The Many Lives of The Germania Bank Building ~ 190 Bowery & the Film ‘Jay Myself’ at Film Forum





So, what every happened to the old Germania Bank Building that Jay Maisel bought in 1966 for $102,000 and sold to the developer Aby Rosen for $55 million in 2015?

While we have been looking forward to the Germania Bank’s future, let’s take a moment to look back, in the new film Jay Myself,  at the Film Forum in the summer of 2019. Directed by Stephen Wilkes, Jay Myself chronicles Jay Maisel’s monumental move out of his 72-room home at 190 Bowery. If you missed it, the DVD of this documentary can be found for sale on Amazon.

And…..the water tower on the roof of 190 Bowery now has a message from Shepard Fairey! 

Taking a look back, after the sale of 190 Bowery to Aby Rosen in 2015, Vito Schnabel took the space for a temporary art exhibition entitled First Show/Last Show.

190 Bowery

We were on hand for the opening. Below are a few images of the exhibition along with a few photos of the interior of this beautiful historic building.

First Show Last Show 2015



Germania Bank Building now used as a pop up clothing shop on the main floor & downstairs 4-18
april 14, 2018




Below, after the exhibit, space being emptied in preparation for new tenant.

The luxury Seattle-based brand, Totokaelo leased the space for a short time in 2017 (below). We took a walk through the main and lower level ~ take a look at their use of space in images below.

now a pop up shop april 14, 2018

Making our way down to the basement, we were encouraged to see the same original details visible from when we paid 190 Bowery a visit in 2015 for an art exhibit, and again in 2016 after the exhibit closed, and removed its sleek white temporary walls. The three images below are outside and within the vault.

This was a temporary location for a year, at which time Totokaelo returned to 54 Crosby Street, its first location in NYC.  And what’s the rent? A cool $2 million a year for the ground floor, mezzanine and basement.

Below – the interior of the vault was a shoe salon. The building, constructed as the third home of Germania Bank in 1898, now showcases such well-known brands as Maison Marginal, Marni, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and several others. all lavishly displayed within the 8,917 square feet of this Landmarked (2005) property.

Now leased (2019) by skateboarding brand, Supreme, the entrance is flanked with half-dozen bouncer-types with only three things to say ~ must have appointment; get in line (that very long line that snakes around the side of Spring Street); and no pictures of the front door! (below).


March 2019 ~ Line to get in to Supreme (by appointment only)