Is this the Future of Vanella’s Prohibition-Era Funeral Home on Madison Street?

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Out with the old, in with the glass. Look no further than the (shuttered) hundred-year-old Vanella’s Funeral Home on Madison Street.

The relic assemblage – in business as a mortuary here since the Prohibition era – sold for $7.8 million back in January. The buyer was Eric Pang of Metro City Acquisition LLC, according to public record.

Meanwhile, this undated Christie’s listing (for $13.8 million) pitches the 5,600 square-foot property as, what else, the perfect development opportunity. Buildable up to 36,500 square-feet. There is even this rendering of a potential future outcome – glass with Starbucks and a gallery on the ground floor.

Photo: Christie’s

Vanella’s Funeral Chapel dates back a century (1918). Its founder, Robert “Roxie” Vanella, was a gangster-cum-undertaker who lived on James Street, and ran in the same circles as Johnnie Torrio and Al Capone. Decades later – in 1965 – the mortuary expanded with a Long Island location in Oceanside.

Yet, the family business reportedly came undone in 2017 due to infighting and legal disputes within the ranks of latter-day ownership. Both locations closed shortly thereafter.

Recent Stories

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 […]

Educational Alliance Executive Becomes New Head of Manhattan JCC

From the Lower East Side to the Upper West Side. Rabbi Joanna Samuels, the sitting executive director of the Manny Cantor Center at the Educational Alliance, is set to become the new chief executive director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. Her new gig begins early next year, marking a significant transition at one of […]