A series on historic stable/carriage houses: 271 W 10th Street
By Brian J Pape
In the May 2015 issue, we inaugurated this series with a study of 129 Charles Street, ca. 1897. Readers also saw an ad for recent “House Sales,” one of which is 271 West Tenth Street, another stable building between Greenwich and Washington Streets, across from the Village Community School.
The stables of old had distinctive attributes that allow us to pick them out, and I wondered how many readers noticed those features on this building’s picture? A large opening at the street level for carriages and horses to enter is a sure give-away, but there is more; this building was built with a metal hoist projecting near the copper cornice, a necessity to lift heavy hay bales up to the second or third floors!
271 W 10th Street Stable/Construction Garage
The former stable at 271 W 10th Street is our second study example. It was constructed by owners David and Anna Naugle and the David Naugle Construction Company in 1911 for the construction firm’s use. Designs by architect Charles H. Richter, Jr. for this three-story vernacular style brick with stone lintel structure provided horse stables on the first two floors, and a hay loft on the third floor.
Of course, the first floor at street level allowed the firm’s trucks or wagons to be parked and loaded inside. A ramp led to the second floor so horses could walk up and down as needed. The original structure had one central carriage door and an entrance door on the right side, and a window to the left side of this 27’ wide facade. Three single windows on the second floor and third floor completed the composition.
In 1921, David Walsh Inc. bought the building for their trucking and rigging company. From 1935 to 1976, the Walsh estate leased the building, first to A. Lindenbaum Trucking until 1966, then as a remodeled space for offices and artists’ studios until 1976. At least two artists leased the building from the Walsh’s: Hans Van de Bovenkamp in 1966-1969, when the New York Times wrote “Artists Arrange Multi-Loft Show” in April 19, 1968, and Bill Barrett in 1969.
When the Greenwich Village Historic District was extended in 2006, the City report stated that alterations to the facade occurred between 1964 and 1988 (but not from 1989 to 2006).
Stephanie Wise purchased the building in 1976, quickly remodeling it for rental apartments above a one-car garage. The noted changes were through-wall air-conditioner units, a metal balcony, and the windows on the first and second floor enlarged to fit newer doors. On the original passage door is an elaborate scrolled bronze door knocker and address numbers, a Gothic addition of more recent vintage.
Ms. Wise sold it in 1996 to Eugene Tulchin, a Cooper Union associate professor of art. Curiously, a ceramic medallion is still mounted over the carriage door, encircled with the names “Tulchin” and “Wise”! It was sold to actor Wesley Trent Snipes in 1998, and in 2000 it was again sold to the De Boni Land Trust. What remains from days of old are the hayloft hoist, copper cornice, and faded painted wall signs, notably one for “Horses and Trucks to Hire.”
Most recently, a new owner purchased a gutted, empty building for $14,850,000, with Landmark Commission-approved plans to convert the building into a single family dwelling with a new full basement and 4th floor to be added, for a finished 10,000 SF of area, according to broker Matthew Pravda of Leslie J. Garfield & Co.
Next month we will study another historic stable building.
Brian J. Pape, AIA, LEED-AP, is a GV resident, licensed architect, and licensed real estate salesperson, specializing in historic preservation and green architecture.
Brian J. Pape.