Description & Building Alterations
This originally Italianate, altered to Neoclassical, four-story building was constructed in 1851. It is located in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District and has undergone quite a few alterations, most importantly when it was converted into a synagogue by the Proskurover Zion Congregation and Kranken Untershtitsung Verein (K.U.V.) or Sick Benevolent Society in 1927. After converting the structure into a synagogue, members of the K.U.V. held meetings and social functions in the basement, prayed in the main sanctuary, and supported a sexton who lived in an upstairs apartment.
By 1978, the Proskurover Zion Congregation vacated the building and it was swiftly converted into artists’ studios and residences to accommodate the neighborhood’s burgeoning art scene. Beginning in 1982, a parade of influential artists and writers lived and worked in the space over the years including: painter Jack Sal, photographer and documentarian Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, curator Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, artist William Wegman, and poet Paola Igliori. In 2021, the building’s ground floor art gallery space and main duplex apartment were put up for sale.
The present facade features stone window sills, a brick parapet with panels and pediment, an original transom over the door, and a panel with the name of the synagogue engraved over the door. Alterations have led to the shaving of features including panels on either side of the center window on the second story, the addition of windows on the third story, and alterations to the front entrance.
More information can be found in the Designation Report, linked in the “Additional Resources” section.
Block : 434 / Lot : 042 / Building Date : 1851 / Original Owner : American Life and Trust Co./ Original Use : Residential/Commercial / Original Architect : Unknown