July 5, 2003 by

Anthony Dapolito

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Categories: Politicians

The unofficial mayor of Greenwich Village has died.
Anthony Dapolito woke up each morning to bake the bread he served at the Vesuvio Bakery, a business his father started in the ’20s. In the evenings, Dapolito challenged bureaucrats who sought to change the neighborhood he loved.
Dapolito spent 52 years as the unpaid chairman of Community Board 2, which represents the Village, the West Village, SoHo and parts of NoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown. With the help of his political allies, Dapolito successfully fought to remove traffic from Washington Square Park, and stopped a planned freeway from being built in Lower Manhattan.
Dapolito earned the honorary title of “mayor of Greenwich Village” for his tireless community efforts, but he was also called “Mr. Playgrounds,” for his work in creating several new playground spaces in the Village. The playground on Thompson Street was even named in his honor.
Dapolito died Wednesday of pneumonia. He was 82.

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