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

159stanton-croman
Breaking: Vacate Orders Issued at Steve Croman’s 159 Stanton Street

Embattled tenants of Steve Croman’s 159 Stanton Street face another immediate danger today. Department of Buildings inspectors showed up this morning and issued vacate orders on two of the unit, reportedly displacing tenants. Nothing is filed on the city database yet. The directives are likely related to the perilous conditions created while upscaling this tenement. […]

naval-militia
Did You Know that NYC has its Own Naval Militia? [HISTORY]

Ever heard of the New York Naval Militia? I hadn’t, but now that I have, why not share? From their website: The New York Naval Militia was organized as a Provisional Naval Battalion in 1889 and was formally mustered into State service as the First Battalion, Naval Reserve Artillery, on 23 June 1891. Today, the New […]

zings-awesome-rice-closed
‘Zing’s Awesome Rice’ Closes Hell Square Snack Spot

Zing’s Awesome Rice hasn’t been open of late. Looks like its fifteen-month reign in Hell Square just concluded. Indeed, all signs point to a permanent shutter – consecutive days of darkness, Yelp saying it’s closed, website disconnected, and no updates to social media. Most telling, however, is the disconnected phone line. Proprietor Zing Bai opened […]

seward-park-balcony-2
Partial Balcony Collapse in Seward Park Co-op Rains Concrete on Pathway Below

There was a bit of a scare at the Seward Park Co-ops on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently, a partial balcony collapse on the seventeenth floor of 212 East Broadway resulted in concrete tumbling to the pathway below. We’re told that there were no injuries and no one was displaced. One Seward Park resident named Ira sent […]

ost-cafe
After Departing Alphabet City, Ost Cafe Doubles Down on Grand Street

Come Sunday, Ost Cafe will be down one. High rents forced the cafe to shutter its Alphabet City shop after more than eight years in business. In a snarky letter to its faithful, ownership accused the city of “forgetting” about small businesses, and “cheering from the sidelines for more, bigger, taller, and pocketing the tax […]