Monday, March 9, 2009

No Salvation

The latest Scarano tower this week got its lower level glassed over the Bowery. A dark, black facade between the bricks, between a tenement and a Salvation Army residence hall.

When I first wrote about the tower here, I said something about how the people at the rooftop pool could send splashes down upon the unwashed masses--the people living and benefiting from the Salvation Army next door.

But that's not going to happen, because the East Village Residence has closed.

According to EV Podcasts, it's been closed for months now. This residence had a program which provided "independent living skills, vocational training and aftercare services to identified populations of children in foster care," including a culinary arts program.

Rob Hollander at East Village History reports the building was originally erected circa 1910 and added on to in 1951. He writes about its "understated cornice and spandrels abstractly suggesting festoons or swags; only the Salvation Army terra cotta emblems, an 'S' superimposed over an 'A' bedded in glazed oak leaves and acorns, breaks the abstract stone sobriety."

unemployed drinking buttermilk at Bowery Salvation Army

"Sobriety" is an apt word choice here, for this Salvation Army was originally dedicated to fighting alcoholism on the Bowery. Today, with the many luxury bars spilling well-heeled drunks stumbling to the curb to vomit, such salvation should still be in high demand.

What cruel irony when, inevitably, the building is turned into a boutique hotel complete with wine bar.


Anonymous said...

Back in the day, when The Bowery was jam-packed full of homeless drunks, women from this Salvation Army would ride out on wagons to scoop up all the drunks who wanted to come along and get sober, or get "back on the wagon." Gotta love phrase origins.

Lisanne said...

Eeek that is Scarano? Will he EVER stop?

I think there was a rock club called "Great Gildersleeves" there way back when..i saw the Minor Threat there in 1983 amongst others.