David Schwimmer Turns Historic Home Into Teardown



Seems like Ross Geller's come a long way from sharing a tiny two-bedder in the West Village with his ex-girlfriend and their baby.

Almost a decade after the last episode of "Friends" aired, David Schwimmer has shown that his requirements are a little more refined than those of the TV character he played. So much so, apparently, that he's bought and torn down a landmark-worthy East Village townhouse built in 1852 -- to replace it with a luxurious, six-story mansion.

Schwimmer snagged the $4.1 million property (pictured above) in 2010, which at the time was one of the oldest buildings on the block and located a stone's throw from a National Historic Landmark, the Sixth Street Community Synagogue. According to the New York Post, Schwimmer had been sent three letters from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission since the purchase, notifying him that the East Sixth Street building could gain landmark status by the end of this year.

Still, just four months after the last notice was sent, the building was bulldozed at Schwimmer's instruction (what Curbed called a "surprise demolition") to make way for his luxe new digs.

Though we can't say we're too surprised. Schwimmer did, barely three months ago, put his $10.7 million, 11,000-square-foot L.A. mansion on the market. With its outdoor swimming pool, spa and an in-home theater, his rich tastes aren't exactly shockingly new.

What is particularly sad about this situation however, is that the initial listing advertising Schwimmer's now-property clearly sought a new owner that would appreciate and preserve the home's original features, rather than tear it down for something new and "better." Local bloggers such as EV Grieve have posted the listing, which reads:

"Endless possibilities for this oasis in the East Village! This south facing, 4 story, plus English Garden floor, mixed use townhouse will be delivered vacant. Situated on a lovely tree lined block location between Second and First Avenues, this home with its magical Tuscan inspired garden proves to be one of the finest East Village houses available. Move right into the owner's duplex and have a beautiful home with the added benefit of income producing live/work English Garden floor and two large floor thru residential units OR transform it into the single family home of your dreams. So many opportunities for living!"

Those opportunities probably did not include fitting the abode with an elevator and a swanky roof terrace, which reportedly are in the plans for Geller's new home.

East Village residents, including Grieve, have expressed dismay and outrage. Grieve wrote in an entry just this morning: "Just to spell this out, Schwimmer and his people knew that the building was under landmark consideration, yet they hurried and destroyed it anyway.... With all the available upscale townhouses on the market in the city, why did he buy this historic building only to tear it down?"

We think it's safe to say that Schwimmer may not be viewed as a friend by all in the neighborhood.


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