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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

10 Bleecker Street

Between Bowery & Elizabeth Street

60
Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

This 7-story building at 10 Bleecker Street on the southeast corner at Elizabeth Street in NoHo was erected and designed in Renaissance Revival style by John R. Williams in 1894.  The commercial building was converted to co-operative residential ownership in 1986. 

The building has 22 apartments. 

Cynthia Nixon, the actress who ran for governor of New York State in 2018, is an owner of an apartment on the third floor. 

The building is convenient to public transportation and numerous restaurants and boutiques.

Bottom Line

A substantial and handsome masonry mid-rise with 22 apartments and two fire-escapes in a good NoHo location.

Description

The building is missing its cornice. 

On Bleecker Street, it has a two-story masonry and cast-iron base with banded piers, paneled spandrels, and molded crown and a fire-escape.  There are some large arched windows on the fifth floor.

Amenities

The building has a virtual doorman, a superintendent, a landscaped roof deck, a laundry and bicycle storage.  It is pet-friendly.

Apartments

Apartment 5A is a two-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads around a 10-foot-wide kitchen with a breakfast bar to a 40-foot-long great room. 

Apartment 1B is three-bedroom duplex unit with an entry foyer that leads to a 17-foot-long den with a staircase to the upper level with a 29-foot-long living room with an open kitchen and the master bedroom. 

Apartment 6D is a one-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads past a 17-foot-long open kitchen with an island to a 32-foot-long living room and a windowed 8-foot-wide office. 

Townhouse 1C is a one-bedroom duplex unit with an entry into a 19-foot-long living room on the upper level with an open kitchen with an island, a spiral staircase, a 12-foot-long dining area.  The lower level has a 27-foot-long den.

History

In a July23, 1972 article in The New York Times, Grace Glueck wrote that "the seedy, 80‐year‐old building at 10 Bleecker Street is not what you'd call a prime showcase for art. Fire has oared the ceiling beams of its huge first-floor interior and the floor itself has a sumptuous carpet of splinters. Nor does the Bowery neighborhood have the - well, decorum of Upper Madison. On a sizzling day last week, kids turned a fire hose through a second‐story window, creating a small Niagara from floor to floor. 

"Nevertheless, 10 Bleecker is serving as a gallery right now, displaying on its first two floors paintings and sculpture by five young artists who have done their work with an eye to the raw space. What's more, other artists - sculptors, painters, a composer and dance group - have studios on the top two floors, rented for much less than the going downtown rate (the three floors between are occupied by manufacturers). 

"10 Bleecker's new career as an art habitat was initiated by Art and Urban Resources, a spinoff project of the Municipal Art Society. A high‐minded civic org that monitors the city's environmental health (architecture, urban planning, parks, preservation, etc.) the M.A.S. sees Art and Urban Resources as a 'baby pilot project,' out to prove that urban centers can use their resources 'to provide a more sympathetic environment for the arts and a more stimulating environment for the community.' Actually, A&UR has two divisions - Workspace, a program that tries to find working space for artists in buildings throughout the city, and Exhibitions, which scouts space for artists’ shows. So far, Exhibitions has staged the Brooklyn Bridge Event, a three‐day festival last May in which artists performed works on a pier under the bridge, and three group invitationals at 10 Bleecker. Workspace has handled the studio rentals. 

"Art & Urban was hatched by Alanna Heiss, the Municipal Art Society's young program director, who on her return from a stay in England was struck by New York's inhospitality to artists. 'It seems odd that the city where they all live doesn't extend more of a welcome to them,' she says.'“The worse thing is the space situation. With property values at a high, space in which artists can produce art just isn't around any more at prices they can afford.' The well-meant publicity around the SoHo loft legislation, she points out, has driven prices up prohibitively even in that area. 

"A partial solution: space not thought of by the art world as art space. A number of commercial buildings around the city, she found, have empty space because, for one reason or another, their owners are reluctant to sign up long‐term lessees. 10 Bleecker was an example. Its owner, Mrs. Oliver W. Bivins, plans to rehabilitate the building eventually, and so wanted short‐term tenants. She agreed to rent the available footage to Workspace for two‐year period at a price well below market value. 'We sign the lease,' explains Ms. Heiss, 'so the owner doesn't have to deal with many individuals. The artists are model tenants - we stress that they can't live, only work there - and we rent out the space to them for what we pay.' At 10 Bleecker, the top two floors have been converted into four 2,700‐foot studios, each renting for $150 a month. One is shared by two artists, another by a group of five, the third and fourth by individuals. 

Art & Urban's idea is especially attractive right now, Ms. Heiss feels, not only because of the difficulty of finding cheap working space, but because 'the sort of work that artists are doing today offers much greater opportunity for exhibitions outside of the normal context of art shows - with enormous return to both the artists and the viewers.' 10 Bleecker, she asserts, is only the beginning. 'We plan to show how large, old empty warehouses and buildings can be leased for a: limited period of, say two to five years, made operable for working studios, made available to artists at minimal rentals and, when required, can be vacated with no problems for the owner.'

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