Monday, November 30, 2015


The former Trowel & Square Ballroom on 125th Street by Madison Avenue was purchased over a year ago but plans to change the historic space into condos apparently are not going forward.  We past by the empty address this recently and noticed that the entire building is now up for rent.  Approved permits from last year had the goal of adding three more levels on top but the most recent DOB paperwork just shows that a general renovation will now come about in the next few months.  More details about the original ballroom conversion can be found in our past post from last year: LINK

1 comment:

  1. This building was originally a carpet showroom. From the New York Press of Oct 21 1894: "Another representative business is that of Croft Brothers, No. 26 East 125th street,whose establishment is the largest exclu­sive carpet house in upper New York. Their new building, opened January 1, 1894, is the most admirable and best lighted store of its kind. The first floor is devoted to oilcloth and matting; the second to tapestries, Ingrain carpets and domestic rugs; the third to parlor and library carpets —all the finer grades— and Turkish rugs, while on the fourth floor Is the splendid workroom, admirably lighted and equipped with the peculiar apparatus of a patent sewing machine, which operates so rapidly that the manipulator has but to walk the length of the carpet for each breadth, and the work is done. Croft Brothers have been in business in Harlem for more than twenty years, and their prosperity and popularity Is the best evidence of their business methods."

    The Croft brothers are kind of interesting. Frank and Silas C Croft were considered business pioneers of Harlem when the opened their first carpet store on 3rd Ave and 118th St. Silas, an active Republican when they were considered the progressives, left the business soon after they opened their new building in 1894 when Mayor Seth Low appointed him Head of Charities. CP Croft, another brother replaced him. Newly elected McKinley appointed Silas Surveyor of Port of New York in 1897. This a hugely influential position in that he oversaw customs in the nation’s busiest port when customs was he US’s primary source of revenue in the pre income tax days. Also immigration was surging. Frank Croft was run over and killed by a horse in 1900 and Silas died from a heart attack a couple of years later. Not much about CP but a years later it’s a furniture store.