When La Lunchonette closed on New Year's Eve, forced out of business after the landlord sold the building, I wondered what would replace it -- and what would happen to the little house behind the front tenement along West 18th Street.
Berenice Abbott photographed the house in 1938, along with its equally diminutive neighbor.
Probably dating back to the 1880s, the two structures are hardly changed today. One had clearly been a stable for horses. It still has its arched hayloft window.
The interior of the living space above the restaurant looks like a hayloft, with wooden beams and ceiling. But it won't be here for long.
La Lunchonette's owner Melva Max told me that the little house will be demolished. A new luxury condo is coming. People are excited about it because it's made of wood, it's designed by Shop, the architects who did the Barclays Center, and we're all paying for it, through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
(If you've got some free time, check out what Shop's Vishaan Chakrabarti thinks should be done with the area south of Penn Station. Hint: redevelop the whole neighborhood--those manufacturing zones "have an enormous potential to be part of our new economy in New York City.")
475 West 18th, Shop Architects
Also falling to make room for the new building are the two galleries on 10th Avenue to the north of La Lunchonette.
Three businesses and five good old buildings, all gone for one more luxury condo.
And the High Line Effect just keeps on chopping 'em down.