Stairway to Nowhere: The Final Days of the Original ABC No Rio on Rivington Street
Demolition of a half-block of Rivington Street is full speed ahead, and with it, the destruction of the both the old ABC No Rio headquarters and the former Streit’s Matzo factory. For the last several weeks, the buildings comprising 148-156 Rivington have been decimated in dramatic fashion. A combination of Bobcats, backhoes, and handtools.
It’s a sad spring for this corner, as more than one hundred years of history is now a pile of rubble and dust.
As previously reported, ABC No Rio is currently hosting programs in exile while its new “passive house” at 156 Rivington Street is under construction. The state-of-the-art facility – designed by local architect Paul Castrucci – will eventually boast larger exhibition and performance spaces (doubling the size), in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. The solar-equipped building will also have an elevator and carry the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.
ABC No Rio purchased 156 Rivington Street from the city In 2006 for one dollar. Since then, the organization has raised more than $8 million in both private donations and city grants. Plans for the 9,000 square-foot, Leed-certified structure are eight years in the making.
What remains is a stairway to nowhere.