Down the narrow financial district street one block north of the Federal Reserve — past the cobblers and second-hand jewelers — the era is quietly over in one of Manhattan’s earliest skyscrapers.
“Everyone in my building has lived there for over a decade,” artist Molly Crabapple told The Post of 14 Maiden Lane, a 128-year-old former diamond exchange she called her hometown. 12 years Before being kicked out with the inhabitants of all the other buildings last month.
Built for the jeweler in 1894, the 10-story, 9-unit loft building has carefully functioned as a mecca for private art for the past decade. This is a housing hub for inhabitants’ creativity and a huge network of friends and collaborators.
Residents blessed with huge lofts have built communities for themselves and the myriad of aspiring spirits they have invited to large and bright apartments. Tenants lacked the star power and notoriety to win a Chelsea hotel or factory-level reputable building, but for those who know, the address is at the southern end, full of tourists and financiers in Manhattan. It was a rough diamond.
“It was a really unique magical building. You wouldn’t expect so many artists in the financial district, but I think it’s an advantage of being in a very uncool neighborhood,” said a unit of about 1,000 square feet. Club Apple, who lived in, said. Her partner, illustrator Fred Harper, has been active since 2010. I was really fortunate to have such an experience. it was beautiful. ”
Living in 14 Maiden Lane has always been a trade-off, the former inhabitants said: Problems arose and appeared in regular disguise to steal from them. After the building was sold for $ 9.5 million in January, the new owner ran out of debt for everyone, provided peasant eviction documents for all remaining tenants, and gave only minimal legal warnings. It has been.
The owner of the building, Diamond Lane LLC, did not return a comment request for The Post. The owner’s lawyer did not immediately provide comments on their behalf.
At least, the ex-residents have memories.
A block away from Zuccotti Park during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest, the building is an “unofficial press room” for protesters who “drink whiskey, use outlets, and take a shower after leaving.” It became something like. In prison Club Apple recalls.. After that, there was a party that “all war correspondents and porn stars rushed to the emergency stairs and smoked until dawn.”
“I always miss it” Former resident Crystal Thompson I told the post. “I think I’m the luckiest person in the building. The rest were horrifying, but the art was very good.”
Thompson, a film and television tailor who occasionally works at the Metropolitan Opera, and her husband (“The Man of Corporate Lighting”) have a side job to hold pop-up events and throw themed soiree to the unit on the third floor. It often happened.
They often feature multi-layered projections outside the windows, across the adjacent vacant lot and towards the adjacent building. “You will bring all sorts of reflections back into the apartment, and no one was downtown at that time, and everyone was laughing, we never mind looking up,” she said. ..
On the morning of the party, when the water pipe broke on the shaft of the elevator, “all these people, including the French designer of Met, climbed all these stairs and passed through this broken pipe, her colorful lighting. I had to get to my apartment. ” “They were like,’What is this wonderful world?'”
Residents took countless photographs at the water tower before they lost access to the roof. At some point German models started a thriving skincare line from the loft, the Nishikori wallpaper in the bathroom of the crab apple became like a meme, and fans once created their entire Tumblr account. During the pandemic, residents sent the cocktails up and down the elevator to each other. Through her window, the photographer photographed the second tower descending 9-11, followed by a cloud of ash surrounding the neighborhood.
“I don’t think there was anything like that. Art came from different apartments — this floor is that floor — it was about how they were combined,” said the special dynamic of their home. Thompson said. “We were a lot of artists in downtown Manhattan. Manhattan is like an empty land, but with a lot of space and it was very DIY. If we lived in another kind of building I don’t think I could be the artist I did. “
One resident who was sad to talk to the post “too stressful” lived in the building right after 9/11.
“Given all of us, it was the worst for him. It was his house for a very long time, and I think he was a very good price,” he lived in the building from 2015 to late 2020. Former small business owner Cristine Rose said.
“It was hard to leave,” she added. “If I could, I would have stayed there indefinitely.”
Indeed, evictions have had a devastating impact on the rest of the population.
“We just experienced COVID together and felt,’It’s all good, we’re going to get it done,’ and then it was 90 days,” Thompson said. “When you’ve been somewhere for so long, it’s not really a lot of time.”
“This is the classic story of a developer buying a building and throwing everyone away.” OK, you paid the rent on time for 20 years. “And in three months you have your life I have to get rid of it. “This kind of thing shouldn’t be normal. It’s a pure desire, replacing people.”
Rose is worried that the unmarked building will soon be demolished. (Currently, according to the records of the City Construction Bureau, there is no dismantling permit.)
“It was a special place, and it’s sad that it’s lost to everything,” she said. “It’s legally a big loss to the city, because it’s an interesting part of early American architecture.”
“I think this is the story of New York. People are constantly trying to keep a small space here, but this is a city run by real estate,” said Club Apple. “Just get the space and you’ll get the best luxury in New York.”