170-188 Sullivan Street
Location: 170-188 Sullivan Street
So intact, so streamlined: apart from the poppy colors, it looks as if it was floated in from a cloud from an earlier time, a speckless row in a city with so many compromises made between the past and present. But it is no such thing. A company bought up this and another row on the other side of the block, both of which had been owned by a family who’d kept them in rundown condition for a couple of decades. Rather than demolish the rows and put up something bigger, as was custom then and now, the company developed them into homes for the middle class, “modernizing” them by removing Greek-Revival-and-after-details, and fashioning the interior space in the block into a communal garden area invisible from the street. As such, the Sullivan and MacDougal rows serve as very early examples of New York gentrification. And just as with nearly every other gentrification story the city has to offer, the middle class can’t touch the things now: Richard Gere lived on this row until a few years ago, and Anna Wintour still lives on the MacDougal side.