Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Restoration watch: 74 E. 4th St., the crown jewel of La Mama's theater community

Checking in on 74 E. Fourth St., where restoration work started this past fall on this landmarked building that's part of the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club family here between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

La Mama bought No. 74 as its first permanent home in 1967.

Built in 1873, the four-story structure was in need of a renovation. Per La Mama, the work will:

• expand and update artist and audience facilities

• bring the building up to ADA compliance, including the installation of an elevator

• upgrade mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life-safety systems

• restore the historic façade with masonry work in compliance with its landmark status

Off the Grid, the blog of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), had more history of the address in this September 2017 post:

Designed by German-born architect August H. Blankenstein, 74 East 4th Street is known as the Aschenbroedel Verein building. Aschenbroedel Verein was a German-American professional orchestral musician’s social and benevolent association founded in 1860.

By 1866 the society had grown large enough that it purchased this site and eventually built this structure for its use. Aschenbroedel Verein became one of the leading German organizations in Kleindeutschland (Little Germany) on the Lower East Side and boasted among its membership top orchestral musicians in the city at this time.

The GVSHP noted that "this renovation will allow La MaMa, a mainstay of the East Village and the New York City theater community, to continue its mission well into the future."

No. 74 is expected to be ready again for theater use in 2020.


cmarrtyy said...

Good. to hear. I've spent many hours working and going to the theater there. What a wonderful asset for the nabe. Long Live La Mama!

Anonymous said...

I recently received Carolina Rivera's budget for fiscal 2019 district council.
It indicates that $1 million has been allocated for LA MAMA

Anonymous said...

I live opposite. The renovation has been going on for years. It creates dirt, dust and noise most mornings from 7 AM till the PM. I'll be happy when it's all done.