200 Years of NYC History Demolished on the Bowery for an 8-Story Condo-Hotel

Posted on: March 15th, 2016 at 5:18 am by
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Consecutive weeks of brick-by-brick demolition resulted in the loss of three of the oldest buildings on the Bowery. There is now a huge gap of open air on the block, soon to be plugged with an unneeded condo-hotel development.

The takedown of 138-142 Bowery was implemented at all costs, and ultimately resulted in a stop-work order last month for hazardous conditions at the project site (i.e. unstable scaffolding supports). Another cessation from the Department of Buildings followed a few weeks later (February 22) for disobeying the first order. Nevertheless, the area hasn’t slowed much of late, and as of now, the buildings are gone.

The elimination of 138-142 Bowery from the neighborhood effectively destroys invaluable area history. Indeed, number 140 dated back to the 1790s and was originally owned by men associated with the butchering trade. It was later a shoe store and millinery (“Callahan the Hatter”), among other functions. As a testament to its perseverence, the architecture persevered for more than two centuries; until 2011, when the owner lopped off the trademark dormers to nullify any possibility of landmarking.

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Callahan the Hatter at 140 Bowery (1932), Photo: MOCNY

These three structures were sold to Emmut Properties as part of the five-property, $47 million portfolio back in December (total assemblage is 134-142 Bowery). Plans for the eight-story development are still in play, though remain “disapproved” by the Department of Buildings. And to that end, the developers wish to “preserve the look and feel of the Bowery.” Seriously.

As previously reported, the 44,000 square-foot replacement will be divvied up between commercial hotel (30,825 square-feet) and residential use (13,859). That equates to 46 hotel rooms and 21 upper crust apartments. A retail tenant and rooftop “recreation area” are also included in the pending plans. Timeline for completion is apparently next year, though that seems unlikely.

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