Former Roumanian Synagogue Building at 70 Hester Street Sold

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 at 6:28 am by

70 hester street

Is it just us or is Lower East Side change occurring at a most freakish pace these days? The old is being razed while the new raises property values and costs of living. Seriously. Take the last week, for example. In this tiny time period alone, we learned that the Living Room is moving at the end of January, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol wants to overturn landmark status in order to “save” the congregation, and that the Lowline will likely boost real land values by between $10 and $20 million. And how was your holiday?

Today the New York Times reveals that the original Roumanian-American Synagogue location at 70 Hester Street (note the Moorish-style windows) was recently sold to an unidentified party for an undisclosed amount via Brown Harris Stevens (“Luxury Residential Real Estate”). The artist couple who ditched the 112-year-old building – Thomas Nozkowski and Joyce Robins – had lived there since 1967, but would change their primary residence in 1992. They’ve been month-to-month ever since, and were finally booted by the building owner in June. They won a stay of eviction until the end of the year – today. Pardon the cliche, but we should definitely fear the worst and hope for the best. Here’s why:

The existing building has roughly 4,000 square feet of space, but zoning rules would permit an 11,288-square-foot structure on the lot, which “makes this desirable for a developer,” the Web listing said. “But for the buyer who wants to renovate and own a piece of significant New York history, this dramatic synagogue is worth the restoration,” the listing continued. Whether the buyer considers it a tear-down or a fixer-upper is a mystery at the moment.

70 Hester also plays host to the mysterious window leafing of B.B. Muhlfelder.

Recent Stories

essex-market
Essex Market Celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a Month of Festivities

The second annual Lower East Side History Month is just a few days away. Yet this year, the celebration coincides nicely with the anniversary of a neighborhood institution. Yes, the Essex Street Market turns 75 years young in May. Certainly a milestone for a brick warehouse initially intended to house the Depression-era pushcarts. Throughout the […]

citymd-delancey
Ratner’s on Delancey is Now a CityMD Urgent Care Facility

From dairy to discount mattresses, and now urgent care, the former Ratner’s restaurant on Delancey Street has surely seen it all. Build-out finally concluded at the end of last week despite a previous stop-work order for dangerous site conditions. As of today, though, CityMD is now ready to serve the neighborhood. It’s the first CityMD […]

insomnia-cookies-orchard-open
Insomnia Cookies Opens its Orchard Street Dispensary Today

Late night munchies options in Hell Square have just taken a turn for the sweet. Starting today, Insomnia Cookies will serve baked goods from 164 Orchard Street, previously home to Snack Dragon Taco Shack. The Lower East Side shop appears to allow over-the-counter walk-ins, but the company’s real bread and butter is the delivery service until 3am. […]

essex-gone-4_wm
The Southernmost Essex Street Market Building is Completely Demolished [PHOTOS]

The Essex Street Market celebrates its 75th birthday next month, but it will do so without one of its own. Three-quarters of a century later, the southernmost warehouse between Broome and Delancey is now completely gone, thanks to Essex Crossing. An open space to the sky. Here we are, week seven of demolition, and the […]

orchard-houston-corner-1
Ben Shaoul’s 10-Story Condo Project Installs Demolition Scaffolding at Orchard and East Houston

It’s fuckin’ happening. Over the weekend, a crew of contractors erected the requisite ironwork at the corner of East Houston and Orchard Streets, the precursor to demolition. The extent of carnage – and, frankly, size of the development parcel – is now perfectly drawn out. Indeed, the new sidewalk bridge sorta acts as a pseudo […]