Description & Building Alterations
This twenty-story brick building, called “The Saint Mark,” was constructed in 1961, according to the Office for Metropolitan History. It is an example of its time, using multi-paned glass windows and a modern design. The top stories are setback, mirroring the first New York City zoning laws created in 1916 which called for setbacks after buildings reached certain heights. Joey Ramone, counterculture icon and member of the pioneering punk band The Ramones, lived in this apartment building prior to his death in 2001.
Previously on the site along Third Avenue was a series of 19th century three-story structures as seen on the historic maps and in the 1940’s tax photos for Block 555. The former building at the northwest corner of East 9th Street and Third Avenue, at 30 Third Avenue, used to be home to the Harmony Bar and Restaurant. Film footage entitled Beats in NYC (1959) – Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac & Friends shows the Beat writers and others at the Harmony (see link at sidebar). According to the PopSpots blog by Bob Egan, folk musician and photographer John Cohen lived at 32 Third Avenue in spring of 1962, when he took photos and film footage of Bob Dylan on the roof of his building. Photographer Robert Frank, author of the 1958 photography book The Americans, lived at 34 Third Avenue around this time as well.
From 1956 to 1963, the Camino Gallery operated out of a structure that has since been torn down at 92 East 10th Street. The 10th Street area formerly served as home and studio space for over a dozen artists including Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Michael Goldberg, Philip Guston, and Esteban Vicente. The artists and galleries of 10th Street and the surrounding area played a significant part in the growth of American art and the diverse art styles that are evident in the art world today, especially Abstract Expressionism. This neighborhood was a direct predecessor to the SoHo gallery scene.
Block : 555 / Lot : 28 / Building Date : 1961 / Original Owner : Masbel Corporation / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Robert L. Bien