East Village Building Blocks

204 East 13th Street | Block : 468 | Lot #11

  • Building Date : 1875
  • Original Use : Residential/Commercial
  • Original Owner : J. Foster
  • Original Architect : Unknown

Description & Building Alterations

Likely built circa 1875, 204 East 13th Street is a lovely four story Neo-Grec building with incised brownstone lintels and a pressed-metal cornice with brackets and modillions. According to tax assessment records, from 1858 to 1875 the building on Lot 11 was 20 by 24 feet, two stories, and valued at $8,500. The following year, the building was 23 by 60 feet, five stories, and valued at $13,000. Given the inflation in value and size, it is probable that the former building was demolished and a new building constructed. Oddly,  the tax assessment records only show a five story building at this location until 1883, when they show a four story building instead. Given that the footprint does not conform the the 1879 tenement law, it is unlikely that 1882-83 is another build date, and more likely that a floor was removed from the standing structure.

In 1964, the distinguished solo pianist and composer Randy Weston lived at this address. Weston was known for devoting his career to exploring jazz’s rich African roots. A great friend of Weston, was Booker T. Ervin Jr. a tenor saxophonist who later resided at 204 East 13th Street from 1968 to 1970. During his storied career, he played alongside legendary Jazz musicians such as Charles Mingus, Ray Copeland, and Cecil Payne. Contributing to the well-known Mingus Ah Um album masterpiece in 1959, Ervin was signed to Prestige Records shortly after. He would go on to produce several albums that featured his distinctive, inspiring style and left behind a moving set of jazz classics. Having also lived and performed abroad, Ervin easily earned the respect of his peers in New York City and beyond with a timeless, impressive style still referenced today.

Block : 468 / Lot : 011 / Building Date : 1875 / Original Owner : J. Foster / Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Unknown

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