343 East 10th Street | Block : 404 | Lot #34
Description & Building Alterations
This five-story tenement was constructed in 1859-1860 by original owner William S. Wright, who owned many buildings on this block. It is a pre-law tenement that is part of a row of six at Nos. 335 to 345 East 10th Street that was part of a larger group of eighteen. The three-bay wide Italianate facade consists of brick and brownstone and features molded lintels, projecting sills and an original bracketed, projecting cornice.
This building is the former site of the Life Café, a haven for local artists and residents featuring inexpensive drinks and food, regular poetry readings, art shows, and performances. The café inspired the scene in Rent where the characters dance on the tables singing ‘La vie Boheme.’ In 2011, after thirty years of business, the Life Café closed after a dispute between the building’s two landlords.
Block : 404 / Lot : 034 / Building Date : 1859-1860 / Original Owner : William S. Wright / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : William S. Wright (attributed)