Historic NYPL Rivington Street Branch Undergoes Condo Coversion

Posted on: November 12th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Google Maps

As the Rivington House condo conversion progresses ever so slightly, another historic building barely a block to the east is headed for same.

The Beaux Arts beauty at 61 Rivington Street is now tagged for a similar luxury upgrade. Back in May, the historic building, which formerly housed the New York Church of the Nazarene, sold for $8.45 million. Buyer of record, per public documents, is none other than the Horizon Group, the development firm behind the cantilevered condos at 100 Norfolk Street.

Their proposal for 61 Rivington Street (aka The Horizon at Rivington) is a twenty-foot extension atop the current four-story structure. The new addition would deliver a total of approximately 14,000 square-feet of residential living split across eleven apartments.

Issac Stern Achitects is the designer of record on the $848,000 project, which has its fingerprint on other developments across the neighborhood, including 50 Clinton Street and the Hotel Indigo.

The plans were initially submitted to Department of Buildings this past July, including to demolish and rebuild the interior, yet remain in a “disapproved” state as of two months ago.

Tax photo of 61 Rivington St. in 1940, Photo: Municipal Archives

This sale and conversion completely flew under the radar.

As you might presume based on its familiar architectural style, the building was erected in 1905 as the Rivington Street branch of the New York Public Library, and designed by McKim, Mead & White. It was funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and considered the first NYPL branch to have a roof designed for open-air reading. Also noteworthy is that the first stock of books came from University Settlement next door (which is still there).

Like so much else on the Lower East Side these days, the history will soon be lost.

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