Here’s an interesting listing. A former synagogue and the studio of Abstract Expressionist painter Pat Passlof at 80 Forsyth St. has gone on the market for $6,250,000. The 3-story, 7,000 square foot building sits across from Sara D. Roosevelt Park near Hester Street. Passlof, who bought the old synagogue in the 1960’s and renovated it herself, died in 2011 at the age of 83.
The property is being offered by Massey Knakal’s Michael DeCheser. A marketing brochure says the building dates to 1874. There are double height ceilings in most of the interior, original architectural details including pointed arch windows, several skylights and a fireplace. Massey Knakal notes that “the historical integrity of the building” has been “maintained incredibly well.” But the property is not a New York City landmark. The prospectus states the lot could accommodate a commercial or mixed-use building with about 15,000 square feet.
Passlof was married to another renowned painter, Milton Resnick. He mainatined a studio, another former synagogue, around the corner of Elddidge Street. Resnick took his own life in 2004. A 2011 article in the New York Times titled “His and Hers Synagogues on the Lower East Side” explained how the couple came to acquire the building:
In 1963, Ms. Passlof and Mr. Resnick bought the Forsyth synagogue for $20,000, (Passlof) said, with a little help from her parents. They were horrified, she said, by the condemned building, its floors collapsing, its windows gone, sold to them by a man who was storing bar equipment there. “They called it a rat hole, but I couldn’t deny that,” she said, describing the sleek, fat rodents living in its basement. There was no foundation, she said, just a sort of berm made from dirt and building debris.