Tax records show a house at this location as early as 1829, when it was owned by William Butler. Between 1834 and 1835, the property jumped in value from $2,500 to $8,000 and in 1839 the property owner or occupant was listed by as the Jackson Insurance Company. From 1845 to 1852, Caleb O. Halstead was listed as the owner or occupant.
In 1853, the East River Savings Bank was listed as the owner or occupant in the tax records and the value of the property jumped again from $7,500 in 1852 to $15,000 in 1853. A 1853 New York Times article describes a court injunction against the East River Bank, which intended to tear down the building and replace it with a bank that would extend beyond the eight foot setback of the other houses along East 8th Street (St. Marks Place). The court denied the Bank’s proposal. Still, evidence from historic maps shows that between 1853 and 1862 the structure was extended at the rear. As early as 1880, this location was referred to by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and other newspapers as the Astor Place Hotel. A photo from 1887 shows “Astor Place Hotel” on the side of the building.
The four-story red brick building was originally a three-story building with an attic and a prominent hipped roof. Sometime after the mid-1950s, the attic was raised a story and the hipped roof was replaced by a flat roof. There are still original attic windows on the St. Mark’s Place side. In 1884 the structure was altered by lowering the first story to the sidewalk level. Its use at that time was listed as stores at the first floor with one family residing above.
Block : 464 / Lot : 1 / Building Date : 1834-35 / Original Owner : William Butler / Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Unknown