Historic Romanian Synagogue on Lower East Side is Sold

First Romanian American Congregation
First Romanian American Congregation

Originally built in 1860 as the home of the First Romanian-American Congregation, the building at 70 Hester Street on the Lower East Side has been sold for an undisclosed purchase price.

The last 45 years this venerable building has been the home and studio of artists Thomas Nozkowski and Joyce Robins. It was their primary residence for most of those years, until recently. The couple and other tenants in the building have been given eviction orders since the sale was finalized.

Realtors Brown Harris Stevens had the property listed on its web site for $3.9 million, and included the following description of the building:

“After the congregation moved to a new location, 70 Hester went through a number of uses, including a speak-easy. This commercially zoned building offers many opportunities. Located outside of the historical district, zoned C6-2, the max allowed FAR is 6.02 with maximum usable floor area of 11,288 square feet makes this desirable for a developer. But for the buyer who wants to renovate and own a piece of significant New York history, this dramatic synagogue is worth the restoration and would make a remarkable space for residential, business or commercial use.”

What can New Yorkers expect for the future of this building? We will just have to wait and see.