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Scaffolding Causes New Concerns at 135 Bowery

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135 Bowery is the white building on the left; 133 Bowery, next door, is covered by scaffolding.

Here’s an update on 135 Bowery, the 194 year old federal house facing demolition.  In September, the City Council reversed the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision to protect the three-story structure. The owner, First American International Bank, plans to redevelop the parcel.

In the last several days, scaffolding has gone up next door, at 133 Bowery.  According to Buildings Department records, the owner (Chu & Lee Realty) plans “facade repair.”   Preservation groups have unsuccessfully fought to protect the 1814 building, which was originally used as a candle and soap shop.   As they continue to hold out hope that First International will agree to save 135 Bowery, they are concerned that repairs to the neighboring building could destabilize an already fragile facade.

Construction permits were recently filed regarding 135 Bowery, as well. The application calls for “emergency repair and partial demolition to stabilize rear and front facades” and to “install shoring.”  First International intends to put up a new commercial building, offering at least some office space to neighborhood businesses at below-market rents.


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  1. Where are the “This Old House” people when you need them. Fixing up these houses would make a terrific season of show$.

  2. Council Member Chin has really opened up the floodgates of Bowery’s destruction. Someone please run against this woman in the next election.

  3. The scaffolding has nothing to do with the demo next door. The building is just getting “red washed”, ie a Chinatown make over.

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