Wednesday, May 21, 2014


UPDATE: Some details came in that the building was sold for $5.3 million back in February and permits show that the new owner plans to add 3 more stories to the building.  The storefront will remain commercial space and the top 5 levels will be residential if all works out.

We have alway been curious about Number 26 East 125th Street since the Trowel & Square Ballroom is one of the last of its kind in the neighborhood and was up for sale earlier in the year for $6.5 million.  One could imagine that some grand vogue balls had been had at one time or another at this central location but now it just looks like one of the last vestiges of old 125th Street that needs a little love.  For the price of what people have spent on New York City apartments, a buyer could convert this building into condos, office space or retail but the listing only lasted on the market for about a month.  Does anyone have any details on this building?  There was some old signage for a thrift store on the lower level but that has since disappeared: LINK


  1. A really good tip came in with accurate details and the post has since been updated.

  2. Hope the new version of this building maintains some of the original detail. But please god, not another thrift store on the ground floor.

  3. Now for the million dollar question...
    Is the new owner/developer going preserve the original cornice??

  4. As the name "Trowel and Square" suggests, this building had connections with the Masons--the "Order of the Eastern Star," which was apparently a female branch of the Masons. It's not clear to me whether this was an African-American branch of the Mason. Indeed, there's a good history book waiting to be written on Black masons. Or maybe a Dan Brown-style thriller?