Silk Building

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14 East 4th Street, New York City, NY

Silk Building
SilkBuildingNYCExterior.jpeg

Street view of The Silk Building
Building Information
Developer David Walentas
Architect Clinton & Russell
Management Company Cooper Square Realty
Number of Units 55
Number of Floors 12
Year Built 1908
Construction Method Concrete
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14 East 4th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Over 40 options nearby
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning MI-5
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

The Silk Building is a 12 story residential and office condominium located in the heart of Greenwich Village and NoHo (North of Houston Street) in Manhattan. The retail and commercial floors go from street level to the seventh floor, and then the residential units start.[1]

Mid-block entrance to Silk Building with Blink Fitness

This elegant building dates from 1908 and was designed by Clinton & Russel Architects. It takes up a whole city block on 4th Street between Broadway and Lafayette with entrances on both these streets. In 1987, it was converted into 55 loft-style condominium suites with retail spaces. Buttrick, White & Burtis was the architect for the conversion. Tower Records operated out of all the ground floor retail spaces for several years before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2006.

Tower Records, a retail music chain, was based in Sacramento, California. The New York location at East 4th Street and Lafayette Street was a destination store for music lovers worldwide, no doubt because of the explosion of the music scene at the time bolstered by rock and pop videos on MTV, as well as the young bohemian and student population in the Village who went to New York University (NYU).

Tower Records had four levels and sold both mainstream and obscure items, witnessing the technology change from vinyl to CD.[2] Blink Fitness gym now operates out of this space. The Silk Building is a tall building for the area and was designed in the Italian Renaissance style.


Location

The Silk Building in context

The Silk Building is located at 14 East 4th Street, taking up the entire south side of 4th Street between Broadway and Lafayette. This address puts the condominium between two trendy neighborhoods - Greenwich Village and NoHo (North of Houston) that have a large student population due to its closeness to NYU. This central location provides access to parks, great shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and outdoor markets. Washington Square Park is a short walk away where residents can roller-blade, have a picnic, people watch, or enjoy street entertainers. Union Square Park is just a ways north with its popular fresh food market and vibrant crowds.

Many public art works and distinguished architecture can be found in this area, including Astor Place Cube bordering the East Village, Washington Mews and MacDougal Alley (two cobblestone private streets), the Row (Greek Revival and Federal-style townhouses), and the Washington Square Memorial Arch in Washington Square Park.

The building's proximity to Broadway means that great live theater is just steps from the door. Some restaurants and cafes to check out in the area include Au Bon Pain, Colors, Sweetriot, Dojo Bar, Acme, La Colombe Torrefaction, Little Atlas Cafe, Think Coffee, and The Smile.

The Silk Building takes up a whole block and the Broadway and 4th Street corner tends to be especially crowded. There is a mid-block entrance on Lafayette Street that is much quieter.[3]

Residents won't feel the need for a car as the building is close to many subway lines and is easily walk-able.[4]

Construction

The Silk Building is a pre-war building constructed in 1908 by Clinton & Russell Architects. Buttrick, White & Burtis converted this handsome, Italian Renaissance-style palazzo into residential condominiums with retail space in 1987. The building is shaped like a rectangle with a narrow width and a longer length. It is one of the larger buildings in Greenwich Village and NoHo - neighborhoods characterized by their classic European-style architecture and stone colored buildings.

The Silk Building looks as elegant as its name sounds with cornices above the first, third, and eleventh floors. The mid-block entrance on Lafayette Street is especially attractive with four columns capped with a pediment.[3] There are no balconies or parking garage, although there are four elevators, a rooftop deck, and a beautiful marble lobby.

Layout and Features

A sample interior showing high-beamed ceilings

Condominiums at The Silk Building range from studios to four bedrooms with high-beamed ceilings and hardwood floors. Many of the layouts are duplexes (two stories) or triplexes (three stories). The biggest penthouse suite occupies four stories. The layouts are spacious and well-designed with wood-burning fireplaces, a home office, and large walk-in closets.

The chef-style kitchens feature modern stainless steel appliances, a Sub Zero refrigerator, granite countertops, and a breakfast bar.[5] Most of the suites have been renovated.

While there are no balconies on the building, the over sized windows offer great views of the Manhattan skyline, as does the common roof deck. The penthouse suites offer terraces, sun rooms, and a media room.

Floor Plans

Over 30 floor plans exist at The Silk Building. Here is a sample:

Amenities

The Silk Building provides the following amenities to residents:

  • 24-hour doorman and concierge
  • Laundry facilities on every floor
  • Roof deck with views
  • Bicycle storage
  • Private storage
  • Stunning marble lobby

Bylaws

Silk Building Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No


The Silk Building welcomes pets, rentals, and owners of any age.

Barbecues would not be an option since the building does not have balconies.

Sustainability

Seeing that The Silk Building dates from 1908, it was built without 'green' features in mind. Residents can make upgrades in their suites and participate in New York's recycling programs to contribute to a more eco-friendly environment. Walking and taking public transit also helps this effort.

Trivia

40 Wall Street
  • The quadruplex penthouse suite, #1109, has been passed from celebrity after celebrity, starting with rap mogul and business magnate Russell Simmons, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, and pop divas Cher and Britney Spears. After taking a while to sell, Spears' old residence was put on the rental market for $32,000 per month. Apparently Cameron Diaz also checked out a two bedroom suite in the Silk Building a number of years ago.[6]
  • New York University bought a commercial condominium on the entire third floor of The Silk Building in 2010. It had been leasing the floor since March 2007. The space is used for the back-office purposes and houses an affiliate of the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, an international education nonprofit organization called Facing History and Ourselves.[7]
  • City Realty notes that the building allows protruding air-conditioners.[3]
  • David Walentas, the developer of the Silk Building, was at one time the apprentice of Donald Trump before the reality TV show, The Apprentice. He worked with him on the conversion of 40 Wall Street, also known as The Trump Building.[8]


References

  1. Demsker Realty
  2. Wikipedia-Tower Records
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 City Realty
  4. Walk Score
  5. Douglas Elliman
  6. Curbed-Silk Building
  7. The Real Deal
  8. Observer-The Walentas Family


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