East Village Building Blocks

413 East 12th Street | Block : 440 | Lot #53

  • Building Date : 1907
  • Original Use : Residential
  • Original Owner : Giovanni A. DeBellis
  • Original Architect : Briganti & Steeneken

Description & Building Alterations

This six-story brick tenement was originally erected for a store and 19 families in 1907. The store was on the first floor and families occupied the second through sixth floors. A painting by John Constanza shows a festival in 1930 on East 12th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A honoring Saint Lucy or Santa Lucia.  Celebrated annually in December, it is also known as the Festival of Lights, meant to look forward to the return of longer and brighter days as the weeks progress.  The painting appears to show the statue of St. Lucy in the ground floor of the tenement at 413 East 12th Street, which is buttressed by our research which says that the ground floor of the building was originally used by a church, and the bracketed cornice with ornamented frieze which contains the inscription “G. De Bellis,” indicating at the very least that the building was originally built by Italian Americans.  The site was just up the block from Mary Help of Christians Church.

The Shoreview Social Club was located at this address c. 1920. The club was frequented by Joseph Bonnano, the head of one of the most powerful Italian American mafia families, who often brought his son. The 2011 book Manhattan Mafia Guide states that a fire hydrant in front of the store was used solely to reserve a parking spot for the club’s most important members.

The building’s facade also features splayed lintels with keystones, and engaged pilasters flanking the main entry.

Block : 440 / Lot : 053 / Building Date : 1907 / Original Owner : Giovanni A. DeBellis / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Briganti & Steeneken

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