25 Minetta Lane

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25 Minetta Lane, New York City, NY

25 Minetta Lane
25MinettaLane-NYC-ext.jpeg

Exterior view of 25 Minetta Lane
Building Information
Developer Belkind Realty Corp
Architect Hyman Isaac Feldman
Management Company Andrews Building Corp
Number of Units 65
Number of Floors 6
Year Built 1940
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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25 Minetta Lane, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Steps away
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R7-2
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Minetta Lane in 1925

Although 25 Minetta Lane was built in 1940, the street and surrounding area have a recorded history spanning back hundreds of years.

Minetta Lane and nearby Minetta Street are named after a stream that used to flow through the area. Originally it was named "Mannette", an Algonquin word that was translated by the early Dutch settlers of Manhattan as "Devil". However, it's most likely based on the word "Manitou", Algonquin for spirit. When the Dutch settled on the Isle of Manhattan in the early 1600s, they reinterpreted the name to "Mintje Kill", or "Little Teeny Stream".

Recorded accounts date back to the 1640s and mention the area as a place where partially freed African slaves were able to purchase land, though they had to pay a yearly fee. Minetta Creek flowed over this land and a pathway took shape up and down its banks which became known as "The Negroes Causeway". The entire area itself was referred to as "The Negroes farms" and later "Little Africa".[1]

On July 4, 1827, New York State officially abolished slavery and many of the 14,083 newly freed, African Americans migrated to this area. By this point Minetta Creek had been moved underground, though there are accounts through the years and to this day that after heavy rainfall, flooding has occurred in basements in the area. Through the next century the area was impoverished and crime ridden, with New York Herald reporter Stephen Crane in 1896 calling the Minetta's "two of the most enthusiastically murderous thoroughfares in the city." [2]

The early 1900s saw a gradual change in the community with prostitution and crime levels dropping and many of the former residents leaving the area. The Bohemian Movement of the 1920s soon enveloped Minetta and it was merged with the growing Greenwich Village. This saw the development of many new buildings and houses in the area and in 1940 the construction of 25 Minetta Lane.[3]

25 Minetta Lane was build in 1940 by the Belkind Realty Corporation and designed by architect Hyman Isaac Feldman. Feldman's design was simple and cost-effective and offered prospective buyers studio, 1, 2 or 3 room apartments. Though the suites at 25 Minetta Lane could be considered cramped by some today, such buildings at the time offered significant upgrades to previous structures in the area's past.[4]

Location

An old map showing to former course of Minetta Stream

Located on Minetta Lane, just east of 6th Avenue, in the middle of the historic and artsy Greenwich Village, 25 Minetta Lane is in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. Since the early 1900's, Greenwich Village has been an artistic and cultural hub in New York, with such notable residents as Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Miles Davis, Mark Twain, Bette Midler, Billie Holiday, and James Taylor.[5]

The area is home to a swath of notable cafes, restaurants and bars. Nearby Bleecker Street hosts the area's night club scene as well as many live music venues. Many art studios and galleries can be found in the neighborhood along with theaters and museums, the most notable being The Guggenheim under half a mile away. The Minetta Lane Theater, with 399 seats, is located at 18 Minetta Lane and features off-Broadway musicals and plays.

Grocery stores can also be found nearby, as well as The Greenmarket at Union Square Park, featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 8am and 6pm and is open year round. Washington Square Park is also located 3 blocks away with several smaller parks and in the area as well.

There are several options for schools, both public and private, in the neighborhood, as well as New York University. The Jefferson Market Library can also be found nearby.

25 Minetta Lane scores a perfect 100 walk score for easy, walkable access to nearby amenities. The building also scores a perfect 100 transit score, with 27 bus routes and 21 rail routes close by. [6]

Construction

25 Minetta Lane was designed by prolific New York architect Hyman Isaac Feldman. Construction on the Art-Deco, pre-war building was completed in the spring of 1940 and occupancy began in the summer of the same year. Constructed of red brick, the building is in an "H" plan design, meaning that from above the footprint of the structure is in the shape of an "H". This design gained prominence in New York in the early 1900's and was used extensively by noted New York school architect Charles B. J. Snyder. The "H" plan design allows for a greater amount of natural light and air flow by introducing more windows to the building.

Hyman Isaac Feldman was a Polish immigrant born in 1896, who studied architecture at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. While some estimates indicate that Feldman designed as little as 88 buildings, his family claims the number much higher at over 4000. This would make Feldman one of New York's most productive architects in history.[7][8] He is widely remembered as a designer of utilitarian apartment buildings that lacked artistic and decorative flare. He instead was focused on keeping building costs down, the developer happy and putting food on his family's plate. This indeed had the effect of keeping Feldman constantly employed and sought by New York developers.

Indeed 25 Minetta Lane is a typical Feldman design. The building offers little in the way of outer decoration, though its red brick, prewar charm has stood the test of time. The apartments within also have a utilitarian feel with long, thin kitchens, basic bathrooms and no balconies, with the exception of the upper floors. Most of the units in the building are studio suites or have only 1 bedroom.

Layout and Features

25 Minetta Lane features studio and 1 bedroom apartments typical of the prewar era. The apartments are functional, with long skinny kitchens and basic bathrooms, some featuring showers only. Every suite in the building comes with a raised dining alcove, period archways and some feature sunken living rooms as well. All suites have intricate parquet-hardwood flooring, crown and base moldings and mosaic-tiled bathrooms. Some units have been renovated and feature more modern hardwood and tiling. Only the upper floors of the building feature private terraces, but there is large rooftop deck open to all residents with lovely views of the surrounding neighborhood.

Floor Plans

The are several floor plans for this building available for viewing. Here is a small sample.

Amenities

25 Minetta Lane offers a 24 hour doorman service and a live-in building manager. The building has a communal laundry room, a bike room and features additional storage in the basement. There is also a charming gated entrance to the building and a small adjacent park called Minetta Green.[9]

Bylaws

25 Minetta Lane Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes


  • 25 Minetta Lane is a pet friendly building.
  • Barbecues are allowed on the upper floor terraces and roof deck.
  • There are no age restrictions for the building.
  • Rentals and pied-a-terre are also welcome.

25 Mintetta Lane is managed by Andrews Building Corp., phone (212) 529-5688

Sustainability

Having been built in 1940 and weathered the test of time, 25 Minetta Lane has shown a level of sustainability. But aside from updates to appliances by individual owners, the building offers little in the way of modern day sustainability. Its central location means that most daily errands can be done without the need of a car. Access to nearby public transit and the bike storage room in the building offer further ability to lessen one's carbon footprint.

Trivia

  • On nearby Minetta Street, buildings No. 5-7 can be seen as the residence of Frank Serpico in the 1973 film Serpico, starring Al Pachino.[3]
  • Minetta Lane has had its share of shady criminals throughout the years. Some of the remembered nicknames of such men are, "Bloodthirsty," "No-Toe Charley," and "Black-Cat". In the 1890s, future President, Theodore Roosevelt became New York City's Police Commissioner and one of his first orders of business was to fire the local precinct and begin cleaning up the neighborhood.
  • 1910-1920 saw architect Vincent Pepe revitalize this area of Manhattan by building several new houses and gardens. He is quoted as saying, "The artist, the writer, the creator of beauty in any medium - these are the men for whom the Minettas should be preserved."[10]

References

  1. New York Song Lines
  2. Media History New York
  3. 3.0 3.1 The New York Times
  4. Columbia University Library
  5. Wikipedia
  6. Walk Score
  7. Emporis
  8. The City Review
  9. Street Easy
  10. Dayton in Manhattan


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