a lot about a plot

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These Luxury Lofts Are Home to Rock History and a Rocket-Related Mystery

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The building at 104 South 4th Street today. (Photo: Courtesy of aptsandlofts.com)

The building at 104 South 4th Street today. (Photo: Courtesy of aptsandlofts.com)

“Launch yourself into Rocket Factory Lofts,” beckons the website of the building on South 4th Street, near the East River waterfront. “Experience authentic, industrial loft living in this former rocket and plane parts factory.”
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How a Home For the Homeless Became a Celebrity Crash Pad

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

295 East 8th Street (Daytonian.com)

295 East 8th Street (Daytonian.com)

An ad for apartment 2W, at 295 East 8th Street, calls it “the most WOW loft you’ll ever see, fit for anyone with a flair for the spectacular.” Matt Dillon once lived in the massive brick building at the corner of Avenue B, across from Tompkins Square Park.
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The Whitehouse Hotel: a Home For Transients, Now in Transition

(Photo: Makini Brice)

(Photo: Makini Brice)

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The Whitehouse Hotel hasn’t been open since September 3, although a paper sign hanging in the window of the front door says the closure is only temporary. The end was so quick and unceremonious that even the hotel’s own website is still happily inviting prospective guests to billet at “the most affordable hostel with private accommodations in NYC.” Single rooms are on offer at rates as low as $30 a night. That is, until a look at the reservations calendar reveals consecutive dates colored in red for “unavailable” that stretch on to the end of 2015.
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Beneath Baruch Houses, a ‘Rough Block’ Wiped Off the Map

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Walk as far east on Houston Street as you can until lines of imposing brick towers shoot up over the river – about 27 acres of them. The streets no longer make sense in context and the lines don’t link up with the grid. It’s like you’ve passed into another city. Instead of the jumble of old-fashioned tenements with ladders hanging out the windows coexisting with storefronts and street life, you encounter 17 almost uniform towers with yards of greenery surrounding them – a luxury of space rarely seen in Manhattan. These buildings are tough, institutional even, with their glazed red brick to discourage vandalism, lines of bars in windows and signs that say, “Welcome to Bernard Baruch Houses” outside each building.
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From ‘The Witch’ to La MaMa: How Radical Art Tumbled into the East Village

UntitledAll week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The raucous audience inside Turn Hall grew increasingly impatient for the curtain’s rise. Police had just arrived at 66-68 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue, to subdue the swelling mob at the door, those unfortunate souls without a ticket to see America’s first Yiddish play.

The spectators had paid a whopping five dollars for seats normally valued at 50 cents in 1882. Such was the excitement surrounding the sold-out performance of Koldunye, or The Witch. A production conceived of by the 13-year-old sweatshop worker named Boris Thomashefsky, the play brought professional Yiddish theater stateside, says historian Nahma Sandrow. But the real-life drama that night trumped the work of playwright Abraham Goldfaden: the leading lady had disappeared.
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Christmas With the Deadbeats at Boss Tweed’s Ludlow Street Jail

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The exterior of the Ludlow Street Jail in 1895. (Source: Museum of the City of New York)

The exterior of the Ludlow Street Jail in 1895. (Source: Museum of the City of New York)

Christmas Day dinner at the Ludlow Street Jail in 1911 was outrageous. The Warden Thomas J. Rock served a lavish spread (turkey, sweet potatoes, celery, fruits, plum pudding, coffee, and even a Union-made cigar) and his prisoners, moved by their keeper’s kindness, presented Rock with something unexpected — a sixteen-inch silver loving cup, which they had managed to smuggle into the jail undetected. One prisoner, a lawyer locked up for failing to make alimony payments to his wife, stood to toast the Warden and gushed with sentiment.
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