Description & Building Alterations
This eight-story, three-bay structure was built in 1897 and designed by the architectural firm, Neville and Bagge. It is clad in white brick set in a rusticated pattern and its two entries at the first floor are framed by austere flat pilasters. Simple cornices are above the first, second, and sixth floors; the original cornice at the roof has been removed. There are ornamented spandrels between the seventh and eighth-floor windows. The eighth-floor windows are capped by round spring arches that have scrolled keystones.
During the 1950s through the 70s, 59 Fourth Avenue housed a number of publishing companies. Of note is Pagaent Books Inc. (also a second-hand book store of the same name and at this same location). This small publishing firm produced facsimile copies of the Gutenberg Bible in 1961 and published the Library of Congress Catalogue of Books in 1958. Additionally, they were praised for re-publishing a work by Henry Roth, Call it Sleep, in 1960. It was originally published in 1934 but not fully recognized for its place in both 20th century American literature and as a compelling depiction of Jewish Immigrant life on the Lower East Side until the 1960s following its re-publication by Pageant Books, Inc. For more information, see the Jewish Tour and the Publishing Tour on our Virtual Village map.
In 1988, the building was converted from storage, office, and warehouse space into a multi-family dwelling. The ground level has been modified into a modern, sleek storefront with an entrance to the apartments above.
Block : 555 / Lot : 11 / Building Date : 1897 / Original Owner : Jno. K. Todd / Original Use : Commercial / Original Architect : Neville & Bagge