For some time, I've bemoaned the sad state of 143 Spring Street, a wooden Federal-era building in SoHo, and wondered why the hell the Crocs corporation, which has leased it, wasn't taking care of it.
Curbed brings encouraging news that the shoe people are finally doing their duty with the nearly two-century old gem.
143 Spring has had its south face re-bricked (salvaging some of the old stuff) and replacement wooden clapboards have gone up on the west and north facades. In place of a one-story 1925 garage on Wooster Street is a new addition fitted in finned glass and zinc-coated panels, whose height and massing will, in the words of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, "subordinate to the Federal style building while reinforcing the street wall along Wooster Street."
The design for the Croc-ateria is from architect William J. Rockwell and is "part restoration, part renovation" that "maintains the classic proportions of Wooster Street and the rest of the SoHo Cast Iron District." Interiors will be handled by the classic Croc crew from L & M Associates out of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Sounds good. Or, at least, not too bad. I was worried whether they were going save the wonderful wood-frame bay window on the south side. However, based on a great tax photo of the building Curbed published (below), it does not seem that window was original and, who knows, might have been put in by Tennessee Mountain, the bbq joint that used to be there.
Below is the building in sadder days, a couple years ago.