Women Making History in Hudson Square

March 2, 2021

In 2021, accomplishments of women have reached new heights, as Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States. Each March, we come together to celebrate Women’s History Month, a time to honor the great women in our lives, in society and in history. The past, present, and future of Hudson Square is driven by the brilliant, resilient, and dedicated female minds. Below are just some of the women in our neighborhood who are paving the way for others, and creating lasting impact on our future.

Women in History:

Did you know that Hudson Square was once home to the vice presidential mansion? After the Revolutionary War and during America’s first presidency, Richmond Hill Mansion was home to vice president John Adams and his wife, Abigail. Abigail Adams, one of America’s founding mothers, was especially fond of living in Hudson Square, calling the estate “the most delicious spot I ever saw”.   Embedded in Hudson Square’s history is the early women’s rights movement, as Abigail Adams famously advocated to her husband for the rights of women and marginalized people. Her husband frequently sought her advice and preserved letters show their back and forth on national and political matters. Abigail argued for more property rights and better education for eighteenth century women throughout her life. In 1776 she famously wrote to her husband and the Continental Congress, requesting “Remember the ladies, and be more favorable and generous to them than your ancestors.”

Women in Media:

You may know that Hudson Square was the former printing district. As the printing business began to leave Manhattan, Hudson Square shifted from its printing roots. Creative Ad agencies moved in and took the printers’ place. Hudson Square today is a hub for media companies, many of which have strong female leadership. Half of Horizon Media’s top level executives are women and their Chief Strategy Officer is Eva Kantrowitz.

Edelman Communications, headquartered at 250 Hudson Street, has leadership positions filled with women, including two members of their executive committee: Katie Burke, Chief Strategy Officer and Judy John, Global Creative Officer and its New York operations is led by Deidre Latour.

Additionally, there are other companies in Hudson Square overseen by women. Biolumina, a full-service, integrated agency delivering customized, data-driven solutions for oncology brands, is led by President and CEO Kirsten Kantak as well as Chief Creative Officer Diane Iler-Smith.

United Entertainment Group (UEG), who partner with some of the world’s most prominent artists, athletes and personalities has Mary Scott at the helm (President, Global Integrated Communications).

InDemand, the pioneer and world leader in providing exciting transactional entertainment delivered through television’s most innovative technologies has Dale Hopkins as President, a role she has held since 2017.

Women in Journalism:

50% of ProPublica’s top executive staff is female with a female Managing editor, Robin Fields, and their Vice President of Development, Ragan Rhyne. Hudson Square is also home to NY Media’s The Cut and The Strategist, two publications that focus on women’s interests. The Cut’s new editor in chief is also a woman, Lindsay Peoples Wagner. 1010 Wins, a New York City staple for decades, is headlined by reporters like Juliet Papa, who have made the airwaves home for over 30 years. And of course,  NYPR’s headquarters are in Hudson Square (on the site of Abigail Adam’s former abode!), home to their leading President & CEO Goli Sheikholeslami and all of the many podcasts and radio shows with creating edge female hosts (such as the popular duo Two Dope Queens.) Additionally, Gothamist, a website about New York City news, arts and events, and food, is run by executive director and co-founder Jen Chung.

The Financial Times has a New York office located at 330 Hudson Street. “FT” is a daily newspaper published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. The publication has been around since 1888, but is currently led by Editor-in-chief Roula Khalaf

Women in Publishing:

Carolan R. Workman, Executive Chair and President of Workman Publishing, has been working at Workman for over 40 years. Her husband, Peter Workman, founded the company and Corolan established and led the international publishing division and, as corporate officer, was involved in many aspects of the business. Since Peter’s death in 2013, she has presided over the company and is determined that Workman’s uniqueness and culture success will continue to thrive.

Women in Fitness:

Hudson Square is home to many boutique fitness studios that promote women’s health and empowerment. Solidcore, located at 259 Hudson Street, is owned by Anne Mahlum and is unlike other Pilates programs. They focus on slow and controlled Pilates-based resistance training to break down your slow-twitch muscle fibers because science shows that this is the most effective way to create long lean muscle tone. Zena Rommett Floor, at 112 Charlton Street, is named after the famed Sena Rommett, Italian born American dancer, teacher and one of the founders of Floor Barre and Ballet Technique.

Women in Fashion/Beauty

Hudson Square boasts companies such as Khaite, a women’s ready-to-wear collection that reimagines classic American sportswear for the twenty-first century, run by founder/creative director Catherine Holstein.

Founder/CEO Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, runs another Hudson Square favorite, Chillhouse, located at 75 Varick Street. She describes her business as a nail salon/spa/cafe that’s “a destination for modern self-care”.

Founder and CEO Emily Weiss founded Glossier in 2014 on the belief that beauty isn’t built in a boardroom— “it happens when you’re a part of the process”. They got their start with Into The Gloss, a beauty website devoted to people sharing the products they love, a source for inspiration and information

New to the neighborhood at 281 Hudson Street, Peachy, is owned by Carolyn Treasure. Treasure, a board certified physician from Harvard Medical School is revolutionizing the skincare process, preventing wrinkles through the strategic use of a neuromodulating protein.

Women in the Arts

One of Hudson Square’s longest standing institution has always been at the forefront of providing a platform for women in theater and the arts. Since 1993 HERE Arts Center has been a destination for those passionate about ground-breaking contemporary work and has provided a space for female artists to tell their stories. HERE has developed such acclaimed works as Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and Young Jean Lee’s Songs of The Dragons Flying to Heaven, as well as original musical and dance works created and directed by HERE Co-Founder and Artistic Director Kristin Marting.

Film Forum is a nonprofit movie theater at 209 West Houston Street. It began in 1970 as an alternative screening space for independent films, with 50 folding chairs, one projector and a $19,000 annual budget. Karen Cooper became director in 1972, and holds that title to this day. Their current theater was built in 1990. Film Forum is a 4-screen cinema open 365 days a year, with 280,000 annual admissions, nearly 500 seats, 60 employees and over 4500 members.

Women in STEM: 

Additionally, Adafruit calls Hudson Square home. Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. In the last 15 years they’ve grown exponentially expanding offerings to include tools, equipment, and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests, and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. During the COVID-19 outbreak Adafruit Industries pivoted within weeks to operate as an essential service and manufacturing business making PPE and medical device components. In 2020 Adafruit was appointed to the Small Business Sector Advisory Council by the City of New York to help restart the NYC economy post COVID-19 pandemic.

Hudson Square is also home to New York Genome Centerled by their female COO and President, Cheryl A. Moore. New York Genome Center has been integral in the fight against COVID-19. In March 2020, the NYGC launched the COVID-19 Genomics Research Network, a new multidisciplinary consortium with the goal of undertaking a wide array of large-scale sequencing projects to understand how the virus spreads, how the immune system responds, why some people appear minimally affected while others are severely impacted, and which pharmaceutical strategies might optimally help reduce the spread and alleviate symptoms.

BioLabs, an incubator space for lab research, headquartered at 180 Varick in Hudson Square. The brainchild of Nicole McNight, this partnership with NYU Langone is a biotech hub in NYC similar to Cambridge’s Kendall Square in Massachusetts. Today, BioLabs is led by Shannon Torstrom, and is a  space for entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers to form a community based on networking and a shared passion for innovation. The collaborative space houses top-of-the-line research equipment, business support and acceleration programming to help startup companies reach their milestones faster.

Hudson Square

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