the original five street-facing Federal-style townhomes that are just as charming as their setback counterparts.
And, as a bonus, once you get to the end of Grove, cross Hudson Street and make a left. Right before you get to the end of the block will be one of the most picturesque little gardens in the city, owned by the Church of St. Luke in the Fields and open to the public. Take a seat on one of the benches and enjoy some time among the flowers and birds.