A mecca for counter-culturists since the 1960s
The Yippie Building at 9 Bleecker Street has been revived. This is a place that matters, and should be honored and documented as a site of NYCs living cultural history. (October 2011)
9 Bleecker’s history is just as diverse as the constituents who pass through the doors for dance, counter culture conversation, reminiscing and a good cup of joe. The building, in the style of the late 19th century brick house, includes original glass gaslight cap archway interior, covered over brass ceiling fixture, the original door to the building on display on the first floor. The architecture of the building tells the story of Lower Manhattan as it has transformed from a hub of shipping, transportation and factories, to a residential community to a commercial community. It began as a cigar factory, transformed into a publishing house, transformed into the headquarters for the Yippie movement and is now struggling to transform into the Museum of Dissent and Counter Culture Ephemera. In the quickly commercializing Bowery, this is one of the last common culturally infused spaces that the up and coming generations have to visit and enjoy.
The building, due to legal disputes is going into receivership, which means the courts will appoint a landlord whose sole purpose it is to make the building as lucrative as possible. This would include the potential eviction of the Museum of Dissent, the potential eviction of the Yippies—the original stewards of the building—as well as the youth and Lower Manhattan communities that come to the building to partake in community and counterculture education. Should the building be removed or changed into another venture, it would only be because of a few individuals’ interest in making money instead of preserving one of the last original structures in the area.