Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thinking about the future (and past) of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place


As you probably know, some major change is in the works for the corners of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

To recap:

• Back in June, The Real Deal reported that real-estate investor Arthur Shapolsky is in the process of buying three properties at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Marks Place: 23 Third Ave., 27 Third Ave. and 3 St. Mark's Place. Basically everything from McDonald's to the corner.

According to The Real Deal, the corner could accommodate a 41,500-square-foot commercial building or a residential one of roughly half the size.

To date, nothing about the sale has shown up in public records just yet.

• Last November, the Pappas family, owners of the St. Marks Hotel, filed plans to build a 10-story mixed-use building on the hotel's lot at the southeast corner St. Mark’s Place and Third Avenue. (The hotel would take floors 2-10.)

New York Yimby got a look at a rendering.



This Super St. Marks Hotel structure awaits DOB approval. (The DOB website shows that city last disapproved the plans on March 26.)

Meanwhile, for a little perspective on this corner (at least the northeast side), take a look at this photo that writer Ada Calhoun bought on eBay that dates to 1963...


The coming changes might make for a nice addendum to Calhoun's forthcoming book, "St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street," out Nov. 2 from W.W. Norton & Co.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

What am I doing here, up so early before sunrise? Oh, just watching the City disappear.

Donnie Moder said...

I like the title to the book because it is flat out true. It is not the same place although many of the buildings remain. Death Star marked the end of the era for me, the death nell. NYC has no neighborhoods like it used to, no community fabric to it. It does not feel like home or a place you can grow in. I don't understand the huge university student population thing either because it is so costly to go to school here and frankly the schools are not that good and the living conditions are pretty miserable compared to just a "normal" school in a city where it would cost half as much.

MosaicManNYC said...

I OWN ST MARKS PL....MY PLANS WILL MAKE ST MARKS PL #1 like my MOSAIC TRAIL...all the POLES DONE>....now working on & st and 2 nd ave ..the great explosion and fire of 2015..........tribute to FDNY,NYPD,EMS,,,and deceased,,cats .also like to donate .dished /cash come by.......wikipidea..says ST MARKS PL IS ON THE MOSAIC TRAIL>>>NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC<<'WALKING N>Y>' SAYS..IM #1..AND.....get THIS>>"A NEW STREETSCAPE"

Tom Stir said...

Both corners should be Landmarked.They are the gateway to ST MARKS .

PETITIONS , LETTERS , EMAILS might actually do something to preserve

that character more than a bunch of smarmy anonymous whiney rants.

blue glass said...

that painting of st marks is pretty swell and does give the feeling of the old neighborhood
who is the artist?
i think i miss feeling the open space and seeing the sky from almost any block as much as i miss the buildings
unfortunately the only way to save what's left is to buy it
these days money talks, no it shouts

CurlyZip said...

It's beginning to look a lot like South Midtown...

Anonymous said...

would the corners "being landmarked" mean we get an e-smoke shop and a gross hotel for generations to come?

Tom Stir said...

FYI a BUILDING is what gets LANDMARKED

NOT the business in them.

NOTORIOUS said...

That painting is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

St. Mark's Place was always a pit. That's fine, if you like pits.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, those buildings don't meet the standards that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission looks for.

Anonymous said...

Not hard to imagine the future of the area. Just browse this blog over the last couple years. Should be painfully obvious where it's headed.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit!! I'm shocked (although--why?) at how flagrantly these plans disrespect the entire history and look of the East Village. How can that building at the NE corner seriously *not* be landmarked? Someone commented "gateway," which is absolutely correct. When I worked my shitty soulless corporate job in shitty soulless midtown, every night I would be so very glad to see and pass through that gateway back to sanity, humanity, real life, artists, personality, etc.

These developers are sick! It's like they are buying the geese, cruelly dismembering them and constructing robot geese in their place that WILL NOT SHIT THE GOLDEN EGGS. Don't they get that if they turn the East Village into fucking Indianapolis, hipsters will not want to live there?

cmarrtyy said...

What the East Village meant to the post war generation lives in the memory not reality. These building mean nothing. Let them go.

Sean Mac an Ultaigh said...

An on-going tragedy...the destruction of the very character of our City by greedy developers. It's a shame. I had that "post" a few times, what the public calls "a beat", around-the-clock as a rookie cop, in '67. That corner and St. Mark's Place from 2nd to 3rd was a real colorful block those times. Kids, including a particularly memorable couple of fifteen year old girls, who arrived from Baltimore, still wearing their Catholic school uniform skirts, blouses and sweaters, were running away from home all over the country and making their way to East Village with romantic notions of a idyllic lovefest where everyone was a beautiful person with humanistic values. Some were. Some weren't. The cop who had the post on the regular day shift made quite a reputation for himself, spotting such kids wandering St. Marks, in that "No Man's Land" between "disillusionment" and "fear of going home" to face their parents. His "gift" was assuaging their fears of going "home", while tutoring them and their parents on elements of both successful and unsuccessful "re-unions", based on his considerable experience. The "Electric Circus" and "The Dom" were still prominent mid-block on the northside of St. Mark's those days, enlivening the evenings considerably. The people walking up and down the street were a truly eclectic blend of runaways, artists, well-dressed gay men on their way to an exclusive bathhouse mid-block on the southside of the street, Russians, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, exotic-looking so-called "hippies", real "hippies" and "poser hippies" of every stripe, Do-wop groups harmonizing in the evenings, dedicated drug abusers and addicts of all types, as well as plain everyday New Yorkers, going to and fro, getting on with their jobs, their schooling and their other personal adventures. It was still a long way from being especially "safe". St. Mark's was the "hub" of the East Village, and just two years earlier, that little six-tenths of a square mile, between Houston and E.14th St. had accounted for one-quarter of all homicides committed throughout the Five Boroughs. No one in those years would have predicted its subsequent "gentrification" in the '80's, and the sky-rocketing status and costs associated with living there in the post-"Rent" years.

bowboy said...

"Unfortunately, those buildings don't meet the standards that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission looks for."

Having followed the LPC for a few years now, I have no idea how anyone could make such a statement. It could be sorta true, but there's nothing in the LPC that would absolutely prove such a blanket statement. Just that the 5 Spot was in one of those buildings could be enough in itself for landmarking.

Also, the LPC is currently on a year-long process to de-calendar almost 100 buildings, so it's doubtful that any building will get approved anytime soon. They just don't have the budget to walk and chew gum at the same time. But that shouldn't stop us from trying.

Anonymous said...

The character of the neighborhood, and the city, is not being destroyed. It's changing, that's all. Kids growing up here today will have completely different, and equally valid, experiences.

Anonymous said...

Re Sean Mac - Russians? Russians? You had a beat on St Marks and say Russians? That's like saying that Moroccans are Namibian. Same continent wrong nation wrong language - plus in the case of St Marks Place two nations which were ethnically (ie) cleansing and culturally oppressed by the Russians and Soviets.

The 'Dom' was the Polski Dom Narodowy (Polish National Home) and there were any number of Polish organizations. Churches, schools and even political clubs around at that time. There was also a Ukrainian community with their churches etc etc.

Please - no revisionist history

Tom Stir said...

The H I s t o r y that is DISAPEARING are 2 Architecturaly SIGNIFICANT buildings.

The fact that this appears to be a NON issue is a sad reflection on the things that matter

to the REAL ? EAST VILLAGE RESIDENTS ? that's the REAL tragedy ,wake up

and smell the coffee it's from 7 Eleven, H E L LO ???

Jared said...

That book has a great title.

Since the early 1980s, I loved visiting St Marks Place, it's energy and a sense of naughty, youthful, and alternative culture. These buildings will detract from that, making it more ordinary and full of shadows.

Donnie Moder said...

It is being destroyed. Destroyed. Annihlated. It's a bloodbath.

Anonymous said...

St Marks Place... I have so many memories of this block I grew up on since the 70s.

The Blue Building (Hot Club) with it's metal framework skeleton of an awning that we as kids used to appropriate as a jungle gym, climbing above the masses of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics of the community center next door congregating below.

The St Marks movie theater where I saw Airplane and Creepshow as a kid in the 80s.

The real St Marks Pizza (now home to Korilla) which was my go to spot for pizza everyday after school.

Places like: GO Sushi, Dojo, Munchy's Deli, Bowl & Board and Eat Restaurant all remain in my mind as I walk past the numerous Bubble Tea, Tattoo and Vape shops that now occupy their former spaces.

The old guy with the cane that used to sit in the bodega on the corner of 3rd ave (long gone). I remember when they had Arcade cabinets outside that same spot with Street Fighter, Space Harrier and Super Mario Bros at one point.

St Marks Books -> Venus Records -> numerous failed Korean food spots...

Everything that was pure and real about my block has faded.. or maybe i've just changed. Because the St Marks i remember seems like a long lost dream, never to be again.

Anonymous said...

Picture Above was taken the year I entered Cooper Union as a freshman. No one mentioned architectural significance of Kamemsteins hardware in the upper left of the photp. Probably because there is none.