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

beckenstein-ghost-signage
Tracing the Lower East Side Roots of Beckenstein’s [HISTORY]

Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been called many things, but never a fashion center. Yet it is fashion in the form of inexpensive fabrics that lures shoppers to this neighborhood better known for blintzes than ball gowns. -New York Times; June 5, 1961. Between the ghost advertising and left-for-dead store signage, its remnants continue to […]

essex-crossing-lot-3
There’s an Info Session Tonight to Learn More About Affordable Housing within Essex Crossing

With Essex Crossing demolition at full tilt, it was only a matter of time before the administrative powers involved with the project held an information session regarding the housing component. Indeed, this particular meeting pertains to affordable housing, and will attempt to explain housing qualification criteria and the application process. It will also shed light on former site tenants […]

Ideas-City-2015
The New Museum’s Biennial ‘Ideas City Festival’ Begins Tomorrow

The New Museum is once again bringing the biennial IDEAS CITY Festival back to the Bowery. This time the theme is “The Invisible City,” in which the festival will explore hot topics such as surveillance, citizenship, expression and suppression, and the basic, never-ending desire to be seen in the city. It’s a way of paying tribute to Italo Calvino’s […]

alski city-1
Uncapped: Beneath the Paint with Alski, King of Corona

  Welcome to Uncapped! This week we welcome Alski from Queens.  This interview is short and sweet ’cause Alski has a whole podcast series that you need to check out after reading this. Thank you for joining us, brother. Let’s get it in. BOWERY BOOGIE: Would you consider yourself Veteran or Rookie? Legend or legend in […]

clinton-baking-outside
New Clinton Street Baking Company Dining Room is Almost Ready

Thirteen years in one place, the Clinton Street Baking Company is poised to stretch its proverbial legs with the new corner annex at East Houston. But not just yet. Wintertime predictions pegged the debut as sometime in March, but gut renovation is taking much longer than anticipated, it seems. Just a few weeks ago, there […]