Until we return to the usual Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
The first time Travis Bass stepped into the unusual building on Canal Street – the one with twelve ornate stories surrounded by dingy warehouses and Chinese signs – was during a New Year’s Eve party hosted by Frank Müeller, the man behind infamous New York clubs like Fun and The Limelight.
In 1998, the Lower East Side was “the wild, wild west,” Bass recalls. Müeller was “kind of a crazy guy,” and he had rented an entire seventh floor, divided into two lofts, which he shared with several friends. Drifting through the party, Bass noted polished wooden floors outlined like a basketball court, a couch designed with holes to stick your head through, and CDs glued to the walls and creating the shimmering effect of a hologram. The party was “outrageous,” in typical Müeller style. But most impressive was the vista: “It was amazing. They had a view of the whole city.”