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Commission Votes to Make Jarmulowsky Bank Building Historic Landmark

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According to the Architect’s Newspaper Blog, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has voted to designate the Jarmulowsky Bank Building at 54 Canal Street an historic landmark. The 1912, 12-story Beaux Arts style building has long been a mainstay of the neighborhood’s historic walking tours. It has been on and off the market in recent years, most recently for $37 million (back in March).

The AN Blog said, the Jarmulowsky building ” was praised by the commissioners for being a monumental structure in an otherwise low-rise neighborhood.” After yesterday’s public hearing, there are still a couple more steps before it’s officially a protected landmark. The City’s Planning Commission has 60 days to prepare a report on the “effects of the designation as it relates to
zoning, projected public improvements, and any other city plans for the
development or improvement of the area involved.” The City Council then must approve of the designation.

The building last sold in 2005 for $25 million, Curbed reported, “when the new owner set to work on emptying the commercial building.
There was a rumor that the building was going to be sold again and
converted to a boutique hotel (maybe a W), but a $40 million deal for the property fell through last year.”

The listing on Massey Knakal’s web site, which has since been removed:

This offering is a unique opportunity for conversion to a hotel, condominiums with stores, or to be kept as its most recent use,
commercial lofts with ground floor stores. From the upper floors, the
panoramic views of New York City are unparalleled. The building lies in
a C6-2G commercial zone and would require a special permit for
conversion to residential use.

If the Jarmulowsky becomes a landmark, the Preservation Commission must approve in advance “any alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction…”

As the Tenement Museum blog recounted in May, the building has a rather colorful past. Sender Jarmulowsky, the bank’s founder, died less than a month after it was completed. Two of Jarmulowsky’s sons ran the bank into the ground two years later. Mismanagement and bad real estate investments (sound familiar?) were to blame:

Two thousand people demonstrated in front of the bank. Five hundred
people stormed the house where son Meyer lived, forcing him and his
family to flee over the rooftops. Shortly after the State took over the
bank in May 1917, the Jarmulowsky sons were indicted for banking fraud
and the bank closed.

By the way, take a look at what’s going on behind the Jarmulowsky Bank Building. The building that sat on this lot on Orchard, Division and Allen Streets was recently demolished. You may recall, it’s the former home of the Good World Bar, which has since moved to Delancey & Allen.


We took the photo above in April, just after the Good World Bar closed. The bar’s owners posted this flyer on the side of the building:



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