ABC No Rio to Break Ground on Passive House Next Spring

Posted on: October 12th, 2021 at 5:01 am by

More than four years after punk icon ABC No Rio fell, there is finally a meaningful update about its future redevelopment.

Conceived in 1980 in a squat at 156 Rivington Street, ABC No Rio, an acronym of “Abogado Con Notario,” became a hub at the intersection of art and music. However, time was not kind to the century-old tenement, and the decision was made to demolish and rebuild instead of undergoing costly repairs.

(ABC No Rio owns the property, having purchased 156 Rivington from the city in 2006 for one dollar.)

The new development is a dozen years in the making.

First revealed in 2009, the replacement four-story Passive House, designed by local architect Paul A. 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 boast an elevator and host the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.

Delays have been commonplace, largely due to funding. Yet, word began circulating last week that construction could commence as soon as next spring. New plans must first meet city approval.

According to the Village Sun, proximity to the adjacent building owned by developer Ben Shaoul initially required the organization to pay a fee to protect from construction (a “construction access agreement). To skirt the issue, director Steve Englander asked Castrucci to revise the design by moving the outer wall inward five feet, effectively creating a narrow alleyway between the buildings.

In the end, though, no functional interior space was lost.

Meanwhile, the revised proposal will be submitted to Department of Buildings within the next few weeks for review.

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