45 Christopher Street

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45 Christopher Street, New York City, NY

45 Christopher Street
45christopher-exterior.jpg

Georgian-Style exterior elevation of 45 Christopher Street
Building Information
Developer Bing & Bing
Architect Boak and Paris
Number of Units 113
Number of Floors 18
Year Built 1931
Construction Method Concrete
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45 Christopher Street, New York, NY, United States
Distance to Public Transit Less than a block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R6
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

45 Christopher Street is a Georgian-style building built in 1931. It stands 60.96 meters tall and presents itself in a brown brick facade with a lot of ornate details.

New York Times front page article image of the Stonewall Riots
It sits across the street from Stonewall Inn, famous for the riot in 1969. At the time, the Inn was owned by the Mafia, and catered to drag queens, the transgender community, effeminate men, male prostitutes and homeless youth.

Police raids targeting the gay community were routine in the 1960s. People would have to line up and show their ID, any one who didn't have their ID was arrested, anyone who was dressed in drag was arrested, and any woman not wearing three pieces of feminine clothing was arrested.

The Stonewall in was the only bar that allowed dancing, which was the main attraction despite all the negative characteristics. They didn't have a liquor licence, and there was no running water behind the bar. There also weren't any fire exits, and the toilets flooded constantly. Drug sales and other "cash transactions" frequently took place. The visitors were assessed by the bouncer through a peephole. The entrance fee was $3, and with that purchase visitors would also receive two drinks.

The riot was initiated when Police showed up for a raid and followed standard procedures. But, people refused to show their ID's. The police decided to take everyone to the station. A sense of discomfort quickly spread, and some of the police men were reported to have started "feeling some of the lesbians inappropriately."

The alcohol was retrieved, but the patrol wagons hadn't arrived yet, forcing the captive to wait outside. Quickly, more than 100 people gathered outside, some from the bar, and some curious neighbors who had spotted the police. When the cruiser arrived, the Mafia members and employees were the first to be directed into the vehicle.

Bystanders shouted "Gay Power!" and the police sensed growing hostility. An officer shoved a transvestite, she, in turn, hit him on the head with her hand bag and a "boo" emerged from the crowd. Another woman was hit in the head with a billy club. At this point someone in the crowd suggested "why don't you guys do something?" and the crowd suddenly became explosive.[1]


Location

Greenwich Village historical buildings representing the areas classic character

Greenwich Village Historic District is located on the West Side of lower Manhattan in New York City. It is a primarily residential area and was known in the late 19th to mid 20th centuries as and artists' haven.[2]

Interesting things to see in the area consist of the New York University, Washington Square Park, and Grove Court.

As for activities, Cherry Lane Theater, Bitter End Historic Music Club, Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Small's and Terra Blues all provide musical entertainment.

Popular places to eat include Arturos pizza restaurant, Blue Hill upscale american restaurant and Red Bamboo vegetarian food.[3]

Construction

The building was constructed as part of a simultaneous development of five buildings in the area.

Bing & Bing firm had quietly acquired 75 small lots and old buildings largely around Abingdon Square, Sheridan Square and Jackson Square Park. The lots would be combined to allow for a set of larger-scale, 17-story apartment buildings.[4]

The exterior of the the building is clad with brown brick and a two-story stone base accompanied by an attractively enclosed water tank.

Georgian-style buildings are typically constructed out of wood and masonry with clapboards, even the columns were made of wood.[5]

Layout and Features

After the universal renovation into apartment units, some of the occupants did some of their own renovating. Therefore, certain features may differ one suite to another. Some of the suites include:

  • Over sized Rooms
  • Huge Closets
  • Gracious Entry Foyers
  • Views
  • Wood Burning Fireplaces
  • Prewar Detailing[6]

Floor Plans

Amenities

Amenities provided by 45 Christopher Street Include:

  • Common Roof Deck
  • Laundry
  • Pure White Glove Staff

Bylaws

45 Christopher Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes


  • Pets are permitted[7]
  • The building allows rentals of the units


Sustainability

The building and renovation construction had taken place long before any of the LEED concepts existed. So, the building itself is not considered to be "green." Residents can take green alternatives, such as using compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent, and by using less water and turning off lights. Also, the building is lucky enough to be at such a transportation rich area that residents can achieve getting to their destination without the use of a car.

An environmental issue that Greenwich and all of New York City deals with is Air Pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, New York County has the third highest cancer risk caused by airborne chemicals following Tippah County and Boyd County. New York City has the largest number of hybrid buses and taxis, and a bio-diesel processing plant. It is clear that efforts are being made to fix this problem.[8]

Trivia

  • Theodor Adorno, (philosopher and cultural theorist)and Gastona Marie Rossilli, fashion-behavioral consultant lived in the building.
  • In 1934, an explosion in the 17th floor penthouse killed the occupant and injured many people on lower floors; police suspected suicide caused by a recent divorce.

References

  1. Wikipedia - Stonewall Riots
  2. Wikipedia
  3. WikiTravel - Greenwich Village
  4. Christopher Street
  5. Wikipedia - Georgian Architecture
  6. Street Easy
  7. Corcoran
  8. Wikipedia - Enviromal Issues in New York


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