This building is one of three 24 family tenements that was erected in 1898 by Michael Hanlon at a cost of $25,000 each. The six story, five bay wide building features stone details in the window lintels and sills, incised brick detailing, and a modillioned cornice. The first floor of the building has been painted purple with black detailing. In 1938 the buildings were altered by having their stops removed and replacing them with iron stairs as well as constructing a new brick chimney between the buildings at 272 and 274 East 7th Street. In the 1980s the landlord abandoned the building and the residents tried unsuccessfully to enter into the Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) program. They created a legal entity called the “Rainbow Co-op” and sued for full disclosure of the 2002 deal that “legalized” the East Village squats and homesteads. They also asserted an “adverse possession” claim that was rejected. They are a now co-op building. The squat was also known as “the Germans” because of the number of European immigrants that lived there.
From the NYTimes Abandon It, And They Will Come
by Amy Barrett October 6, 2002.
“Alex Pomarico and Leslie Steven, 274 East Seventh Street
Moved in 1994, after squatting at 278 East Seventh Street since 1985.
Squatter monthly payment at old building: $50. Declined to disclose recent payment. New payment: $450 to $550.
Leslie: ”There isn’t a typical squatter. There are lots of professional people in our buildings who work in media, who work in theater, who are artists, who are office professionals. I do interior design at Ralph Lauren. Of course, there’s a socioeconomic difference between me and some of the other squatters, but I feel more commonalities than differences. I know every tenant of this building, the building next door and the building on the other side of me. I know what their apartments look like, because we have building meetings on a regular basis in each other’s apartments. I don’t feel there’s any shame in the housing situation that we’ve created for ourselves. The people I work with don’t know about my living situation. And I really don’t have a clue where my co-workers live or how they live.””
Block : 376 / Lot : 030 / Building Date : 1898 / Original Owner : Michael Hanlon / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Rosenburger & Straub