Anthology Film Archives on 2nd Avenue is Planning a 5-Story Expansion [EXCLUSIVE]

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 at 5:48 am by
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The Anthology Film Archives on Second Avenue may soon grow a tumor, we can exclusively report. Sources with ties to the organization inform us that plans are currently underway to add a five-story tower atop the century-old landmark.

Apparently a wealthy donor from “Eastern Europe” is forking over cash for construction of the vertical addition at 32-34 Second Avenue. Moneybags reportedly wants naming rights on an unspecified “Eastern European cultural center” that includes administrative offices and conference rooms. Since Anthology itself owns the building, the remaining square footage is reportedly earmarked for expanding their footprint, including the library. No residential use. The Board of Trustees is, well, on board.

Moreover, we are told that architects already met to discuss the plans on Wednesday, but that everything is very much in pre-natal stage. No public documents, renderings, or application submissions just yet. However, subsequent project plans will eventually need dual blessings from the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission; 32-34 Second Avenue is a landmark that resides in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District that was forged in 2012.

The stout structure at 32-34 Second Avenue was originally conceived in 1913 as a 14-story “skyscraper” to kill three birds with one stone – replacing the Municipal Court building on Madison Street, the Ludlow Street jail, and the Essex Market Courthouse and district prison. Those plans were significantly scaled back in Hopkin’s 1917 redesign, which resulted in the existing 3-story structure. After 1948, the building became known as the Lower Manhattan Magistrate’s Courthouse; Anthology Film Archives purchased the property in 1979.

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