88 Bleecker Street

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88 Bleecker Street, New York City

88 Bleecker Street
88BleeckerStreet-NYC-Exterior.jpg

88 Bleecker Street displaying its red brick panels and external fire escapes
Building Information
Developer A & D Harrison, Inc.
Architect H.I. Feldman
Number of Units 106
Number of Floors 7
Year Built 1961
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Tar and Gravel
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88 Bleecker Street, New York City
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C6-2
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

When 88 Bleecker Street was completed in 1961, it was referred to as Mercer House due to its corner location on Mercer Street and Bleecker Street. The management company that owned it was called the Mercer Apartment Corp.

It began its existence as an rental apartment building with 106 units and was later converted into condominiums beginning in 1981. This apartment house replaced four nineteenth-century commercial buildings during a time when many of the nineteenth and early twentieth century loft buildings in the area were being demolished for parking lots.

This part of Greenwich Village features old streets still paved with granite paving stones, or cobble stones as they are often incorrectly referred to. The renovation within 88 Bleecker Street has added many conveniences such as hard wood floors, central air conditioning, and new custom cabinets and counter tops. Actual floor plans have only varied slightly still offering various versions of studio apartments, one and two bedroom apartments.


Location

88 Bleecker Street is located in Historic Greenwich Village in an area known as NoHo, or North of Houston. This address in NoHo is essentially close to everything, according to the 'walker's paradise' rating that walk score gives it. Transit scores well with 27 bus and 21 rail options nearby. The area is also designated 'flat-as-a-pancake' with excellent lanes, for biking.

Both independent and franchised coffee places are close, along with a juice bar right in the building on Mercer Street and more traditional adult oriented bars, as well. Also close by are groceries of many descriptions, restaurants, and schools from pre-school to prep-school, with the New York Film Academy thrown into the mix. Bike or walk, it's all in the neighborhood.[1]

Construction

88 Bleecker Street is a 7 story building described in a New York City Department of Buildings document from 1959 as having "paired fenestration, HVAC louvers, brick panels, wrought-iron fire escape with aluminum panels, and an entryway to the building lobby and brick garden wall facing Bleecker Street" and built following no particular architectural style. Today, the external fire escapes still exist but have been upgraded with newer materials and numerous modern upgrades have been installed.[2]

The building still features the same 106 units it began with. No major changes were made to alter the number of units, only modest alterations and upgrades within the suites.

Layout and Features

Along with the newly renovated lobby and common areas, 88 Bleecker Street provides a self-parking garage for cars, a bike storage room, private storage for residents, a 'cyber' doorman with building security monitoring, and a card operated laundry room.

Some of the best features of this location, is the location itself. The nearby parks, the services and amenities of the neighborhood, and the easy access to all day to day needs. It's an area rich with history and as the condominium market in New York City goes, this one is priced quite reasonably.

Floor Plans

88 Bleecker Street offers variations of 35 floor plans. Here are two studios, a one bedroom unit and two examples of two bedroom units.

Also included is a copy of the entire floor layout as pictured in the original promotional material for 'Mercer House' in 1961.

Amenities

  • Apartments have been fitted with new energy efficient stainless steel appliances.
  • Suites have been finished with custom shades, all new bathroom fixtures, crown and base moldings, custom cabinets, and granite counter tops.
  • A live in superintendent gives residents assurance that help is nearby.

Bylaws

88 Bleecker Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No



Pied-a-terres and rentals are permitted in this pet friendly environment. Unfortunately, there are no balconies, so the use of a barbecue, gas or otherwise, would be impractical.

Sustainability

Long before environmentally conscious thought was given to a greener more sustainable existence, 88 Bleecker Street was a product of its era. It filled a need for housing when many of the surrounding buildings were being levelled for parking lots and gas stations.

Its central location in NoHo and proximity to transit and services achieves a slight boost in the direction of a 'greener' lifestyle. The addition of individually controlled heat and cooling, and the installation of more energy efficient appliances all contributes to a better greener existence.

Trivia

Anthony Bleecker (October 1770 – 13 March 1827), for whom Bleecker Street is named, could not know that the street that ran through the family farm in 1808 would become the modern street that we see today.

A vintage photo of Bleecker Street and Eigth Avenue - 1908[5]
Anthony Bleecker was a lawyer and an author. He read copiously, but was reputedly never really successful in his law practise due to his weak oratory skills. Instead, he wrote verse and prose published in periodicals in New York and Philadelphia. William Cullen Bryant, a poet, once wrote of Bleecker:

"Anthony Bleecker, who read everything that came out, and sometimes wrote for the magazines, was an amusing companion, always ready with his puns, of whom Miss Eliza Fenno, before her marriage to Gulian C. Verplanck in 1811, wrote that she had gone into the country to take refuge from Anthony Bleecker's puns."[6]

Perhaps Anthony's continuing prospects of retaining Miss Eliza Fenno as a companion, were bleaker than before.


  • Bleecker Street is also renowned for some notable night spots, including Cafe Au Go Go, The Village Gate, and The Bitter End. Bleecker Street has been mentioned in many films and television like Gangs of New York, Desperately Seeking Susan, the remake of the 2002 The Time Machine, Adam Sandler's Big Daddy, and I Love Lucy.
  • In music, Bleecker Street is mentioned in songs by Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Joni Mitchell, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Even today, Bruce Springsteen is a frequent visitor of the Bleecker Street club, Cafe Wha?. Simon and Garfunkel recorded the Paul Simon song titled Bleecker Street for their debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. in 1964.[7]

References

  1. Walk Score
  2. NOHO HISTORIC DISTRICT - Designation Report
  3. Columbia University Libraries - 88 Bleecker Street - Promotional Literature 1961
  4. Columbia University Libraries - 88 Bleecker Street - Promotional Literature 1961
  5. NYC Vintage Images
  6. Wikipedia - Anthony Bleecker
  7. Wikipedia - Bleecker Street

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