Graffiti Lovers Can Relax: 190 Bowery Will Keep Its Street Paint Job

Whatever worry Aby Rosen of RFR Reality had about obtaining permission for the renovation of his landmark structure has not vanished like, or perhaps not like yesterday’s graffiti.

Rosen won approval easily from the Landmarks Preservation Commission

190 Bowery: Graffiti to remain as renovations commence.

190 Bowery: Graffiti to remain as renovations commence.

to bring back 190 Bowery as a modern locale for office space, agreeing to keep the years of accumulated graffiti in its much beloved place on the street level walls.

Completed in 1899, the landmarked structure, located at the corner of Spring Street on Bowery, originally served as the office of Germania Bank. One year ago Rosen purchased the building for $55 million. He would like to turn it into offices with a retail space on the ground floor.

Rosen plans on restoring the windows, stained glass and metal gates, but will not be washing away the many years of street painting exhibited on the street level façade. Apparently the Landmarks Preservation Committee is pleased with that plan, and Rosen won the committee’s approval to begin the renovations.
Michael Goldblum, commissioner of the committee, stated that the restoration is “a real testament to the layering that preservationists seek.”

Photographer Maisel Scores $55 Million on Bowery Property

Photo by Beyond My Ken

The Germania Bank Building, located at 190 Bowery at the corner of Spring Street in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was built in 1898-99 and was designed by Robert Maynicke in the Renaissance Revival style. It is a New York City landmark. Photo by Beyond My Ken

In what some are saying is one of the greatest return on investment for real estate in New York City, photographer Jay Maisel sold his Gilded Age bank building, the Germania Bank, for a whopping $55 million, after paying a mere $102,000 about forty years ago.

The property, located at 190 Bowery, is a graffiti-covered relic which developers have been salivating over for years as the once seedy neighborhood transformed to a trendy, up and coming hot spot in Manhattan. Maisels has been living in the building with his wife and daughter, using the lower floors as his studio and the upper floors for his living space. Last year the photographer cut a deal with developer Aby Rosen, but the record of the sale was filed with the city on Thursday.

Rosen already relisted the property for sale with realtor Cushman & Wakefield before the end of last year.