Urban Archaeology Is Indeed Leaving Tribeca

Urban ArchaeologyAll signs pointed toward this, but still: Tribeca institution Urban Archaeology isn’t just having a huge auction to divest itself of many of its awesome decorative artifacts—it’s also leaving its space at 143 Franklin (where it’s been since 1997). The building is being converted to residential, and the word is that (a) the owner will be adding a penthouse level, and (b) the ground floor will be residential, too.

What you may not have known—I sure didn’t—is that Urban Archaeology has all six floors of 143 Franklin. When I first heard that, I assumed they used the other floors for storage, but it’s where the company manufactures its new pieces. The vast majority of Urban Archaeology’s business these days is from its high-end reproductions, and the artifacts are mainly props. Hence the auction.

I got a quick tour of the fourth floor (including a ride on the fantastic old elevator, where the rails are wood and which opened onto the street—something I’ve always loved but never experienced), where I saw the manufacturing for myself. It was a reminder of how, and not long ago, Tribeca was a wildly different place. The company will be looking for two spaces: one for retail (likely not in this area) and one for manufacturing (definitely not in this area).

An auction preview is to come; disappointingly, the mermaid on the loading dock is on the slate. Here’s an idea: The owner of the building should buy it, leave it on the loading dock, and christen the condos The Concorde.

Urban Archaeology inside Urban Archaeology inside2looking up in Urban Archaeology elevator shaft143 Franklin



  1. Any chance NEW YORK DOLLS will buy the mermaid and put it outside their gentlemen’s club? You know, to keep it in Tribeca. No wait, Thalassa!!

  2. This is one of the reasons we love Tribeca Citizen. The sleuth aspect. Thanks for being the eyes and ears of what’s going on and then capturing and preserving for us. Its the patina of the neighborhood .

  3. Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

  4. do you know where they are moving to? LIC? Gowanus? I am a proponent of change, but I feel sad that all the manufacturing and creativity is leaving our neighborhood.