544 East 13th Street | Block : 406 | Lot #27
Description & Building Alterations
This six-story tenement is somewhat atypical compared with its contemporaries. Although it was constructed under the “old law,” it does not have a typical dumbbell plan, likely because of the larger width of the lot. The building displays a Renaissance Revival style with some terra cotta ornament around the arched windows as well as in courses running the width of the facade. Some diagonal dog-tooth brick patterns are visible between the fourth and fifth floors. The rightmost bay has wider window openings than the rest of the facade, likely demonstrative of the architect’s unusual attempt to cope with the abnormal dimensions of the lot.
This is the last of the six squats that existed on this street since the 1980’s and was included in the 2002 deal that was supposed to turn over the property to the residents. The actor Rosario Dawson grew up here. The building has suffered from a lack of unity and in 2013 the city issued a partial vacate order. Like 377 East 10th Street the city sold a tax lien on the building jeopardizing the housing of the residents. In 2015 Urban Homesteading Assistance Board negotiated a deal in which Donald Capoccia’s BFC Partners would fund a gut renovation and then obtain inclusionary zoning credits to build more at 196-200 Orchard Street 438 East 12th Street.
Block : 406 / Lot : 027 / Building Date : 1899 / Original Owner : Daniel Mahoney / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Schneider & Herter