Photos by Stacie Joy
We've been keeping tabs on 195 Avenue C (aka 656 E. 12th St), a 5-floor residential building on the SW corner of 12th Street that has been undergoing a gut renovation... the scaffolding, construction netting and sidewalk bridge came down in late November...
In 2021, the Restored Homes Housing Development Fund Corporation bought the building from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for an undisclosed sum.
For several years, the walls here housed the 12C Outdoor Art Gallery, which featured a rotating batch of murals curated by resident Robert Galinsky.
One constant through the years: the Gil Scott-Heron tribute that Chico created after the jazz poet, musician and author died in 2011.
RE developers, err vampires, have no respect for this neighborhood. All they see is cash.
I will miss it.
If one knows where to look, there is the smallest impression of a certain Wonder Dog's paw print in the newly poured concrete sidewalk right at the corner. It was an accident and the workers were unhappy but what's a dog to do? Best, JG
As much as I enjoyed this mural for all the many years it graced this corner, please not get distracted from the real story here. Another large in EV standards, apartment building was sold to a large real estate corporation and all those that once made that building home were forced out. Newly renovated apartments with ridiculous rents, will only bring transients to the neighbored to party for a year then move a move back to the suburbs. People who wanted to be part of our neighborhood are gone, so are affordable rents.
Now the wall is all white graffiti artist will tag the wall. Graffiti artist never tag a mural out of respect for that artist.
Here's more about the building's new landlord via their website...
Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation (“Neighborhood Restore”) and its affiliate nonprofit entities (Neighborhood Renewal HDFC, Restored Homes HDFC, Restoring Communities HDFC, Preserving City Neighborhoods HDFC, and Project Rebuild, Inc.) collaborate with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) on programs that seek to foster neighborhood stabilization by efficiently transitioning properties from physical and financial abandonment to responsible third party ownership. Neighborhood Restore also utilizes citywide partnerships to create affordable homeownership opportunities for households of low- and moderate- income.
Bravo, Wonder Dog!
Just to teach you all to not assume you know it all about every "developer"
Thanks for that description of the new landlord, Grieve. "[T]ransitioning properties from physical and financial abandonmnet to responsbile third party ownership" feels like a loaded statement.
All HDFC’s have restrictive covenants that result in affordable housing for low to middle income households. No mysterious conspiracy here.
Neighborhood Restore sounds like a great initiative. Hopefully they can force this outcome on more abandoned buildings in our neighborhood.
Sad about the mural though. I wish it was still true that taggers didn't cover murals but that is clearly not true - see the Bowery Wall for a prime example.
Good for Neighborhood Restore, unlike the much larger percentage of predatory developers who take over buildings and force out long term residents in the neighborhood.
Agree that taggers no longer respect the murals. ROA's fab rat on the stoop on 2nd Street between 2/Bowery was there for years if not decades totally untouched, then got covered in tags in a short time. His mural on the wall at Albert's Garden recently got a tagged too. I used to enjoy tags but now it is all about mediocre tags everywhere with no respect for murals.
For years that famous quote from Gandhi was high up on the wall of the 3rd st. Music School(done with a paint brush,before there were spray cans)
I'm sure you all remember it but nobody said anything when IT disappeared
You’re absolutely wrong. Every tentant was moved out and relocated and is moving back in. Protected by the city! Get your facts straight before you post negative assumptions
Thank you for your educated and accurate post!
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