Two 19th century rowhouses on Grand Street designated

Adjoining rowhouses retain much of their Federal-era details. On November 16, 2010, Landmarks designated as individual City landmarks two adjoining Federal-era rowhouses at 190 and 192 Grand Street in Manhattan. The buildings were constructed circa 1833 as part of a row of five single-family dwellings. According to Landmarks, they were built as investment properties for Stephen Van Rensselaer, former New York lieutenant governor and founder of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The three-and-a-half story houses were built during a period of time when Manhattan’s Fourteenth Ward, now part of Little Italy, was becoming desirable for middleclass families. As time went on, middle- class residents were replaced by working-class immigrants, and the area’s single-family homes were converted to apartments, often with a retail establishment occupying the ground floor.

The two rowhouses are 25  feet wide and clad in Flemish Bond brickwork. The houses feature pitched roofs with large dormers. The buildings have retained much of their original architectural fabric, with 190 Grand Street still displaying brownstone lintels, and the dormers of 192 Grand Street retaining their decorative wood trim. Both buildings have been altered including having their first stories lowered to the ground level to accommodate storefronts.

Although the buildings were considered separately, Commissioner Fred Bland noted that the two houses created a greater impact together than either house would have individually. Landmarks voted unanimously to designate both buildings.

LPC: 190 Grand Street House, 190 Grand St., Manhattan (LP-2411); 192 Grand Street House, 192 Grand St., Manhattan (LP-2412) (Nov. 16, 2010).

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