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Longtime Essex Street Business, M Schames & Son, is Relocating

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Photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

A short time ago, we received a tip from a Lo-Down reader that M Schames & Son, a fixture on Essex Street for four generations is moving. We confirmed with the Schames family that they are, in fact, relocating the paint store to 90 Delancey Street. The recent demolition of 5 Essex (next door) apparently destabilized at least one of their walls. We’re going to call back for more information in a few minutes. The owners are in the process right now of dealing with the Department of Buildings and their attorneys.

A check of the DOB’s web site shows a “full vacate order” has been issued for the building, 3 Essex.  According to our tipster, there are large blocks of wood inside the store, stabilizing the north wall. The Schames family owns the building. The photo above was taken recently for our series “On Essex.”

More to come…

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  1. This happens way too often. Duh! When you tear down an old building, the old buildings adjacent to it get destabilized. It seems obvious that this could be prevented by proper bracing in the first place.

    Sometimes the result is that the adjacent building has to be demolished, too — an unnecessary loss of historic structures.

    3 Essex Street, built in 1909, is a contributing building in the LES Historic District.

  2. For what it’s worth, at least a good portion of the building at 3 Essex appears to be significantly older than 1909 as is evidenced by certain construction materials and methodologies uncovered by recent events. In fact it appears that the original facade of the building once faced due south and may have opened onto a long-gone street or alleyway that would have run underneath what is now 1 Essex.
    An update to this story, though: Schames Paint IS open for business at 3 Essex and the vacate order has been lifted due to interior bracing (which your tipster described as large blocks of wood). The new location at 90 Delancey will hopefully open in early June.

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