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

Photo: The Corpse Corps
The World Isn’t Ready for Julian Casablancas + the Voidz

The world isn’t ready for Julian Casablancas + The Voidz. Just like The Strokes were the pioneers of the post punk indie revival, the latest endeavor by Julian Casablancas is exponentially kicking it up a notch in the musical avant-garde. Deceptive in the simplicity of its track titles (“Nintendo Blood,” “Xerox,” “Business Dog”), the band’s latest album Tyranny forces you to take a […]

moscot-band
Moscot has a House Band with Dr. Moscot on Guitar

Moscot rocks out with the best of ‘em. The last two consecutive Thursdays, after hours, we spotted a four-piece band rehearsing inside the Orchard Street store. A double take proved that fourth-generation owner Dr. Harvey Moscot was indeed wielding a six-string (i.e. Fender Stratocaster). Moscot PR tells us that the house band is called “The […]

duchesse-orchard-2
New Orchard Street Bakery ‘Les Jardins de la Duchesse’ Will Carry a Bacon-Wrapped Eclair

Modern Fashion & Style on Orchard Street closed over the summer so that a new French bakery could sling pastries. During those interim months, contractors have been tearing apart the commercial space of 138 Orchard. We heard chatter along the way that the newcomer was some sort of bakery. Confirmation arrived yesterday afternoon with the new store […]

Photo: TH
Councilwoman Margaret Chin Calls for New 25 MPH Speed Limit Signs Along South Street

In a couple weeks (November 7), the city speed limit will shift to the lower default of 25 mph, following legislation that was recently passed into law. Councilwoman Margaret Chin is on the offensive, demanding proper street signage for the most dangerous traffic corridors. In a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, she singles out […]

aaa-ichiban-closed-2
AAA Ichiban Sushi on Orchard Street Closes Ahead of Ben Shaoul Development

The northeast corner of Orchard and East Houston is slowly giving up the ghost. As we’ve been reporting, controversial landlord Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul purchased the L-shaped low-rise strip and is gradually booting the businesses. We lost Bereket and Philly’s Cheese Steak over the summer; Taqueria will soon move up to St. Mark’s Place and received blessings from […]