East Village Building Blocks

171 Avenue A | Block : 438 | Lot #28

  • Building Date : 1880
  • Original Use : Residential/Commercial
  • Original Owner : Louis Rallwagen
  • Original Architect : William Jose

Description & Building Alterations

The four buildings at 165-171 Avenue A were constructed in 1880 designed by architect William Jose and owned by Louis Rallwagen. They shared an identical facade when completed. In September, 1980 punk musician Jerry Williams (who would later do the sound at CBGB’s) began renovating the interior of 171 Avenue A. When the illegal after-hours club he opened was shut down by the fire department, Williams turned 171A into a high-quality rehearsal studio. 171A was used by the Bad Brains, Reagan Youth, Beastie Boys, Young and Useless, and many other bands.

The roof cornice of No. 171 has been removed and a two-bay wide penthouse has been constructed at the roof. The rest of the building still features hooded window lintels, with neo Grec-style triangular pediments at the third story, footed sills, patterned brickwork and decorative beltcourses. The storefront has been largely reconfigured.

Block : 438 / Lot : 028 / Building Date : 1880 / Original Owner : Louis Rallwagen / Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : William Jose

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