[EVG photo from 2013]
The townhouse at 104 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Second Avenue has always intrigued me.
Perhaps the fascination started with this article from 1998 in The New York Times on the crumbling building that was serving as an SRO:
There is a certain house in the East Village that some neighbors believe is haunted. It is on 10th Street. The doors are peeling and the address "104" looks as though it was written in blood.
The lone tenant at the time was playwright, poet and performance artist Edgar Oliver. (Jeremiah Moss had a nice history on Oliver living here in 2011.)
"The house I do believe is haunted. Alas, it is only with memories." He recalled the wet nurse, Frances, who washed rags all day and was eventually carted out to the mental asylum a decade ago. There was "The Invisible Man," who was never heard or seen. The homicidal brothers who plotted to kill Mr. Oliver. Helen, his sister. And Old Man Milburne, the last tenant, who recently went to the old folks home.
In 2010, Curbed noted that "the place is so creepy, even the PropertyShark file photo shows a specter of some sort hanging out in one of the windows."
The address, one of many properties owned by reclusive real-estate baron William Gottlieb, hit the market in March 2011 for $5.6 million... the listing disappeared then reemerged for $3.9 million. Per the original 2011 listing:
Built in 1879, this magnificent, sun-drenched residence is a restoration enthusiast's dream project.
The building offers an unparalleled opportunity to design the home you've always wanted. Its current features include four floors, eight fireplaces, skylight, original moldings, a quaint south-facing garden, an English basement with a separate street entrance, plus a basement below. With additional air rights, this building is primed for vertical expansion, offering opportunities for a roof deck, duplex unit, and more.
In November 2013, a for rent sign arrived noting that apartments were available ...
As far as I know, though, these units never hit the market.
And now: No. 104 recently received the plywood treatment...
Plans are on file with the DOB (still awaiting approval) to convert the building into a single-family home with two extra floors. According to public records, the owner is only listed as North Sydney LLC, which was incorporated in Westchester County. So at least some mystery remains with the address.
Previously on EV Grieve:
The charmingly shabby interiors of 104 E. 10th St