East Village Building Blocks

505 East 6th Street | Block : 402 | Lot #63

  • Building Date : 1860
  • Original Use : Residential
  • Original Owner : William B. Astor
  • Original Architect : Unknown

Description & Building Alterations

This building is a five-story “pre-law” tenement likely built in 1860.  It has the same Italianate cornice as many of the neighboring buildings.  The original storefront and lintels are gone and a series of small windows have been installed in the facade between the center and right window bays.  This likely indicates the placement of an added bathroom.  Small triangular marks on the corners of the large lintels show  the profile of the molding of the original lintels.

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, which has historically featured and supported LGBTQ artists, began in 1973 as a series of informal readings at Miguel Algarín’s apartment, after which it moved to 505 East 6th Street at what was formerly an Irish bar called the Sunshine Cafe. By 1981, the rapidly growing Nuyorican Poets Cafe, which included poets Miguel Piñero and Bimbo Rivas, moved to 236 East 3rd Street. The presence of Puerto Ricans in New York became more prevalent after mass migration took place following World War II. The term “Nuyorican,” popularized by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, has come to mean “Puerto Ricans of New York,” particularly those born in New York to a Puerto Rican parent or parents. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg once called the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, “the most integrated space on the planet.” The space on East 3rd Street continues to serve as a stage for multicultural artists and is renowned for originating the late-night poetry slam.

Block : 402 / Lot : 063 / Building Date : 1860 / Original Owner : William B. Astor / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Unknown

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