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, opening at the Film Forum this month. Directed by Stephen Wilkes, Jay Myself chronicles Jay Maisel’s monumental move out of his 72-room home at 190 Bowery.

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

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!


Supreme 2018 ~ by appointment only
March 2019 ~ Line to get in to Supreme (by appointment only)

The luxury Seattle-based brand, Totokaelo leased the space for a short time in 2017, prior to Supreme ~ below, our walk through with some nice pictures of the historic interior, first two levels.

Germania Bank Blog now Totokaelo
Main Floor of what use to be the Germania Bank Building, 190 Bowery in Soho
190 Bowery in Soho
Many of the original details at 190 Bowery are still there, Image taken 4-14-18

Five of the upper floors of 190 Bowery occupied by a creative agency, Great Bowery, leaving the first floor, mezzanine  and basement for Totokaelo, the Seattle-based luxury lifestyle purveyor, opening its “residency space” in the historic building in October, 2017.

This is a temporary location for a year, at which time Totokaelo will return 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.

Germania Bank Building original details
Many of the original details from the Germania Bank Building are still in tact

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.

190 Bowery
Original tile floor, radiator, and marble walls at 190 Bowery


original railing at 190 bowery




190 bowery
Walking down to the basement level, 190 Bowery

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.

basement at 190 bowery
Lower level (basement) at 190 Bowery, including the vault

The basement vault has several layers of closure, including the outer cage. This is the first time we’ve seen the vault open. We walked right in.

Bank Vault at 190 Bowery
The Bank Vault in the basement was wide open, with a huge shoe display


Closer peek into the vault in the basement of 190 Bowery – a perfect place for shoes

Yes ~ the interior of the vault was a shoe salon, with plenty of seating to try on four walls of beautifully displayed shoes.

inside the vault at 190 bowery
We are inside the vault! Take a seat

Moving on within the basement, nicely arranged displays.

190 Bowery
In the basement, 190 Bowery


190 bowery
Basement, 190 Bowery

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.  We were on hand for the opening ~ image below of artist, Julian Schnabel large format works to the left and artist, Joe Bradley to the right.

First Show/Last Show at 190 Bowery
First Show/Last Show by Vito Schnabel at 190 Bowery, 2015



art exhibit at 190 Bower
Art exhibit, First Show/Last Show. Take note of the two vaults on the right side of the image

And when the exhibition closed, we went back in 2016 to take a look at the large, empty space (below).


190 Bowery
190 Bowery 2016




190 bowery
The former Germania Bank Building, 190 Bowery in Soho

Stay tuned.