I have spent some time in lower Manhattan of late — I gave a ForgottenTour in Battery Park in July 2017 — and always seem to find myself on lower Greenwich Street at Rector, where I get on the #1 train and eat at George’s Diner especially after downtown tours. I have also marveled at the house on the corner, 94 Greenwich, which has Cafe Bravo on the ground floor and is catercorner from George’s. I always thought the building was very old.
Turns out that it is, and it’s one of the few 18th Century buildings remaining in Manhattan. It was constructed in 1798 and is one of three Federal-style townhouses in a row on the west side of Greenwich. Only 94 Greenwich, though, has most of its period detail intact including Flemish bond brickwork and original window lintels. In 1798 the building had a pair of 3rd-floor dormer windows but these were removed during an 1859 renovation when its 4th floor was added. Its neighbor two doors down, #92, has even had several floors added!
This can happen because the trio has never been protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which, contrary to what many people believe, does not automatically convey protected status on buildings simply because of their age. Other factors such as social and architectural significance are considered. This leaves many buildings out in the cold and subject to the predations of developers.