199 East 4th Street | Block : 400 | Lot #58
Description & Building Alterations
In 1859, No. 199 was constructed along with the nine others in this row of identical five-story tenements with basements. The development of these buildings, which started at 193 and proceeded east down the block, was a speculative real estate investment of William B. Astor, who sold each building as soon as it was completed. Peter Becker purchased this building from Astor.
This Italianate pre-law tenement retains its original window lintels and sills as well as its pressed-metal cornice. In 1939 the cellar and first floor were connected to its neighboring buildings — 199, 197 and 195 — and used to support a newspaper printing press, the International Newspaper Printing Company. The cellar and first floor of 201 were used for storage of newsprint paper.
In the mid-1980s the hardware store located on the first floor hosted monthly poetry readings.
Block : 400 / Lot : 58 / Building Date : 1859 / Original Owner : William B. Astor/ Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Unknown