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.

Recent Stories

Late Photographer Corky Lee Gets Mural Treatment on Doyers Street

There is a new tribute mural in Chinatown that honors the memory of beloved photographer Corky Lee. The nascent Chinatown Mural Project is behind the new artwork, which stretches along a 35-foot wall on Doyers Street, the nerve center of Chinatown. The mural is two-toned – blue and off-white – and meant to resemble “Ming” […]

One Year Later, ‘Fiore Escape’ COVID Sessions Still Captivate

One year after first captivating passersby at Essex and Grand Streets, the free fire escape concert series is back for another. Indeed, musician Jill Fiore will perform anew from the second floor of her Essex Street tenement (above Delancey Car Service). The next so-called “Fiore Escape” show is slated for October 15, as announced on […]

Parks Department Installs Fence at Allen Mall Bathhouse in Response to Nadja Rose Madder

The Parks Department is upping the ante on deterring a homeless artist from painting and gathering at the Allen Street Bathhouse. Earlier this week, the city began assembling an eight-foot chain-link enclosure to (partially) fence in the sidewalk plaza. It is on this spot that transgender artist Nadja Rose Madder has been transforming the brickwork […]

Extell Residents in Cherry Street Tower Bark Foul Over Abundance of Dogs Despite No Pet Policy

Residents of Extell’s “affordable tower” at 227 Cherry Street are barking foul over the proliferation of pitbulls, despite the no-pet policy. We are told by current tenants that leases contain a strict stipulation prohibiting pets in apartments, and that management (Wavecrest) seems deaf and/or slow to act about the apparent violations. By some estimates, there […]

Aggro Panhandler Hurls Brick at Pickle Guys Worker in Brutal Attack

An aggro panhandler outside Pickle Guys on Grand Street attacked an employee after he was asked to move away from the store entrance, cops said. The suspect had been aggressively begging at around 8:20am last Wednesday when the 63-year-old worker told him to disperse. That didn’t sit well; the pugilist picked up a nearby chair […]