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113 Years at the Corner of Prince and Thompson Streets

All week we have looked at the rich contents of newly designated Sullivan-Thompson Historic District designation report that was posted last week by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Today we hone in on one of the 157 amazing historic properties included in the district and what we can learn about it from the designation report.

After a 10-year campaign led by the GVSHP, the LPC voted unanimously to landmark this final segment of our proposed South Village Historic District — what had been, until now, the largest, unlandmarked section of the Village.  As Brick Underground reported,”The area comprises ten blocks south of Houston Street, between Sixth Avenue and West Broadway. “That’s a part of town that probably would have been destroyed by development,” our Executive Director Andrew Berman was quoted as saying.

What corner is this from?

At the corner of Prince Street and Thompson is Tax Map Block 502, Lot 16. Better known as 160-162 Prince Street, it along with its conjoined twin at 120 Thompson Street are six-story new-law tenements with projecting bays designed by Bernstein & Bernstein for Nathan Silverson on one lot in 1904. The buildings are constructed of red brick with terra-cotta and beige brick details.  In the Sullivan-Thompson Historic District, the firm was responsible for the design of ten outstanding tenements.

From the designation report:

The Renaissance Revival style of the building is expressed through a variety of decorative features and patterns including decorative sill courses, guilloche patterning, scrolled keystones with festoon details, scallop patterns, and lion’s head ornaments.

At the corner of Thompson and Prince Streets

Windows on projecting bays feature red brick quoined surrounds, decorative lintel friezes with floriform designs, beige brick dogtooth panels, fretwork sills, and pedimented lintels with fructiform tympana resting on fluted stone brackets with bellflower drops.

The building is crowned with a pressed-metal modillion cornice with foliate brackets, egg-and-dart molding, a swag-patterned frieze band, and floriform details. The building’s metal fire escapes feature scrolled metal details and console brackets.

At the first story, the easternmost bracketed wooden storefront, the longtime home of Vesuvio Bakery, remains intact, as do the residential entryway surrounds with decorative cast-iron piers and pressed metal coquillage lintels.

On the Thompson Street side are three quaint shops: Bankelok , Peter Hermann Leather Goods, and The Hat Shop of course was our December Business of the Month.

Quaint, small shops on Thompson Street

The now-protected spot includes the old location of Vesuvio Bakery, a shop that had been around for over a century; Forgotten New York deems its preserved storefront one of the city’s most iconic.  Behind the old Vesuvio visage is Birdbath Bakery, where besides baked goods and coffee, you can get kale salad, and 15% off if you arrive by bike.  Earlier this week we featured a piece on Vesuvio playground, one of the few green spaces in the newly designated Sullivan-Thompson Historic District, a true haven for South Village children.

When you stop by, know the building at this corner of the new Sullivan-Thompson Historic District has been there going on 113 years.  And now, should hopefully remain there for many more years to come.


4 responses to “113 Years at the Corner of Prince and Thompson Streets

  1. I have been searching and searching for the name of a shop on the corner of Prince and Broadway in 1990. they sold home goods such as wonderful cups and linen sheets and some jewelery and everything of high design.
    It would have been the north? west corner. Can you help? Thankyou

  2. My old neighborhood. Loved it so much! Back in the 80s through the 90s and perhaps early 2000s there was a store that sold feathers and other oddly colorful decors. The store front was painted in a neon pink color and the handrails were neon green. It was located on the lower level of the street on Prince between West Broadway and Thompson Street almost diagonal to the Vesuvio. Does anyone know what it was called. I used to take my daughter there all the time. As a little girl she was fascinated by it. Racking
    my brains, I can’t remember the name. Does anyone know what it was called?

    1. Hi there, thanks for reading. A local resident expert said: “Girl Props…run by Cora.” “It was the motherlode of sequins, sparkles, boas, wigs and cheap glittery jewelry …”.

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