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.