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The Mystery on Bowery

The Mystery on Bowery

On the corner of Bowery and Spring Street, lies what seems to be an abandoned building covered in graffiti. This Renaissance style building, which stands out from its neighbors, is dubbed by some, “the greatest real estate coup of all time. So what exactly is the story behind 190 Bowery?

This building, formerly known as Germania Bank, was established in 1869 by a local group of businessmen at 185 Bowery. In December of 1896, Germania Bank acquired three adjacent lots to get to the striking size it is today.  Today, 190 Bowery Street serves as a 72-room private single family residential home to photographer Jay Maisel and his family who live on the 6th floor. The first three floors are used as galleries for Maisel and the family is thinking about renting out the first floor.  

The greatest real estate coup of all time?

In 1966, Maisel purchased the abandoned bank for $102,000. The building at the time was covered knee-deep in garbage and soot. In Maisel’s own words, “Every single thing that can come out of a human body has been left on my doorstep. But it was more disgusting than dangerous.” Today, the building estimates to be worth between 30 to 70 million! Real estate agents are dying to get in but Maisel  stands firm against selling his beloved home.

To learn more about the Germania Bank Building, click on this link.


Germania Bank Building

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