126 East 12th Street | Block : 556-2 | Lot #52
Description & Building Alterations
This old-law tenement was built in 1900 to house 24 families. Although by 2011 the building had been stripped of all its original ornamentation except for the ground floor, by 2020 its facade and cornice had been restored. The building’s architect, John G. Prague was extremely prominent in his field at the time. Prague’s great success as an architect afforded him plenty of time to enjoy a yachting lifestyle. He was a yacht designer and a skilled yachtsman.
The large majority of Prague’s work was done on the Upper West Side, where he was commissioned to design high-class private homes and apartment buildings. A New York Times article from 1894 credits him with the entire beautification of the neighborhood. By 1890, due to the planning of Mr. Prague, 86th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues was referred to as the “queen of all West Side Streets.” The Sunset Apartments on the northeast corner of 85th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and the Brockhoist at 85th Street and Columbus Avenue are just a couple of his noteworthy works. From the time Prague started his work in 1869 until 1894 he had built 214 buildings…
The original owner of no. 126 East 12th Street, John P. Schuchman (b. 1851), was also a man of note. An active member of the German community in the East Village, Schuchman immigrated to the U.S. from German in 1868 and became a lawyer. He was a member of the Tenement-House Committee in the 1890s. By 1900, Schuchman had become a judge whose unfavorable ratings halted his renomination for Judge of the City Court by the Bar Association of the City of New York in 1901. At the time of the construction of No. 126, he resided at 186 second Avenue but by 1910 had taken up residence here.
Block : 556-2 / Lot : 52 / Building Date : 1900 / Original Owner : John P. Schuchman / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : John G. Prague