The Real Deal New York

What would Banksy say? Graffiti removed from Aby Rosen’s 190 Bowery

During landmark approval process last year it seemed the street art would be kept

March 24, 2016 06:15PM

190 Bowery in Nolita and Aby Rosen

190 Bowery in Nolita and Aby Rosen

When Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty went through the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval process last year for the restoration of the Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery, it seemed the building’s graffitied facade would stay intact.

On Wednesday, workers were cleaning the facade of the landmarked building with power washers and removing some of the street art, Bowery Boogie reported.

Rosen bought the six-story, 37,000-square-foot building on the corner of Spring Street and the Bowery from Jay Maisel in 2014 for $55 million. The famous photographer lived at the former Germania Bank with his family and reportedly paid $102,000 for it about 50 years ago.

When Rosen’s firm went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the renovation project won approval. The plan called for restoring the doors, metal gates, stained glass and windows, but not for removing the street-level graffiti that had accumulated over the years.

At the time, Commissioner Michael Goldblum said that the restoration is “a real testament to the layering that preservationists seek.”


190 Bowery presentation materials (credit: MdeAS Architects)

A RFR spokesperson told Curbed the scrubbing of graffiti’d portions was a way to test different methods should the developer proceed with cleaning it.

Last April, a conglomerate of creative agencies inked an 11-year lease for nearly 30,000 square feet at the building. [Bowery Boogie and Curbed]Dusica Sue Malesevic