Thursday, March 10, 2022

Let's take another look at the eerie remains of the long-abandoned 6 Avenue B

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Back on Dec. 23, we shared photos from inside the long-abandoned 6 Avenue B, the 6-story building on the NW corner at Houston. 

Recapping some of what we know (and have reported) about 6 Avenue B. The liquor store in the retail space closed when the owner passed away in 2009 at age 89. (Chico created the tribute to her in February 2010.) 

And as previously noted, this is one of the abandoned buildings owned by the estate of the mysterious team of Arthur and Abraham Blasof, now both deceased. 

Otherwise, there's some sporadic activity inside related to the cell towers on the roof. Otherwise, there don't appear to be any plans for this space. 

In the previous trip inside the building, EVG contributor Stacie Joy saw only a few units on the lower floors. She returned the other day and got a more complete look ...
Here's a look at some of the individual apartments... (there are two units on each floor). Each apartment is painted a different color: Green! Blue! Yellow! There was some wallpaper too. See for yourself...
... and paying the rent here — the T-Mobile cell towers...
... and the views from the top...
Previously on EV Grieve

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was definitely a beautiful apt, the building had character,
still has.

Anonymous said...

Has the neighborhood gone down so much that nobody is interested in squatting the building? That would have never happened in the old times.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful architectural details, such as the unique doorways and wood trim! Such a shame that these units are not occupied in the face of our housing needs; they even have French doors! If you tried hard, you could imagine how cute the units would be once fixed. Lots of charm & history there.

Neighbor said...

It is so depressing that this building is allowed to just rot. The city/state/feds should force a sale and put the proceeds in escrow for the estate. Buildings like this should be required to be maintained or torn down. So infuriating

Anonymous said...

How is it legal to let a building completely decay like that? Without maintenance it could come down on people walking, or collapse into a neighboring building.

JAMES said...

Still looks a lot BETTER than the building I grew up in on Ave D!

stephen b said...

Exceptional photo essay.

Goggla said...

Underneath those layers of grime, that stairwell is gorgeous. The architectural details within the apartments are really nice, too. I love those French doors and wood moldings.

Anonymous said...

Buildings like that are a looking glass into the past. So much detail and thought put into the design. Nowadays, building are cookie cutter by nature, bland in appearance and without soul enough to last as long as this old building. It, in fact, looks like something from Godfather 2.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, the plasterwork and tin panels in the hallways!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember looking down on that corner from across the street while visiting a friend back in '83. It was like the stock exchange of heroin distribution. The corner was crowded with customers and dealers. These apartments are in better condition than my apartment was when I moved in... What a waste.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to think about renovation and restoration, but it is doubtful that anyone here understands the process or the cost. Better to gut it and rebuild the interior completely.

DaVid said...

Wouldn’t someone still be paying a ton of property taxes on that every year?

twittoris said...

My bet is that these units are stabilized and would only get rents below $1000/m. Hence will never get renovated and is only valuable once the building can be torn down.
Unfortunately, there are many buildings in this state on the LES and EV. They need to tweak the new rent law.

Sarah said...

Either way, it's a schande to have this spot standing unoccupied when rents are the way they are.

Eileen said...

Ah, once upon a time…
If only…

Anonymous said...

There is a short documentary film out there about the restoration of the hotel on Canal and Orchard. It's a magnificent space, and the restoration project is amazing. I think it was privately funded, though, and they did not disclose the cost in the film. If I can find the video link, I'll post it here.

Anyway, beautiful old buildings CAN be restored to their former glory. It just takes the right people and a dump truck of money, unfortunately.

XTC said...

Canary yellow walls and lavender colored linoleum. If the easter bunny were a crackhead he'd love this place.

Outing the pig said...

Such a beautiful building. Someone obviously cared a whole lot once, judging by choosing different paint colors and the iron railings etc. so sad it is abandoned now

Greg Masters said...

Great investigative reporting. Thanks, fearless Stacie Joy and stalwart EVG.

Anonymous said...

12:19pm here. I found the restoration film on the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative Youtube channel. It's worth watching.

https://youtu.be/CsuSOgDO8Wg

Anonymous said...

Interesting how someone removed the copper in one of the bathtubs - obviously as it's valuable. Such beautiful spaces, but man they need work. The layers of lead paint alone in there make it somewhat hazardous.

Anonymous said...

@11:31AM: No, they wouldn't necessarily be paying a ton of taxes on that every year, b/c the value of the building in its current condition would have gone DOWN.

But the income from the cell towers on the roof is probably good (and the cell towers don't need heat or hot water).

Annie said...

Fascinating. Does anyone know when the apartments were last occupied?

Sarah said...

Well. It was bought by 6 Ave B Liquors in 2011 from the estate of someone who'd owned it for decades. The city recently (December 21) sold a tax lien of a cool half a mil on the property...looks like they hadn't paid taxes since 2018. Streeteasy usually goes back to the mid to late aughts, though not comprehensively for rentals; it shows no listings since that time.

In its mid-80s tax photo, you can't really tell if it's occupied or not:

https://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/RECORDSPHOTOUNITMAN~2~2~517859~183894:dof_1_00397_0038?qvq=w4s:/who%2F6%2BAVE%2BB%2BINC;lc:RECORDSPHOTOUNITMAN~2~2&mi=0&trs=1

XTC said...

"The layers of lead paint alone in there make it somewhat hazardous."

So the EPA standard for lead paint is 100 micrograms/ SF. Anything above that is considered hazardous. Thats 1 part per 10,000. If you took an X-ray gun and measured the lead paint composition of some those window sills or baseboards you might get a reading as high as 40% which is an insanely high number of micrograms- multiple millions of micrograms. As charming as all that old detailing is it would take a boatload of money to restore it. Everything would have to be ripped out and recreated to get in new water, gas, and electrical lines.

RRReality1 said...

Moms' was the best liquor store around. Always the lowest price by far. And she would cut you a deal right there at the register for multiple items. So hospitable, courteous but stern. And always kind of a magical spirit behind the counter to ceiling bulletproof glass. Total character as rare now as the original freedom and joyous anarchy that pervaded the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are $70k per year, and the owner is almost $700k in arrears. The tax lien was sold to a hedge fund last year; I suspect the lien will either be foreclosed or paid sometime next year

Anonymous said...

Best. Comment. Ever.

Anonymous said...

But when exactly were the last occupants there? (trying to find something beyond "long abandoned"..) Grieve, did I miss this somewhere in your reporting or do we know?

Anonymous said...

Great photographs! Nice views inside and out. I feel nostalgic for the old school walkups. Nice details including the tiled flooring..

JeffS said...

So sad, to think a century of families grew up and grew old there. Neighbors speaking the same language and different languages, and now... nothing. The commentator who suggested thry were rent stabilized is probably right.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, perhaps because this building is so empty and full of so many hazards, I worried i Stacie went in there alone? Her features are fantastic, but this place is dangerous!