East Village Building Blocks

27 Cooper Square | Block : 461 | Lot #2

  • Building Date : circa 1845
  • Original Use : Residential/Commercial
  • Original Owner : William H. Pinckney
  • Original Architect : Unknown

Description & Building Alterations

The four-story building that currently stands on this lot is of unknown origins. However, clues from a tax assessment records and historic maps indicate it might have been constructed between 1843 and 1845, as two narrow houses with ground-floor shops.

In 1962, this building became the home of writers Amira Baraka (later known as LeRoi Jones) and then-wife Hettie Jones. Their apartment became the “headquarters” of the Black Arts Movement. LeRoi Jones’s writing ranged from black liberation to white racism, while Hettie’s often focused on her struggle to find identity as an outcast in Jewish family and as the wife of a black artist during the Civil Rights Movement. Hettie Jones, who still lives in the apartment, was allowed to stay after hotel developers agreed to incorporate the tenement into their design, using it for the lobby and concierge desk for the Cooper Square Hotel.

Block : 461 / Lot : 2 / Building Date : Circa 1845 / Original Owner : William H. Pinckney / Original Use : Residential/Commerical / Original Architect : Unknown

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