Icy, metallic, and unabashedly serious is how one might describe The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art building in the East Village. But deep within its mash of raw concrete, steel beams, and metal screens is an unlikely 800-square-foot treasure chest filled with tens of thousands of design and typographical ephemera spanning multiple decades.
Known as The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, the quaint and cozy space opened in 1985 as an archive dedicated to the work of Herb Lubalin, an American graphic designer best known for his playful art direction at Avant Garde, Eros and Fact magazines, as well as his groundbreaking design work completed between 1950 and 1980 (including the original World Trade Center logo). As one would expect, the center is filled with one-of-a-kind Lubalin works that range from posters, journals, magazines, sketches, and packaging, most of which came from his studio, his employees, or via donation by Lubalin enthusiasts.
However, what many will be surprised to know is that Lubalin’s materials make up just 20 percent of the center’s entire collection. Indeed, about 80 percent of what’s tucked away comes from other influential designers. And those flat files not dedicated to Lubalin are filled with rare works from icons that include Push Pin Studios, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Lou Dorfsman, Massimo Vignelli, and more.
go inside here
Time hasn’t erased the historic feel of this unusual one-bedroom-plus-sleeping loft co-op, diminutive as it is elegant. It has the look of a renovated townhouse in one of the city’s most creative neighborhoods. At $1.35 million this petite pad may be an expensive refuge, but in its earliest days it was a refuge of a different sort with a history as interesting as its architecture–especially at a time when the ability to offer shelter to those in need is firmly in the spotlight. Landmarked in 2008, the subtly ornate red-brick facade of 307 East 12th Street was designed in 1892 by the firm of Calvert Vaux, who co-designed Central and Prospect Park among other enduring landmarks. Built for the Children’s Aid Society, the building was known as the Elizabeth Home for Girls; the New York Times tells us that it housed “several dozen young women rescued from abusive homes, offering them safe lodging, job training and healthy communal activities.”
Find out more about the building’s early residents
Rocker Peter Gabriel’s daughter, Anna Gabriel, is unloading her East Village pad for $1.65 million. Gabriel, who has shot music videos that include notably Beyonce’s “Countdown” and “Sweet Dreams,” purchased the apartment at 303 East 8th Street in 2006 for $1.05 million, according to public records. (You can see some photos of her living space here.) Now the two-bedroom unit–which boasts 17 windows across four exposures–is looking to find a new owner.
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This one-bedroom apartment is being marketed as both charming and quiet, located at the prewar cooperative 315 East 12th Street in the East Village. You’re not getting tons of square feet but it’s just enough for a first-time buyer who can afford the price tag of $535,000. This unit’s asking price has been creeping up over the years: it was asking $249,000 back in 2006 and then $449,999 in 2008.
Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, of “True Blood” and “Tarzan” fame, may be sinking his teeth into a swanky new East Village pad. The Post reports that he was seen checking out the duplex penthouse at 415 East 6th Street, the Meseritz Synagogue condo conversion. The apartment isn’t publicly on the market, but it’s still vacant and was last listed for $4.39 million.
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The East Village loft owned by novelist and literary bad boy Bret Easton Ellis is available for rent for $5,900 per month. Ellis has been renting out the studio apartment since he decamped for Los Angeles a decade ago; he told the Observer he’s been holding on to the 950-square-foot, second-floor condo in the American Felt Building at 114 East 13th Street as a back-up plan, “if Los Angeles just doesn’t work out.” The “American Psycho” scribe says he spent the late ’80s living in the lofty studio–in his early 20s at the time–writing the iconic 1991 novel of late 20th century privilege, materialism and delusion and throwing massive Holly Golightly-esque bashes packed with his contemporaries back in the day in an East Village very different from today’s.
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This floor-through apartment at 307 East 10th Street in the East Village is a convenient and chic option for someone on the hunt for a short-term rental. Asking $6,500 a month, it’s a furnished space with lots of drool-worthy furniture and a good location right across from Tompkins Square Park. It’ll be available from January 15th through April 15th, with the option to extend if a renter happens to fall in love.
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Victoria’s Secret beauty Candice Swanepoel may be this year’s eighth highest paid model, but her East Village apartment doesn’t scream dollar signs. The rather standard, modern condo at 311 East 11th Street has two bedrooms, a balcony, and a corner penthouse location, and it’s available for rent for $6,200 a month, reports the Post. The South African supermodel and her boyfriend, Brazilian model Hermann Nicoli, welcomed their son in October, so perhaps they’re looking for some extra room.
Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller are in the market for a New York pad, reports the Post. The pair were recently spotted touring a three-bedroom at 64 East First Street in the East Village. The third-floor apartment is not quite of celebrity proportions, measuring just 1,807 square feet, however, the home’s $3.3 million price tag says otherwise.
Here’s an East Village co-op with a little room to grow. Located at 71 East 3rd Street, this is a two-bedroom apartment in which a third bedroom could be carved out of the large living room. Otherwise, it’s a charming pre-war apartment with exposed brick in nearly every room, a cast iron tub and four exposures with views out toward the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. And it’s just hit the market for $975,000.
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6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Ira Fox takes us back in time to the East Village of the ’90s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Ira Fox is best known for his use of black-and-white photography and cinematic approach, credited to his background in theater. He focuses on urban New York scenes and portraits, one example of which is his series “Wigstock at the Palladium.” Wigstock was the annual Labor Day drag music festival in the East Village that was co-founded by Lady Bunny and hosted the likes of Crystal Waters, RuPaul, and Leigh Bowery in the ’80s and ’90s. In his shots, which were taken outside the famed Palladium nightclub, Ira captures the diverse characters who partook in the jubilant event during the ’90s.
See all the photos here and find out about a special promotional offer for 6sqft readers
Even if you’re cat-free there’s still plenty to love about this stylish designer-renovated (junior) one bedroom co-op at 633 East 11th street in the charming heart of Alphabet City. The apartment, though petite, is a perfect mix of classic pre-war quality and modern, luxurious fixtures and finishes, including white painted brick, dark wood floors and a sleek European-style kitchen and bathroom. And, yes, according to the floor plan there’s a built-in litter box tucked out of sight in the bath.
If you love classic prewar apartments but you also love the East Village, you might think you’ll have to make some concessions when finding an apartment to rent among the neighborhood’s tenement walk-ups and boxy new buildings. But don’t give up until you’ve seen this unbelievably charming and spacious loft apartment in the venerable Christodora House at 143 Avenue B, on the rental market for $5,500.
Seeing is believing
Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the longtime East Village apartment of acclaimed photographers James and Karla Murray. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
You might not immediately recognize their names, but there is no doubt you know their work. Photographers James and Karla Murray burst onto the scene back in 2008 with the release of their seminal book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York,” a work culling hundreds of images of the bygone retail graphics that once covered the city—and jointly, the mom and pop businesses that vanished alongside them. Since then, the Murrays have released two more tomes of the same vein, and collected countless awards and accolades for their documentary work along the way. In fact, their photographs can now be found in the permanent collections of major institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the New York Public Library. Their images also decorate the homes of countless celebrities, among them Sarah Jessica Parker, Ralph Lauren, Alicia Keys and Roseanne Barr.
In this week’s My sqft, 6sqft visits this warm and spunky husband-and-wife team in their East Village home to talk about their tenure in the city (they moved downtown in the 80s—though Karla is from the Bronx) and their ongoing efforts to chronicle what remains of “old New York.” We also get a peek inside their studio apartment/workspace of 22 years, which as Karla and James share ahead, has some crazy stories of its own.
go inside their home here
7th Street between Avenues C and D is arguably the most charming and magical block in the East Village, where tenements give way to colorful but well-tended historic townhouses interrupted only by the venerable Flowerbox condominium building and a sturdy brick apartment building or two and surrounded by a delightful collection of cafes, restaurants and some of the city’s best community gardens. Yes, it’s a hike to the subway, but there are buses aplenty and the East River Park bike and running path is just steps away. It’s hard to imagine an apartment here that’s anything but charmed and lovable, and the one-bedroom co-op at 255 East 7th, listed at $799,000, meets those high expectations–for value if nothing else in a neighborhood of $1M+ studio “lofts” and the occasional apartment with a shower in the kitchen.
Take a look around
Earlier this morning, 6sqft reported that “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Justin Chambers had spent $1.54 million on a rather bland East Village loft in Ageloff Tower at 172 East 4th Street. Interestingly, another big-name television star has also picked up a residence at Ageloff, this time at its sister building at 141 East 3rd Street. LLNYC reports that “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon is listed on property records for a similarly unassuming apartment that sold for $1.49 million. The buyers are Nixon and her wife Christine Marinoni and another couple, their friends Michael Growler and William Bowers (Growler worked as a dresser for the “Sex and the City” movies). Based on the joint ownership, and the fact that Nixon has owned a $3.25 million residence at 10 Bleecker Street since 2012, it’s likely that this is more of an investment.
Take a look around
After 13 years of dramatics on “Grey’s Anatomy,” you’d think actor Justin Chambers would opt for a bit more of a trophy apartment, but he and his wife Keisha (it’s actually her name on the property records) have spent $1.54 million on an unassuming East Village pad at Ageloff Tower, one of the few large, pre-war co-ops in the neighborhood. As the Observer point out, the couple will likely use the residence as a pied-à-terre since it’s only two bedrooms and they have five children and three dogs.
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, Thu, September 29, 2016
Anyone who’s been around long enough to remember what the East Village used to be like–before the days of shiny condos and SoulCycle–might say this rather romantic little 425-square-foot co-op studio at 88 East Third Street is just about as old school as you can get without having your bathtub in the kitchen. Yes, there’s a Starbucks on the corner, but this quintessentially quirky-cool block is still home to the infamous Hell’s Angels East Village clubhouse at number 77 (right next door to the New York Law School dorm). They won’t cause you any trouble, but those bad boys still ride, so we hope you like the sound of motorcycle engines.
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, Tue, September 27, 2016
The scene on the day of the explosion, via Uptown Radio
When the Second Avenue gas explosion tore through three East Village buildings in March 2015, George Pasternak lost his property at 123 Second Avenue, which housed the famed Pommes Frites and a deli, by no fault of his own. And when the city demolished what remained, he was charged $350,000. But this past March, he listed the vacant lot for $9.7 million, and now 6sqft has uncovered property records that show he’s made the sale for $6 million, significantly less than the asking price.
In the 1980s, the idea that Avenue C would eventually be home to condo developments with names like Boutique 67 would have sent most local residents into a fit of laughter and possibly a fit of rage. At the time, heroin was so widely available in Alphabet City that junkies would simply line up outside local tenements and wait for dealers to lower their next hit out the window in a bucket (such practices were well documented by local activist and photographer Clayton Patterson and some of this footage appears in the 2010 documentary, “Captured“). Of course, Alphabet City in the 1980s was about much more than drugs. It was the epicenter of New York City’s fight to maintain affordable housing at a time when gentrification was already beginning to reshape both the West Village and Soho. The neighborhood was also home to the city’s then thriving punk music scene.
Most vestiges of the Alphabet City of the 1980s are already long gone, but at least a few reminders of the era and the old neighborhood remain, including C-Squat.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE…