Rare 200-Year-Old LES Federal Houses Are Endangered in Face of LPC Decalendaring

Posted on: December 4th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

22 East Broadway

Local preservationists are scrambling.

Word dropped last week that the Landmarks Preservation Commission may likely decalendar a pair of rare two-hundred-year-old Federal-style row houses from its agenda by the end of the year. 206 Bowery and 22 East Broadway are back on the endangered list, despite the city’s initial position as significant structures warranting consideration.

The unfortunate turn of events is owed in large part to the passage last year of the Intro. 775 bill in City Council aimed at removing the clutter, as it were, from the calendar. In order to do so, the “anti-landmark bill” essentially establishes “do or die” deadlines for landmark designations that have been stagnating. Meaning, if the LPC doesn’t vote on proposed individual landmarks within one year (two years for districts), then the proposals are removed from the docket.

206 Bowery, for its part, is one of the last intact Federal-era row houses on the Bowery. It remarkably survives in close to original condition from the first period of development along this stretch of the Bowery. The modest 2 ½-story, three bay-wide building has one-foot thick walls of Flemish-bond brickwork, a stone foundation and a gambrel roof with paired gable dormers. It was likely erected around 1825 as part of a group that included the houses sharing party walls at 202, 204 and 208 Bowery.

Many of these Federal-era buildings erected on the Bowery housed a store or workshop on the first floor with a residence on the second floor and a usable attic lit by dormer windows in the pitched roof. Beginning in the 1870s, it is believed that 206 Bowery was solely used for commercial (non-residential) purposes. And an eclectic bunch, at that – Walter Keeler, shoestore (1826-39); James Cooper, fancy goods, hosiery, threads, and needles (1839-53); Thomas Bruns, engraver (1853-60); William Wood, umbrellas and parasols (1853-74); Henry H. Pfalzgraf, cigars (1870-91); Philip and Rosalia Berg, millinery and fancy goods (1870-78); jewelers Sidonia Kampf (c. 1896-99) and Bernhard Hebald (1904-11); Tri-City Barber School (c. 1933-46); New York China Corp. (c. 1975-88); and J&D Restaurant Equipment Corp. (c. 1993-2010).

Much like 206 Bowery, the Federal-style house at 22 East Broadway retains many of its original nearly 200-year-old detail. It was constructed in 1832 for then-district attorney James Whiting and boasts peaked roof, dormers, Flemish bond brick, as well as lintels and sills on the second and third floors.  At the turn of the last century, the building served as the Chatham Square Branch of the New York Free Circulating Library. (That library now occupies 33 East Broadway across the street.)

GVSHP and other preservation-minded groups are sounding the alarm. Head here to support the landmarking of these two historic structures by sending a form letter to LPC.

Recent Stories

3-Alarm Fire Engulfs PS 23 Building on Mulberry Street

Shortly before 9pm this evening, a three-alarm fire was sparked at 70 Mulberry Street (at Bayard). Within minutes, the historic building – erected in the nineteen century as Public School 23 – was in flames. Firefighters continue to battle the blaze which is apparently confined to the fourth and fifth floors. Cause of the fire […]

The Year of the Rat Scurries In

It’s the Year of the Rat! This week marks the 21st year of New York City’s Lunar New Year celebration, and no doubt the organizers are scurrying around in preparation for a veritable smorgasbord of festivities. As in years past, the festivities will kick off with the explosive Firecracker Ceremony Saturday morning at 11:00am (January 25) […]

Public Hotel-Adjacent Condo Ascends 4 Stories

The north end of Chrystie Street continues its gilded march toward luxury. Despite the scruffy park at its doorstep. Owner-developer KD Sagamore, which scooped up 199 and 201 Chrystie over the last several years for a combined $20 million, filed for re-development back in December 2017. The plans included merging both parcels into one tax lot, […]

Potential Fat Baby Replacement Evicted Before Ever Opening

The Fat Baby space is again up for grabs. Eviction papers were taped to the door last week, indicating that the latest proposal for the Suave Bar and Restaurant is dead in the water. Suave was the third suitor in the last year for 112 Rivington Street. Principal Erinson Salce (of Sahara East on First […]

Christopher Marte Launches City Council Campaign for 2021

Christopher Marte is jumping back into the City Council election ring. With three-time Councilmember Margaret Chin terming out next year, the local politician is looking to capitalize early on the District 1 seat. Essentially building on the momentum he created during the 2017 election that gave Chin a run for her money. (The incumbent squeaked […]