While YIMBY typically does not cover interior renovations, the story of 214 Lafayette Street is particularly unique — and touring the renovated sub-station was a sight to behold. The structure was originally built in the 1890s; it eventually fell into disuse, was first renovated in the 1980s, and only transitioned into its current form in 2008.
214 Lafayette’s exterior is relatively normal, blending with its pre-war surroundings, but the inside is a significant departure from typical Manhattan abodes. The building was originally converted by an artist in 1981, before once again falling into disrepair; the current owners purchased the site in 1996, and the renovation process took twelve years to complete.
Inside the manse, there are a variety of unusual features, including a dungeon-like basement and an indoor pool. The current owner is the director of several notable horror movies — including the Texas Chainsaw Massacre re-make — and memorabilia is displayed prominently throughout the residence, in addition to work by a variety of prominent artists; even the front doors of the home are regularly covered by commissioned graffiti.
The indoor pool is definitely the residence’s most unique feature, and it was apparently built without the knowledge of city planning; walking into the home, one immediately sees a window that looks into the actual pool.
The renovation of 214 Lafayette Street shows the potential of dilapidated structures, and why conversion can sometimes be a better option than demolition; even though the sub-station was never intended as a residence, its transformation has resulted in a very unique property — and while the building obviously isn’t suited to most tastes, it certainly has character.
214 Lafayette measures 13,000 square feet in total, and was originally listed for $100,000/month; the price has since dropped to $80,000/month, or $20,000 per night, if used as an event space.
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