Famed sculptor Walter De Maria died last July at age 77. De Maria owned one of the most intriguing buildings in the East Village — the mysterious 421 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Avenue A. The building was a Con Ed substation built in 1920. (NYC Songlines described No. 421 as "a giant-robot laboratory.") De Maria bought it in 1980 to use as a home and studio.
We had never seen any photos of the interior … or met anyone who had been inside. Who is up there? What is up there?
[Photo by Goggla]
We were curious what would happen to this after his death. (After all, it was our dream home.)
Well, Robin Finn at the Times has the story: The building and adjacent lot are ready to hit the market for $25 million.
Meanwhile, the Times got a look inside… and it is as amazing as we expected.
In keeping with his Minimalist philosophy, Mr. De Maria left the substation’s industrial origins intact: An impressive grittiness prevails throughout the raw space. Major improvements were confined to the overhead lighting that illuminated his room-size installations.
Even the elevator is a vintage artifact, as is the Viking stove in the bare-bones kitchen where he cooked steak and vegetables. But mostly he worked, dreaming up installations like Bel Air Trilogy, an assemblage of three classic, two-tone (red and white) 1955 Chevrolets, each with a silver stake embedded in its front and rear windshields. A two-story ramp at the back of the property made it possible to take the cars, and other huge objects, up to the second-floor studio.
[Katherine Marks for The New York Times]
There are a lot more photos on the Times website.
The sale will include the lot next door.
Per the Times:
The sale also includes an unimproved lot at 419 East Sixth, a 7,920-square-foot expanse of grass and gravel partially enclosed by a chain-link fence with the potential to be repurposed into gardens, a noncommercial gallery, a garage or townhouses.
The mind reels at what a developer might do to/with this.
Can anyone lend us $25 million?
Previously on EV Grieve:
About that "giant-robot laboratory" on East Sixth Street
RIP Walter De Maria
What is your East Village dream home?