comment 1

The Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery

I recently mentioned that it would be nice to be able to buy a five-storey building in Soho (New York) for $70,000. Yes, that was in 1968 dollars. But even in today’s dollars, we’re talking less than $600,000. I would gladly buy a cast-iron five-storey building in Soho for that price today if it were somehow possible.

In response to this post, a reader sent me this (thank you), which is another great example of an artist buying an old buying in New York for what is clearly an absurdly low price. The artist is photographer Jay Maisel, and the building is The Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery.

Jay bought the six-storey building in 1966 for $102,000. He then used it as his residence, a studio, and as a place to collect a hell of a lot of things. Though at one point he also rented out some of the other floors to artists like Roy Lichtenstein.

It is alleged that most people thought the building was abandoned. But this was obviously not the case. Jay sold the building to RFR Holdings in 2014 for $55 million. And in 2019, streetwear brand Supreme opened up in the bottom.

Today, I understand that Web3 things are also happening in the building. And who knows, it might be the case that we’ll be reading about some of them, in a similar kind of way, fifty years from now.

1 Comment so far

  1. Michael Visser

    In a similar vein, photographer Albert Watson bought his studio in the Meatpacking District for $850,000 in 1985 and sold it in 2008 for $34 million.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s