The Bunker Goes Green

Posted on: August 21st, 2008 at 9:19 am by

Against all odds, the indigenous commercial supply industry of the Bowery is fighting back in earnest. Green Depot [link], an environmentally-conscious materials and products supplier, will be opening at 222 Bowery in the late fall. Their self-proclaimed goal is to create sustainable building at a competitive cost. This location will be the company’s sixth showroom, and largest to date. Hopefully developers will begin to embrace these methods, and not consistently rely on the devastating wrecking ball.

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In 1885, the YMCA [link] built 222 Bowery (aka the Bunker) to house the Young Men’s institute. The intention was to provide a safe and healthy alternative to the sprawling saloon scene at the time. For a mere $4 per month, male members had access to a library, gym, bowling alley, and numerous classes. Membership was rather steady until 1932, when the facility shuttered. By that time, the area became synonymous with drunkenness. And as is usually the case, the poor living attracted artists and writers alike. Indeed, beat poet William S. Burroughs was a resident from 1974 until his death in 1997. The building went co-op in the eighties, and was landmarked in 1998. [NYT]

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