We've long been curious about the space above Gracefully at 28 Avenue A between East Second Street and East Third Street. It's a fascinating building with those block letters that read Burger-Klein. We don't have any idea what, if anything, is upstairs.
But, perhaps there will be a big new tenant. A tipster hears that New York Health & Racquet Club is taking over all of the floors above the grocery. Again, just a rumor. (Gracefully will remain in place.)
Nothing at the DOB to note this conversion. But, in October 2011, the city approved plans to convert the "existing commercial 5-story with cellar to mixed use, commercial and residential." Estimated cost: $1.1 million. DOB records show 12 residences in total. But apparently this project is in limbo.
Regardless of the incoming tenant, it's likely going to change in appearance soon enough. Off the Grid completed a thorough history of the building back in July 2011. The building dates to 1871. And in its early days, it was part of Little Germany, serving as a German ballroom known as Concordia Hall.
Later, per Off the Grid:
The earliest evidence of furniture seller Burger-Klein occupying the building is from 1939.
In 1959, a four-alarm fire destroyed the roof and top floor of the building, resulting in a significant alteration of building’s façade, most likely the face of the building we see today. It is noteworthy that the owners chose to replace what had once been an architecturally significant facade with a mid-century modern wrapping that in its own way and for its own time is as extraordinary as the 19th century face of the building.
The Burger-Klein building’s uniqueness in the streetscape is a big part of what inspires so much curiosity about it.
Read the whole post here.