Plans for 62-64 Reade will create six full-floor residential units

Tribeca resident and architect Eran Chen of ODA (5 Franklin Place, the glass addition on 93 Worth, the former James Hotel – now ModernHaus SoHo) has taken on a conversion of 62 and 64 Reade, two 19th Century Italianate buildings just off Broadway that once had Langdon Florist in the ground floor.

The buildings were constructed in 1860 and 1856, respectively, and the fire escapes on the front were added in 1917. In 1955, a couple purchased both buildings, combined the floors and ran their timecard manufacturing business there, while living on the top floor. After they died, their residence was left in state — according to the architects there are still newspapers from the 1970s on the counters. “It was like walking into history,” Chen said. There is not much info in city records, but it looks like the buildings changed hands in 1978 and were then purchased last September for $6.5 million.

(Langdon Florist left for Staten Island in 2018; they had been in that spot since 1995 and on the block since 1947.)

The addition will add a floor and a half in a structure clad entirely in metal and the shape was determined by visibility from the street and the idea that the addition would still look like two separate buildings. “It was important to us to maintain the character of each one separately, the essence of the buildings, even though you can’t see if from the street.” There will be one floor per apartment, or six units in total.

They showed the committee extensive visual studies, including one perspective from Duane when you look up over the firehouse. But they did find that you can see a piece of the bulkhead if you walk out to Broadway south of Reade and look west. Landmarks let it go. They are removing the fire escape on the front of 62 and keeping the one on 64, as a means of egress.

But the committee got stuck on the planned removal of the fire shutters on the rear, which the architect’s team said are rusted out and caked in a mastic material. But since the architect also said the rear yard was a charming element of the community, it gave the committee room to insist that the architect restore the metal shutters using the existing pintels.

“We want better for our landmarked buildings in this district and fire shutters are the quintessential item,” said one committee member. “Put in new shutters and pin them back on the existing pintels.” Committee members also wanted the architects to maintain the original six-over-six windows in the back.

But Chen noted that if the shutters cannot be restored, then they would have to remanufacture new metal shutters which he did not see as a matter of historic preservation — he called it “wasteful, unnecessary and artificial.” In the end, the committee sent a reso noting that they like the project BUT still want the shutters.

All that aside, what I love about these presentations is the historical studies and the context of the block, hence all the images I am running here. The watercolor illustration of the buildings are from 1864, and the rooftop rendering shows all the other additions on the street. The yellow outline is 62-64; the other colors are already built out.



  1. Before Langdon Florists was in that location, there was a wonderful restaurant called Tenbrooks that occupied the space during the ’80s.

    • “[…] Tenbrooks, nearby at 62 Reade Street, between Broadway and Church Street (349-5900), is not nearly so fashionable as the Acute Cafe [110 West Broadway], but the food is much better without all the pretension. It is decorated with squiggly oil paintings on gray walls; service is attentive, and the wine list reasonable. Recommended dishes include broiled tuna fish and lamb Lousiana (sic) and perfectly cooked juicy chunks of lamb in a spicy sauce. When asked what the ‘Louisiana’ meant, the waiter replied, ‘Nothing, the chef just likes the name.’

      “Prices for dinner main courses are $7.50 to $14.95; lunch, $4.95 to $12.95. […]”

      from “ROUNDUP OF THE NEW PLACES TO DINE,” The New York Times, Oct. 8, 1982, Section C, Page 20

      • Thank you James – the entire NYT article is a stroll back in the neighborhood’s restaurant history…very enjoyable to read!!

    • Ah, right. Langdon was originally across the street at 57.