Gramercy History & Culture
The development of the streets to the east of Union Square began soon after that park was laid out, in 1830. Samuel B. Ruggles planned the area and helped create Gramercy Park. He also named Irving Place after Washington Irving, though the claim that the writer once lived in the brick house at Irving and 17th is most likely a later fabrication. Development made its way east over time — Stuyvesant Square was laid out in 1836, while the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village developments followed much later, in 1947. The Players and the National Arts Club, both on Gramercy Park, are two of the most famous landmarks that survive from the 19th century. New Yorkers today, however, are more likely to think of music venues Irving Plaza and Gramercy Theatre first when it comes to the area’s cultural offerings.