East Village Building Blocks

188 Second Avenue; 190 Second Avenue; 300 East 12th Street | Block : 453 | Lot #8

  • Building Date : 1903
  • Original Use : Residential/Commercial
  • Original Owner : David Perelman
  • Original Architect : Bernstein & Bernstein

Description & Building Alterations

This six-story new law brick tenement was erected in 1903 for stores and 20 families. It was designed by architect Bernstein & Bernstein. The first story used to be occupied by Café Royal from 1908 until 1952, one of the most popular social venues for Yiddish theater performers, as well as other Jewish writers, celebrities, and characters during that time. Paul Muni, Jack Benny, David Sarnoff, Fannie Hurst, Eddie Cantor, Will Durant, Carl Van Vechen, and Sarah Adler were all Café Royal habitués.

The building shares many similar elements with other works by Bernstein & Bernstein. Like many other new law tenements, it sits on a corner lot. Its current facade features a curving, projecting bracketed cornice with a garlanded frieze, a chamfered corner, terra-cotta panels, beltcourses, window lintels with keystones, triangular and segmental-arched pediments, decorated panels beneath fourth-story windows, brick quoins, elaborate window surrounds, and a molded cornice above the first floor. The rounded window pediments connect the third and fourth floor windows in continuous enframements. The storefront has been reconfigured and refaced.

Block : 453 / Lot : 008 / Building Date : 1903 / Original Owner : David Perelman / Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Bernstein & Bernstein

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