The Demolition of 185 Bowery

Longtime LES resident Michele Campo of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors sent along these pictures of the demolition of 185 Bowery, which finally got underway this past week. The Real Deal reported two years ago that the global real estate firm Brack Capital bought the townhouse for $8 million. They also own three adjacent lots (187, 189 and 191 Bowery. All together, the company sunk about $30 million into the investment.

WNYC and the Observer have both taken notice of what’s transpired here – focusing on the plight of Roberta Degnore, who lived in 187 Bowery for 30 years. The lone holdout after all of the other tenants got out, Degnore finally settled with the new landlord and abandoned her 1500 square foot loft.

According to Brack Capitol’s web site, 185-191 Bowery will one day be a boutique hotel. Scaffolding went up well over a year ago on 185 Bowery, but until this past week nothing appeared to be happening. One hotel-industry analyst told WNYC in November, “hotel development is a 2–3 year process… In general, if they aren’t already started, they’re at best long, long delayed because financing just isn’t available and I can’t conceive anyone who would start one today.”

In 2008, Jeremiah looked into the rich history of these buildings.

  • ——m

    the destruction of new york city’s history is underway – this building dates to 1808 (or earlier) and has a varied past, notably the germania bank’s first location. other occupants included makers of: picture frames; cabinets; daguerreotypes; pianos. karl hutter had his lightening bottle stopper supply business here. many, many other occupants and uses this lovely, sturdy building has accommodated in its 200 plus years.
    greed rules in present day new york. no respect for the past leads to a shallow, rootless future.
    numerous people have called 185 their favorite bowery building. it’s loss is devastating.

  • sallysonegun

    losing 185 Bowery is not just a loss of a building that should have been preserved, but more a loss of the collective Bowery history. The Bowery holds some, if not most, of the lower Manhattan history that is still intact-many buildings, although altered, date back to around 1800, and a some earlier. This all needs to be evaluated historically, and soon. Many buildings have recently come down-we are losing our history. 185 has one of the most documented chronological histories of all buildings on the Bowery. This destruction is something that never should have been allowed to happen.

  • Jean Standish

    The loss of 185 Bowery is only a foretaste of the tragedy that is becoming the Bowery, with the incursion of out-of-scale buildings and massive luxury hotels. The Bowery is too important to lose. Hopefully, the powers that be will have an epiphany and preserve this wonderful community. And, yes, you can take action to halt this wanton destruction of New York City’s history. The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors are working to preserve the Bowery (BAN) and was specifically formed for this purpose. Please visit our website at http://www.boweryalliance.org. BAN’s email address is ban62007@gmail.com.