Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Marketing 166 Second Avenue in the 1920s: 'a desirable location for the modern home'

On Monday, Curbed had a post titled "19 Vintage New York City Real Estate Ads and Photos." This reminded me of the following item that I found at Columbia University's New York Real Estate Brochure Collection. (I have more brochures from around here if you're interested.)

It's a marketing brochure for 166 Second Avenue between East 10th Street and East 11th Street ... it isn't dated, but I'd put it around the mid-to-late 1920s.

Here's how Warren Hall was being marketed...

Location: "In the heart of the old aristocratic Stuyvesant and Astor Place section, a new and distinctive residential neighborhood is rapidly spring up. This district, so rich in City tradition, is once more coming into prominence as a desirable location for the modern home."

Sounds nice. But what about the traffic?

"The congested state of New York's transportation will never become a menace to residents of WARREN HALL. Within two blocks is the Astor Place Place station of the Fourth Avenue Subway, the 9th Street station of the Third Avenue Elevated and any number of surface lines leading in all directions."

[Click image to enlarge]

And all this cost a fortune for the times, really. Look at the rent.

[Click image to enlarge]

The least-expensive apartment was the two-room home on the third floor for $700 (assuming this was monthly, right?). The top-of-the-line penthouse home ("designed in the form of country bungalows, yet have all the city conveniences") went for $2,600.

Interestingly, the brochure notes that "the building will be completed in October, 1929" — right in time for the Stock Market Crash! Wonder how that hurt the move-in rate.

166 Second Avenue isn't called Warren Hall anymore... still a fine home. Here's a description of the building on Streeteasy ... interesting to see how it is being marketed circa 2009 (pre Nicoletta!) or so:

This is a dangerous location for food lovers! Blackhound bakery is right downstairs and the famous Veselka Polish diner is one block away. You can sit out front and enjoy your iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts before heading across the street to take advantage of the twice weekly farmers market.

The four active listings range in price between $2,700 to $8,400.


Dave on 7th said...

When you adjust for inflation that $700 becomes $9469 and that $2600 becomes $35,171. So, it's a real bargain now. And, boy, are the owners of Veselka going to be surprised to find out their Ukranian restaurant is actually Polish.

pinhead said...

The site of the 1850's Baptist Tabernacle.

EV Grieve said...

@ Dave on 7th

I'll let you tell them!

@ Pinhead

Thanks for that link... Follow-up post! Woot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure those rents are annual....I did some research for a project a couple years ago, can't find it now but I think there's also rent info in the census reports back then.....

Anonymous said...

I am guessing that was a yearly rent not monthly:
Sale: $15 price per square foot
Rent: $60/month

from another source: During the Great Depression, a typical rent for a 3-room, 350 square foot apartment in a tenement was $18 a month.

Anonymous said...

Those cannot be monthly rental prices in 1929. Yearly, maybe.

James West said...

Yes I believe the rentals are annual for 1929... My mom lived in a similar type building in 1969 (rent controlled) and the rent was around $200.