A determined-looking Doris Diether in her high school graduation photo.
Classic snaps of Doris Diether, iconic Greenwich Village activist
December 25, 2021
BY THE VILLAGE SUN | At this time of year, a few hundred people would usually be getting a holiday greeting card in the mail from Doris Diether, the legendary Greenwich Village activist and Community Board 2 member.
Always included inside the card was a typewritten recipe on a little clipped-out square of white paper. Last year’s was “Oven-fried Chicken” (ingredients: margarine, Bisquick baking mix, paprika, salt, pepper and broiler-fryer chicken, cut-up).
Sadly, this holiday season there are no cards from Diether, who died Sept. 16 at age 92.
Diether was an ally of Jane Jacobs, fighting to save Greenwich Village from Robert Moses’ “urban renewal” and Lower Manhattan Expressway projects that would have destroyed the historic neighborhood. This was back in the days before principled community activism had been smeared as “anti-progress” and NIMBYism, as it is today in some quarters.
Diether, who became a self-taught zoning maven, was the city’s longest-serving community board member. Thanks to recently imposed term limits, her record will forever stand.
In lieu of one of Doris’s holiday greeting cards, here are some photos — assembled by her friend Hellen Osgood — that were on display at Doris’s memorial in Washington Square Park in October. It seemed like a good time to run them in the newspaper.