Frances Goldin

“It took us 50 f—ing years but we made this community, this little community of Cooper Square, unlike any community in the world! Chelsea and Harlem and Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx — we fought the city in many places, but they [those communities] failed. But when we did it in Cooper Square — it took 50 years — but, dammit, we won the struggle!


We’re the only neighborhood in the city that built its own urban renewal plan and saw it come to life.


There are neighborhoods all over the city that are being attacked.  Fight back.  Organize.”

– Frances Goldin (1905-2020)



Frances Goldin was an inspirational force for fair and affordable housing throughout New York City, but especially on the Lower East Side, for more than half a century. She was also a figure in the literary world, combining her political conviction with literary discernment and expertise. Fran was proudly radical, dedicating her long life to fighting against injustice and struggling to build a more equitable society. When she saw a wrong that needed to be addressed, she confronted it head-on, with boundless energy and with a combination of leftist conviction and the palpable warmth of human kindness and compassion.


Those of us who are her Lower East Side activist heirs, who learned from her, marched with her and jumped over locked fences with her, will miss her immensely. She will forever be remembered for the inspiration she provided us, and we will continue to carry forward all she taught us.

– Cooper Square Committee


Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) Oral History Project

It Took 50: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Sq

LES is More: Loisaida Activism 



The Plan That Could Fend Off Real Estate: Frances Goldin and the Cooper Square Committee

Frances Goldin, legendary housing activist, literary agent (The Village Sun)

Frances Goldin, a Crusader for the Lower East Side (NY Times)

Rest in Power, Frances Goldin (Cooper Square Committee)