Former Historic Home of Beastie Boy Faces Possible Demolition (Updated)


We have recently learned that a historic, federal era row-house is in threat of demolition in the South Village.

The property, located at 186 Spring Street, was built in 1824 and is one of the last structures of its kind that has mostly remained intact as it was originally constructed. It also belongs to the South Village area, which has been in talks of being a proposed historical district for over a decade.

In addition to its historical significance the row-house also has some celeb-cred as Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz sold the property to its current owner in April of this year.

According to Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the current owner, Stephan Boivin, a Canadian businesssman who owns several other properties, originally purchased the home for “personal use” but has since changed his mind as he is currently seeking permission from the Landmarks Preservation Committee to demolish the property.

The plight of this property is not unique. Earlier this year actor David Schwimmer made more enemies than friends, when he purchased a historic property from 1852 in the East Village and demolished it to reportedly  build a swanky mansion.

While other historic organizations and politicians such as State Senator Tom Duane are urging the LPC to save this site and others, the outcome is hardly predictable.

“For 10 years we’ve been trying to get the south village marked as a historic district,” said Berman. “The city has stalled out and not kept their word despite this area being declared as one in seven of the most important and threatened historic sites by the Preservation League of New York.”

We reached out to the LPC for comment about the property at 186 Spring Street as well as the status of the proposal for marking the South Village a historical site and the East Village. We’ll update if we hear anything back from them.

**We heard back from the LPC and in an emailed statement this is what they said,

After a careful evaluation and site visit, we’ve determined that 186
Spring Street doesn’t rise to the level of an individual landmark.
Although the building retains its original gable roof, 3 ½-story height
and a small amount of Flemish bond brickwork, there is no original
fabric left at the ground floor, the lintels and sills have been
replaced, and the dormers have been combined into one structure. Because
so few of its details and materials remain, the building will not be
recommended to the full Commission for further consideration as an
individual landmark.The building lies within the boundaries of an area the Commission
has been asked to evaluate for possible historic district status. The
area is under consideration for future review by our staff, but is not
an immediate priority because of the many other historic districts we’re
pursuing throughout the city.


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