East Village Building Blocks

199 East 4th Street | Block : 400 | Lot #58

  • Building Date : 1859
  • Original Use : Residential/Commercial
  • Original Owner : William B. Astor
  • Original Architect : Unknown

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

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