Corner (740 Broadway): Astor Place Plaza,
a 12-story structure built in 1912 by the heirs
of Orlando Potter, the lawyer who had owned and developed much
of Astor Place; the architect was
Francis H. Kimball.
In 1942, the newly formed
Manhattan Savings Bank was headquartered here.
Later it housed the offices of
Rabinowitz, Boudin et al,
a law firm that has defended Alger Hiss, Paul Robeson,
Benjamin Spock, Daniel Ellsberg, Jimmy Hoffa, Castro,
Khomeini, Khadafy, Noriega, the Church of Scientology,
Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Norman Mailer and Isaac Asimov.
Vitamin Shoppe, a chain with
an eye for good architecture, is now on the ground-floor corner.
Also here is Beard Papa Sweets, an Asian cream-puff franchise.
This area, stretching east
to what is now Cooper Square, was from 1806-55 the Vauxhall
Garden, a popular amusement center featuring
"mead booths, flying horses, fireworks, concerts, etc." (Historical Tour of...
2: A New York City public school that serves
as a safe space for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender or questioning. It's a project of the Hedrick-Martin
Institute, which provides social services for these youth.
Also at this address (which is the same building as
740 Broadway is
Astor Place Hairstylist, a New York institution
founded in 1940 that is the place to go for
mohawks and buzzcuts.
4-8: This building was designed in
1891 by Francis H. Kimball for lawyer Orlando
Potter, who owned and developed much of the street.
The entrance to Barnes & Noble was here before the
bookstore chain was driven out of the neighborhood
by rising rents.
10-20 (corner): Astor Place
Building, a 1876 structure designed in the Queen Anne style
by Griffith Thomas for Orlando Potter. Publishers
Isaac Funk and Adam Wagnalls used to have
their offices here. Used to house
Astor Wines--which moved down
Lafayette Street--and the bulk of the Barnes & Noble.
Now a Barton's Gym franchise.