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

sanitation-prep
Nearly 2 Feet of Snow is Coming, One Sanitation Worker Prepares

Everyone is getting ready for the imminent snowstorm this week, which could dump nearly two feet of snow on New York City. Whole Foods is notoriously elbow-to-elbow busy with doomsday shoppers. Down at the Department of Sanitation silo of salt, preparations are underway to ensure supply is ample. Caught this lone bulldozer sitting atop an enormous […]

Construction on East Houston will never end
M15 Bus Service Rerouted Thanks to Neverending Roadwork on East Houston

The neverending clusterfuck of construction on East Houston apparently requires an army of machinery. At last count the embattled traffic artery now boasts eight backhoes and related equipment, positioned between Forsyth and Allen. In addition, a double wide shoulder was created outside the Sunshine Cinema. Such roadwork is wreaking havoc on traffic patterns with no end in […]

100norfolk-sunday-work
Weekend Construction Continues at 100 Norfolk Without After-Hours Variance

Lawlessness seems to thrive these days at the corner of Norfolk and Delancey Streets. On one hand, you’ve got controversial landlord Samy Mahfar who is converting #102 to luxury and already exposed tenants to toxic levels of lead dust; right next door at #100 is the 12-story cantilevered condo project by Adam America which commissions […]

provident-loan-society-building
Demolition Likely for Provident Loan Society Building on East Houston; New Development on the Horizon

It’s truly unfortunate when you discover that a particular architectural treasure is not officially landmarked and is then demolished for luxury living. This trend is endemic of the Lower East Side lately, its very character endangered. And we’re probably losing another. The latest victim of the onslaught is allegedly the Provident Loan Society building at the […]

yonah-schimmel-outside
Rumor: A Century Later, Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes May Close Due to Rent Hike

Not even a month into 2015, and already the high-profile Lower East Side closures are stacking up. The greats are fading. Streit’s Matzo obviously comes to mind, with fifth-generation ownership moving production to its New Jersey facility after 90 years of operations on Rivington Street. That teary goodbye is planned post-Passover. As if that wasn’t […]