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250 Mercer Street: Review and Ratings

between West 3rd Street & West 4th Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 250 Mercer Street by Carter Horsley

This attractive and large complex of 12- to 16-story buildings at 250 Mercer Street in Greenwich Village dating back to 1890 was converted from commercial use to 277 cooperative apartments in 1980 by Raynes & Leichter. 

The architect for the conversion of nine buildings here, which includes a wide diversity of apartment layouts - some quite dramatic - was Henry G. Greene. 

The property includes a large, landscaped courtyard with attractive murals of street scenes painted by Evergreene Painting Studios of New York. 

It is also known as 2-14 West 4th Street, 1-9 West 3rd street and 683-697 Broadway. 

Bottom Line

Very close to Washington Square Park and New York University, this is one of the largest and more important conversion projects in Greenwich Village. It is a group of several buildings clustered around a courtyard and the most impressive building is at 697 Broadway on the southwest corner at 4th Street, which sports some sprightly large and vigilant owls on its limestone façade. 

This project is also very convenient to SoHo and not far from buses and subways.


The 8-story, orange-brick building at 250 Mercer Street has a very impressive entrance marquee and a rusticated three-story base across from a very handsome plaza next to a N.Y.U. building.  The building’s top floor has arched windows and its corner at West 4th Street is highlighted by a darker façade. 

The 16-story building at 697 Broadway on the southeast corner at 4th street has very elegant and large owls on both its Broadway and West 4th Street façades above a 4th fourth story bandcourse. The lower three floors are clad in limestone and have banded pilasters at the corners and ornate three-story-high window surrounds in the center of its façades. The building, which has an exposed rooftop watertank, has another bandcourse at its 15th floor and the top two floors are also banded. 


The building has a full-time doorman, a large entrance marquee, a bicycle room, sidewalk landscaping, a roof deck, a laundry room and a garden.  It also has a pharmacy and a supermarket.


Some apartments have fireplaces and high ceilings.

The buildings offer a wide variety of apartments ranging from a 19-foot-wide living area in a studio unit to a four-level unit with two major terraces.

Apartment D-1103 has an 18-foot-long living room, a 7-foot-long office, a 9-foot-long enclosed kitchen and a 16-foot-bedroom. 

Apartment B-203 has a 9-foot-long entry foyer next to a 9-foot-long enclosed kitchen and a fining area that leads to a 25-foot-long living room with steps up to an 8-foot-wide sleep lot.  The unit also has a 16-foot-long master bedroom. 

Apartment A503 has a 9-foot-long foyer that leads to a 12-foot-wide open kitchen with a breakfast bar next to a 22-foot-long living room with a fireplace and up one-step to a circular dining room on the main level. 

A two-bedroom unit has an entry foyer that leads past a 9-foot-wide office with steps up to a 13-foot-wide bedroom with clerestory windows to an 18-foot-long living room with steps down to a 9-foot-long dining area next to an 11-foot-long pass-through kitchen.  The unit also has a second bedroom. 

A two-bedroom unit has a small entry foyer that leads up three-steps to a large open kitchen and dining area and a large living room with a fireplace and a spiral, skylit  staircase that leads to an upper level with two bedrooms. 

A three-bedroom duplex has a small entry foyer that leads up a few steps to a large living room with a fireplace and a large enclosed kitchen on the lower level. 

A duplex has a long entrance foyer that opens onto a 23-foot-long, double-height,  living/dining room with an open, 13-foot-long kitchen beneath a 23-foot-long loft bedroom. 

A five-bedroom duplex has a curved entry foyer that leads to a 31-foot-long living/dining room next to a 10-foot-long pass-through kitchen.  The lower level also has a 23-foot-long master bedroom, a 16-foot-long second bedroom and a 12-foot-long study.  The upper level has three more bedrooms and a laundry room. 

A quadraplex has a foyer that leads into a 13-foot-wide dining gallery next to an enclosed 9-foot-wide kitchen off a 33-foot-long living room next to a 16-foot-long bedroom.  A “mid-level” room is 16-foot-long and the upper level has a 22-foot-long library and two bedrooms, a 37-foot-long terrace and a 24-foot-long balcony with a spiral staircase leading to a 32-foot-long terrace. 


697 Broadway was designed by William C. Frohne for Philip Braender who also built 684 Broadway across the street in the NoHo Historic District in 1905. 

A January 19, 1992 “Streetscapes” column by Christopher Gray in The New York Times noted that 697 Broadway was replacing its lost cornice, noting that “The stripping of cornices from older buildings was done routinely during façade renovations carried out from about 1950 to 1980. But now the preservation ethic is so institutionalized that such alterations are becoming rare.” 

The article said that Braender and Frohne did “at least four other similar structures around the same time” and that this building was “at first named the Braender Building” but was eventually renamed as the “Merchants’ Building.” 

“Contemporary photographs show a big cornice, perhaps eight feet deep,” Mr. Gray wrote, adding that “The photographs are too shadowed and muddy to reveal the exact detailing, but a perspective drawing published in the Real Estate Record and Guide in 1908 is quite clear and shows something unusual: Above the modillioned copper cornice with lions' heads rises a row of Statue of Liberty-type flaming torches, apparently about six to eight feet high.” 

“Darius Toraby, the architect who designed the new installation, said that the original cornice had shielded the upper floors from all but a driving rain,” Mr. Gray continued, adding that “his design, which protects the upper floors, is a stripped-down version of the original: six feet deep with simple, rectangular modillions and a few curves -- no flaming torches, but a perfectly good design and a noticeable improvement. 


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 31 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 26 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 17 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #14 Rated co-op - Downtown
  • #6 Rated co-op - Greenwich Village
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Key Details
One United Nations Park
between East 39th Street & East 40th Street
Murray Hill
One United Nations Park is an unprecedented interplay of privacy and light—a balance that reflects the architecture’s bold exterior and luminous interiors.
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