Chopping Block : The Provident Loan Building (Updated)


(The Provident Loan Building, as it may be in the future, Houston and Essex Streets, New York)

Note: This is an updated commentary to our prior post in early 2015: The Provident Loan Building, whose demise was rumored to be approaching, has been apparently saved and reincorporated into the plan for another condominium tower. This rendering, while outdated and not current, reflects the massing and relationship of the tower to the historic Provident Loan Building below. While not a blockbuster, we’re confident that a solid piece of Urban Design will evolve from this plan, since the New Designer is Rogers Partners Architects.

Satisfying, in many ways, because there is finally an interest in adapting old buildings while recognizing the potential value they may bring to both The Cityscape and development in general. Following a model of adaptation in much older cities (such as London, Paris and Rome), the project recognizes the contribution that older structures bring, instead of devaluing their Urban meaning by tearing them down as blank slates. In many cases, the building is completely recognizable (from an exterior vantage point) which is how the majority of the population experiences private buildings in The City. 

We commend the saving of The Provident Loan Building, and are hopeful that its new life will bring beauty and some semblance of scale for another 100 (+) years.

Note: Images and Text Below are from our January 2015 Post:

Provident Loan

(The Provident Loan Building,as it exists in 2015, Houston and Essex Streets, New York)

Another storied building may be on the chopping block: The Provident Loan Building at the corner of Houston and Essex Streets. It was recently revealed at fellow blogger Bowery Boogie, that this gem of a building may be near its End Days, a potential victim of The Developer.


(The Modern Day New York Developer)

Gem’s like these, diamonds in The Urban Rough, do not come around everyday. Built to serve as high end pawn shops in the early part of last Century, the Provident Loan Buildings were a model “Type” constructed across New York City. In this particular case, this structure has served many purposes over the years, though its major accomplishment has been serving as a Historical Gateway Guardian to The Lower East Side.

It was never Landmarked, never protected, an architectural crime in our current day. Perhaps because it lay dormant for so long, then used as a studio for Jasper Johns, until it entered its Nightclub Days.

Nevertheless, this similar story is playing out all across New York. A beautiful building from another era which will be just another picture, soon to come. One more story of The Changing City, laid to waste by the wrecking ball.

More Information on the Potential demise of the Provident Loan Building, and some history, can be found Here:

Demolition Likely for Provident Loan Building, from Bowery Boogie

Rumermongering, from Curbed

A little history of The Provident Loan Buildings from The New York Times


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