Jay Maisel’s Iconic NYC 190 Bowery Building Reportedly Up For Sale


Photographer Jay Maisel has spent the past five decades living, working and exhibiting his work in the iconic building at 190 Bowery in Manhattan that he calls home. A home which, according to a report by Crain’s, is up for sale on RFR Realty. Details, however, are scarce as both Maisel and RFR are keeping pretty quiet.

Erected in 1898 as the third location of Germania Bank, 109 Bowery witnessed a slow decay as the Bowery district transformed from ‘Little Germany’ to a low-income section of Manhattan. Eventually, the building fell completely out of use, and was shortly thereafter purchased by Maisel for the sum of $102,000 (roughly $750,400 in today’s money).

Since being purchased almost 50 years ago, New York Magazine reports that Maisel’s 37,000 square-foot, 72-room home has been a living place for famed artist Roy Lichtenstein, a gallery for his own photographic work and as of 2008, and a home for his wife and daughter.

The official website for 190 Bowery is a one-page site that links out to the New York Magazine article, as well as the Wikipedia article on the famed building. And contradictory to the listing on RFR Realty, the website clearly states that the building is not for sale, specifically noting:

PLEASE NOTE: The building is not for sale, and there is no space in the building for rent. Any real estate-related emails will be ignored.

It’s difficult to find any hard facts, as both sides have kept quiet, but with the property page posted on RFR, complete with a broad floor-plan, it looks like RFR has indeed broken the not-for-sale warning… and will make a pretty penny doing it.

According to Crain’s report, in 2008, the grafitti-adorned building was worth upwards of $50 million. So… anybody looking for a place in Manhattan?

(via American Photo Magazine)

Image credits: Germania Bank Building by Jonathan Dawkins (left photo in header)

  • Chris D Johnson

    On a side note: The photo on the right is much much better, and I don’t just mean because of the state of the building.

  • Chang

    I agree. And probably because it looks like they used a view camera or tilt-shift lens (I incline towards the former, given the age) to straighten those verticals.

  • Peter Croft

    When I first started photography 50 years ago it was a point of honour to avoid converging vertical in photos of buildings. To do that, I stood on walls or went up as many floors as I could in nearby buildings, and carefully kept the camera level.

    No-one seems to be bothered to try any more. I’ve really noticed that in the past few decades.

  • C Schel

    That shot on the right doesn’t look like any lens movements were necessary. The camera position was at the approximate height of the middle of the building, likely shot from a building across the street.

  • Peter Croft

    Yes, that’s what I mean.