636 East 5th Street | Block : 387 | Lot #20-5
Description & Building Alterations
The three-story structure was built as part of seven apartment buildings housing 48-units which span the length of almost the entire block currently all within lot 20 but was once individual lots numbering 17-32.
The apartments were completed in 1988 and are owned by NYCHA as part of the Lower East Side II Houses. The building is half as deep as the lots on which it sits, providing a large yard behind the building. Many buildings once on this property were Old Law Tenement buildings. There were also two synagogues, a bakery and Turkish baths. A branch of the Aguilar Free Library was established at 624 East 5th Street in 1887 and in 1896 the branch moved a few buildings down to 616 East 5th Street. The Aguilar Free Library Society was founded in 1886 to provide reading materials to immigrant Jews. This particular branch was one of three original branches opened by the society and was a predecessor to the Tompkins Square branch of the New York Public Library, opened in 1904.
Block : 387 / Lot : 020 / Building Date : 1988 / Original Owner : NY Housing Authority / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Robert Yauch