RFR gets OK to convert 190 Bowery, keep the graffiti

Aby Rosen's landmarked former Germania Bank building in Nolita to undergo restoration
May 06, 2015 02:30PM

Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty handily won the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to restore 190 Bowery as part of an office conversion — keeping its signature graffitied facade intact.

The landmarked structure, at the corner of Bowery and Spring Street, was completed in 1899 and served as the office of Germania Bank. Last year, Rosen purchased it for $55 million, and is planning to convert it to offices with an undetermined retail tenant on the ground floor, New York YIMBY reported.

While the doors, metal gates, stained glass and windows will be restored, Rosen’s plans for the restoration, which were presented to Landmarks on Tuesday by Higgins Quasebath & Partners and MdeAS Architects, do not call for scrubbing off the street-level graffiti that has accumulated over the years.

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

Last month, a conglomerate of creative agencies signed on to take 30,000 square feet in the building. [NY YIMBY] — Tess Hofmann