Anyway, 120 St. Mark's Place was previously home to the Mosiac Man.... and known as The Cave, a colony for artists. In case you're new to this story, here's what the place looked like. Bob Arihood at Neither More Nor Less has thoroughly documented this through the years. These are two of his photos.
It's a long, ugly story... so briefly, back in 2006, 120's new owner, the sledgehammer-toting developer Benjamin Shaoul, successfully booted all the folks who were squatting in the building... (This link will take you to all the history here via Neither More Nor Less...)
So how about that four-bedroom apartment...
So yes — the one-time artists' colony has become a dorm-like apartment.
And to quote Bob from one of his posts on the matter:
We are not suggesting by showing so many pictures of life at the "Cave" that the "Cave" should have remained forever un-touched at 120 Saint Marks Place. After-all 120 St. Marks Place was not a legally occuppied building and it was a bit unsafe as a structure. There were some very serious structural problems with this building.
We are just trying to show some of the loss of diversity in activities in the East Village due to the irresponsible , wild-west sort of development activity now radically changing the neighborhood forever.
And one day, perhaps 120 St.Mark's Place will even have a Certificate of Occupancy. The temporary CO expired about three years ago, per DOB records.
For more background:
St. Marks Squatters Getting the Boot (Curbed)
Rent Wars: Boy Emperor Gets In On East Village Harassment (Curbed)
Boy Developer Ben Shaoul Wants to Live Forever (The Observer)
Cave collective collects buyouts as Buildings tries to stop cave-in (The Villager)
Stop-work still in effect at former artists’ squat (The Villager)