509 East 5th Street | Block : 401 | Lot #59
Description & Building Alterations
This pre-law tenement is part of a row of 13 speculative tenements developed by William B. Astor in 1859-60. The first three have a smaller footprint. The construction began on the western portion of the block and moved eastward.
No. 509 was designed in the Italianate style. The intact lintels are simple brownstone and the wood cornice is also original. Also still intact are the fire balconies, an alternative to fire escapes that often are replaced with the more practical fire escapes. The small windows were likely installed in 1907, at the same time a one-story addition was added to the rear of the building to extend the stores that were present on the first floor. Those shops were replaced with apartments in 1960, but the raised-stoop entrance that was original was likely removed prior to this alteration.
Block : 401 / Lot : 059 / Building Date : 1859-1860 / Original Owner : William B. Astor / Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Unknown