The storefront at 121 Chambers Street, a landmarked, Civil War-era classic between Church and West Broadway, does not have to look as derelict as it does while owners develop two extra floors and restore the building. Taking down the awning structure and painting over the graffiti on the gates would make our travel down Chambers a bit brighter.
That said, they may have bigger problems to deal with at this site. In 2017, the Landmarks Commission approved a plan for the addition of two stories atop the current structure, designed by Joseph Pell Lombardi. But a stop-work order was issued on the property in December for “failure to safeguard all persons and properties.” The next inspection is scheduled for this month. The building is a through-building with 103 Reade, and was built that way in 1860. There are currently four residential units (eventually eight with the added floors), one of which sold in 2017 for $2.3 million. The entire building was sold to the current owners in 2016 for $16.2 million.
From Yimby following the approval from the Landmarks Commission: “A couple of neighbors also testified against the proposal. A resident of 99 Reade Street called it “dangerous” while another person said it was “out of place” and accused the on-site mock-up of not accurately depicting the addition. The LPC staff member assigned to this application said he had verified its accuracy. Manhattan Community Board 1 recommended against approval, and the commission received five e-mails in opposition.”
The top three floors of 121 Chambers were converted in 1992; before that the building held a fancy goods emporium, a brewery and for about a decade – a saloon. The city’s C of O from 1962 permits a sign painter on the second floor and an “eating and drinking place” on the first floor. The building is part of the Tribeca South Historic District, and for good reason. See Tom Miller’s entry for 121 here.