Landmarks Greenlights 190 Bowery Restoration Plan with Iconic Graffiti Intact

May 6, 2015

After several weeks of back and forth on whether or not the new owner of 190 Bowery, Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty, would keep its iconic graffiti, it’s now official that the historic Germania Bank Building will remain in all its tagged glory. As Yimby reports, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the proposed restoration and conversion to an office building with ground-floor retail. The plan, conceptualized by preservation architecture firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners with the help of MdeAS Architects, “calls for restoration of metal gates, wooden doors, stained glass, and other elements, but not removing the graffiti or cleaning the façade.”

190 Bowery, ADA entry, Germania Bank Building, RFR Realty

RFR Realty bought 190 Bowery from photographer Jay Maisel–who had lived in the 72-room building as his private home since the mid ’60s –last fall for $55 million. After the sale, marketing materials showed the facade completely stripped of its graffiti, outraging many who felt the artwork was an important cultural aspect of both the building and the neighborhood. And then in March, we got a first-hand look at some of the graffiti being scrubbed from the building. But since 190 Bowery was designated an individual landmark in 2005, no major work could be done without permits from the LPC.

190 Bowery, ADA entry, Germania Bank Building, RFR Realty
Existing and proposed views of the main Bowery entry

190 Bowery, ADA entry, Germania Bank Building, RFR Realty
The new ADA entry planned for the Spring Street facade

In addition to the work previously stated, some of the first-floor windows will be replaced to meet fire code, and much of the window work has already been approved by internally by the LPC. A new ADA entry will be added on the Spring Street side. Commissioners hailed the plan for its sensitive approach and preservationists applauded the conservation efforts.

You can see all of the diagrams and renderings from the LPC hearing over on NY Yimby.

[Via NY Yimby]

All renderings via MdeAS Architects


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