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New York Landlord Evicts Entire Artist Collective Residents From Historic Building

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New York Landlord Evicts Entire Artist Collective Residents From Historic Building

A New York landlord has evicted the residents of an entire building which had for years housed a collective of artists.

Considered one of the first examples of a New York skyscraper, 14 Maiden Lane has since been dwarfed by other titanic structures following its construction in 1894 to be part of the city's diamond district.

Converted into a residential building in 2001, it had since played host to a collective of artists and turned into what the New York Post calls a 'private arts Mecca', which provided a home for people to live and create works of art.

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The 10-storey building's large lofts and spacious areas made it a surprisingly good place to showcase their works.

However, that has now all come to an end for good after a new landlord evicted all of the tenants shortly after taking over ownership of the historic building.

14 Maiden Lane was sold in January of this year for $9.5 million and according to artist Molly Crabapple, who had been living there for 12 years, the new owners let everyone's leases run out before serving all remaining tenants with eviction papers.

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Crabapple told the Post that the building's residents had fallen victim to the 'classic story of a developer buying the building and throwing everyone out', describing the eviction as 'pure greed and displacing people'.

She said: "It was a really uniquely magical building. You wouldn’t think that there would be so many artists in the Financial District, but I guess that’s the benefit of being in such a profoundly uncool neighbourhood.

"We were really tight as a building. I feel really lucky to have had that experience. It was beautiful."

Kristin Rose, another resident of the historic New York building, voiced concerns that 'an interesting part of early American architecture' might soon be demolished depending on what the new owners want to do with the building.

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The building's former residents say living there was always a trade-off between having their own little chunk of New York and having a negligent landlord who wouldn't fix most of the property's problems.

While they could create art and live at below market rent rates in Manhattan, their landlord would allegedly show up in disguise to steal from the building from time to time.

During the Occupy Wall Street protests, 14 Maiden Lane spent some time as an 'unofficial press room' for protestors who Crabapple says would 'drink my whiskey, use my outlets, take showers after they got out of jail'.

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With all tenants now evicted, it seems as though another chapter in the history of New York has been closed for good.

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Featured Image Credit: Google Maps/@mollycrabapple/Instagram

Topics: News, New York, US News

Joe Harker
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