The 10,000-square-foot property boasts 5,668 square feet of retail space and four apartments that rent for an average of $5,000 a month, according to Eastern Consolidated’s listing.
The building, on the busy block between Second and Third Avenues, is also known as the Hamilton-Holly House. According to a report by the LPC, which landmarked the building in 2004, it was built in 1831 and sold in 1833 to Col. Alexander Hamilton (the treasury secretary’s son), who lived there with his wife and his father’s widow and her daughter. The townhouse was divided into apartments in the mid 1800s.
The building has had a “significant and colorful theatrical history,” the LPC report notes. In 1955, the Tempo Playhouse opened there and quickly won an early Obie award for best experimental theater by premiering works by Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, and Michel de Ghelderode. Later the Key Theater put on plays by Lorca, Chekhov, and O’Neill.
In the 1960s, Theodora Colt Flynn Bergery, a relative of the inventor of the Colt revolver, opened a circus and then a theater there. In 1964, when it was home to the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, the district attorney’s office raided the building, seized Jack Smith’s allegedly “obscene” film Flaming Creatures, and arrested the cooperative’s director, Jonas Mekas. In 1965-66, the Bridge Theater hosted experimental plays, a dance series that featured the likes of Meredith Monk, and midnight performances by Yoko Ono and The Fugs. When the theater faced charges of burning an American flag during an anti-Vietnam skit, Allen Ginsberg showed up to protest.
Trash & Vaudeville opened in the basement, which had previously been home to clothing stores like Limbo and Headquarters, in 1975. A manager told us the store, which had originally planned to relocate to 96 E. Seventh Street in the fall, still doesn’t have a definite moving date.