LPC Approves Modifications to Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery; Graffiti Layer Will Stay

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 at 5:17 am by
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The Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery is heading full throttle into the next stage of its lifespan. Over six months after Aby Rosen (aka RFR Realty) purchased the 1898-vintage landmark for $55 million, plans for exterior modifications and reversion to commercial zoning met enthusiastic approval from both Community Board 2 (last month) and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (yesterday).

Preservation architecture firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners joined MdeAS Architects to impart the makeover project, which calls for restoration of metal gates, wooden doors, stained glass, and ADA-compliant entrance. However, the healthy sheath of graffiti will remain intact.

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The proposal met with resounding thumbs up, according to YIMBY. Moreover, the Historic Districts Council was also giddy over the changes. HDC’s director of outreach Kelly Carroll told the blog:

HDC applauds the sensitive restoration of this exquisite Bowery landmark. Even the new entrance has been designed carefully so that the historic fabric that is removed will be reincorporated into the building, unlike so many applications where fabric is merely discarded. Further, so many landmarked buildings are altered with additions and alterations in exchange for kind restorations. This example shows that it is possible to restore without adding square footage, and we find that remarkable.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, a company comprised of creative agencies representing luxury and fashion image-making is taking over 30,000 square-feet of space inside 190 Bowery. The crown jewel of retail space is still up for grabs. Our guess is a big-box occupant.

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