Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is your East Village dream home?

Kind of a timeless topic to bring up during a slow news week holiday week. Had a conversation recently with an East Village friend... and somehow we started talking about our ideal East Village home. I quickly suggested one with two closets.

Not grand enough.

My friend said that he'd like to live in one of the apartments here at East 10th Street-Stuyvesant Street overlooking the Abe Lebewohl Triangle and St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery ... (Didn't Nicole Kidman's character live in one of these apartments in "The Interpreter"?)



Sure. Why not. Seems like a nice spot.

I've always had my eye on 421 E. Sixth Street between First Avenue and Avenue A.


According to Forgotten New York: "421 was a Con Edison substation built in 1920-21 that converted direct current to alternating. It is at present (2008) the studio of modern artist/sculptor Walter De Maria."

Off the Grid just had a post on this landmarked building, offering more background:

According to a 1919 Board of Appeals resolution, the “four-story fireproof transformer building” would accommodate a switchboard room, static air chambers, blower room and rotary foundations on the first floor; rotaries, transformer, and booster compensator on the second floor; a battery room on the third floor; and a high tension room and blower and exhaust chambers on the fourth floor. Three people would work on the first floor and two on the second.

I've never met anyone who has been inside. I'm not sure if any photos exist of the interior. Kinda "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"-ish.

So, for a moment, toss aside reality, like rent or practicality or heating bills ... or the fact that you'd be displacing, say, 50 residents or an entire church parish. (Not that this has stopped some developers ...)

This is your dream home! Where would you like to live?

A few ideas to start the process...

Maybe you'd want to live in the penthouse at the Christodora?


Or maybe the entire building!


Or maybe fix up the dilapidated secret theater inside 100 Avenue A?

[Kevin Shea Adams]

For people who with a lot of electronics, consider the Con Ed plant...

[Shawn Chittle]

Anyway, your turn...

46 comments:

@dens said...

I've always been a huge fan if the 4-story townhouse on Ave B btw 8/9th -- overlooking Tompkins Park.

... or Penthouse of the older Cooper Square Hotel -- some of the best views of the city I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

If there are no rules, then I'll take the Tompkins Square Library Branch. I love the windows on the upper floors — perfect for viewing TSP.

Anonymous said...

10th Street is my favorite block in the city. I'd probably choose one of the townhouses between Second and Third avenues. Although, as much as I love the East Village, I'd be even happier a few blocks west between Fifth and Sixth avenues on 10th Street.

Hey19 said...

There are a couple great places on B bt 8/9. The town house, the one w the rafters, my GF and I always daydream about them as we walk by. Im going to go w @dens and pick one of those. I used to have a list, but on the spot I cant think of any of them. My general requirements are; penthouse, private roofdeck, on a quiet street, high ceilings. I liked Chloe's old place, but, come on, if we are playing this game, you have to go bigger, but a spot like that *2.

BC said...

I believe that the Con Ed substation use to be owned by William Wegman.

Spike said...

Maybe the Bowery Lane Theatre? There's also a simple cute little red building next to the Russian Orthodox Church on 2nd St, across from the Marble Cemetery that I've had my eye on for some time.

@tomrburke said...

Thank you so much for the info on 421 E 6th! Things like this have made reading EV Grieve so rewarding.

I lived on that block for 10 years and always wondered what the story was with that building.

Walter De Maria may use it as a work studio, but I don't think anyone lives there. It was pretty rare that I would see anyone go through the door, and, when I did, it was more of a worker type. I asked one person going in the door what the building was, and he told me it was for storage. I think the people that go in there usually enter from the 7th Street side, and I rarely see lights on in the building.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks Tom!

I have noticed that someone delivers a Wall Street Journal to the E. 6th St. door! I have a photo of it somewhere. Was going to take a quick look at a paper once, but that felt really... creepy!

abrod said...

Always wondered what that crazy-looking building was on 6th St. Cool.

If you walk on the east side of 1st Ave down between 3rd-4th St, you can see that there are apartments on top of the buildings on the west side of that block (above H. Brickman & Sons hardware) that have small patios, with plants and lawn furniture. Always thought I'd like to live in one of those...

Anonymous said...

You once did a post on the cabin atop the Kiehl's building. Tempting if it wasn't so close to NYwoo.

glamma said...

N.Y.Woo! Love it hahaha.

I'd like to live in a squat commune - a really big one, in an old building with great heat and good water pressure, where everyone has their own quarters, there's a huge area for parties, and everyone is of a similiar political persuasion (radically leftist liberal, of course).

Seems pretty ideal

Anonymous said...

I have been in two of the penthouses in the Christodora House and they are pretty rad. I have also been in the private apartment at top of the Bath House on 11th Street and B (the rest of the place is a photo studio). Some dream spots are, the old synagogue turned town house on 7th St btw B&C. And there is what looks like an old garage space on 4th St between 1st and 2nd. It's clear an artist lives there as the mural on the front wall changes periodically. I also dream of fixing up PS 64 and returning it to an art space/ dream place to live.

James Maher said...

My dream home is 850 square feet and a second bedroom :) But (not technically in the EV) I'd take Jay Maisel's home and photo studio in the bank building on the bowery: http://design-crisis.com/?tag=jay-maisel

Lista86 said...

62 E. 4th St.
(It's the building with the really cool circular staircase on the front)

I'm obsessed. I've been obsessed for as long as I can remember. I used to fantasize about squatting it before it was refurbished. The upgrade is nice- But I sort of prefer the seedy, half-boarded up dilapidated version.

Definitely my dream home.

Gojira said...

The lovely, graceful old townhouse at 331 East 6th Street, now demolished to make way for David Schwimmer's ego - er, pool.

Anonymous said...

I was a big fan of the robot building, until i saw this:
http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/09/06/concert_hall_loft_returns_to_the_market_for_25_million.php

Hey19 said...

@Glamma
http://evgrieve.com/2012/08/238-e-fourth-st-off-market-will-daniel.html

This seems to fit your requirements.

Goggla said...

Ooo, I've often fantasized about what I could do with that Walter De Maria building.

There are a couple of places on the north side of E 7th btw C&D I've always been curious about, too. Anything that backs up to a beautiful garden and comes with a top-floor studio with sunlight.

I also fantasize about buying up my own crummy building and installing a closet and washer/drier.

@Gojira - me, too.

Roxanne Wolanczyk said...

I have been intrigued by a lot of places mentioned here: 10th Street/Stuyvesant Street. Was always more interested in Charas (in the early 90s there was a rumored price tag of $500K on the building) than Christadora. There is a former bath house on east 11th street A/B that spent years as a beer distributor in the 80s and last i looked was some kind of car showcase. Ragtime was filmed there. There is a former bank on 7th and C that I have been curious about. We moved from EV down to LES last year to a comfortable 2 BR after 20 years in under 500 square feet, so I am living my dream.

Roxanne

glamma said...

Thanks Hey19, great location but as far as I'm concerned they destroyed the place with their reno, and oh, that sh*tty karma. plus, the glass spotlighted blacony is obnoxious, and well, begging to be egged.
Not one for the "Let them eat cake" style.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

I love that building on 6th Street. It looks like a cross between a mental institution and a mad scientist's secret lair. Maybe we can get Scouting New York in there somehow? Or hell, how about me? Walter?

Anonymous said...

I left EV last year for Stye Town and given unlimited choice I don't know if I could improve my location. I have grown to love walking out of the building and being met with peace and quiet. No weirdos, no bums, no drunks, B&t's, Greenpeace volunteers, etc. There are many bros and Megan-types but in this quiet context they usually seem more civil and tolerable. Barely and vehicle traffic. The downside to all the quiet is neighbors being able to hear too much of each other. So if I choose any digs in the whole city I might just go for the entire top two floors of my current building. 10th st "Middle Village" is really nice but its still in the heart of NYU hell.

Hey19 said...

@Glamma -
lots of bedrooms and a huge entertainment space sounds like "let them eat cake" style to me. Not to mention good plumbing.

Gojira said...

@Roxanne Wolanczyk - the bath house at 538 East 11th Street has not been a "car showcase" - actually, it was an illegal garage and chop shop - for many, many years. It was purchased in the late 1990s by the late photographer Eddie Adams, and turned into his house/photo studio. His wife Alyssa and his son still live there and often have high fashion photo shoots or promotional events in it.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

@Anon 1PM The Concert Hall Loft is GORGEOUS!

Anonymous said...

I would love to live in the abandoned theatre on Avenue A. I would renovate the building into a grand opera house and revitalize opera now that Amato Opera is no longer. I would live on top of the theatre like a phantom, only with better music.

Goggla said...

Oh, yes, that concert building on 5th St is fantastic!

Matthew has 2 T's, dumbass said...

Most of my fave bldgs have been torn down. Many if the ones mentioned here are also on my list. It'd be nice to be on a high floor with viewsl so the Christadora has appeal....The Collonade bldgs across from the Public Theater are a fave and strangely I've always had a thing for the white brick bldg on 3rd Ave and 9th St - very NYC 70's....it'd be nice to have a doorman and doors that actually close and outlets that heven't been painted over 800 times......ahhhhhh

Bill the Libertarian Anarchist said...

My understanding is that Walter DeMaria does reside at 421. I've seen him once. He is famous for disliking most people and being a misanthrope of sorts.
Last summer ConEdison was doing some work outside his building and had to get into it for about a week. The door was open when I passed by one day, so I stepped in to what appeared to be an anteroom of an art gallery of sorts.

francesca said...

I did a cat adoption home visit in a carriage housCamnd a building on 10th btwn A and B but my #1 choice would bethat weird two story building on the West side of Campos on 14th. I've been obsessed with it for years.

glamma said...

lots of bedrooms and a huge entertainment space could be any building in manhattan....

Roxanne Wolanczyk said...

@Gojira

Thank you for letting me know about the bathhouse. I lived next door to it the mid 80s (when a 16 year old with no credit history could get her own lease) and I remember it as a beer distributor, perhaps I am wrong and it was a chop shop. Later, in the 1990's, I distinctly remember seing some luxury automobile showcased and rotating in there, and it was like that for a while. Honestly have not observed anything about the building since then.

DrBOP said...

ANYTHING with a four-story slide......WWWWWHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee..........

Anonymous said...

The rooftop bungalows on 1st ave, the 6th street utility building and the old synagogue before it became a cheesy condo are some great choices

Anonymous said...

Artist Izhar Patkin's school turned studio and epic living space on 1st st between 1st and 2nd.

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/570694

Gojira said...

@Roxsnne - You are thinking of Zambrana, they were a food and beer wholesaler/distributor for all the supermarkets in the area. After they closed the chop shop moved in; the twirling car sounds like one of the upscale promo events the photo studio hosts on a regular basis. Love your story about getting a lease at 16 - those were the days!!!

LvV said...

I would love to be a rich n' crazy cat lady wandering the vast and beautiful space of Immaculate Conception (14th/1st). But more realistically (and sorry, technically not EV), I'd like to live at the Abbey, aka the former St. George's Church on 16th between 3rd and Rutherford.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the beautiful building that houses ABC Sanctuary on 6th between B and C. The apartments overlooking the community garden are my dream home.

Anonymous said...

How about that beach house atop the building on the NW corner of 1st & 1st? You can see it best kitty corner across 1st Ave. I heard once he built it because his friends all had places in the Hamptons but I don't know anything else. It always gives me a faraway & homey feel at the same time.

Hey19 said...

There is a great penthouse on 3rd, east of B, north side of the st. Maybe not as nice as some of the places mentioned, but great roof deck, w a hot tub.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad no one will be trying to steal my dream home on 2nd street that sits in the marble cemetery. It is not a big home but I would love to have that beautiful graveyard surrounding me as my neighbor.

Hey19 said...

@anon 906
The East Village Roof-Top Beach House
http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=200

I read a long time ago, and just skimmed now, but maybe some more info, at least good pics and comments.



Anna said...

I would take 100 Ave A, the secret theater. Plenty of room for a huge apartment AND a market back on the ground floor.

Anonymous said...

The town home next to the church on Ave B at 9/8 street and the little house next to Momofuko Milk Bar

Anonymous said...

84 Second Avenue, so creepy, so amazing.

esquared™ said...

A 1-bedroom for $800>/month or a studio for $500>/month.