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Behind Door Number One

There is a bigger story here, but I don’t have it. For years I have observed this extraordinary ground floor space. The exposure on Prince Street has huge windows and is completely filled with plants from floor to ceiling – it is a virtual botanic garden with foliage so thick and deep that you can’t see what lies behind it.

There are a number of other peculiar things about this. Situated on a corner of Prince and MacDougal Streets, one would expect the ground floor space to be rented to a business – ground floors on busy streets or intersections almost always are rented, as they are relatively unlivable with such little privacy. The revenue from renting space like this is quite substantial, hence offsetting building expenses (assuming zoning permits it).

The building itself is an immaculate, historic property with a mansard style roof line, dormers, chimneys, and dark green shutters. A bit of espionage led to the following interesting pieces of information. The corner property appears to have two entrances and street addresses – 34 MacDougal Street and 205 Prince Street. Katina Productions is listed at the MacDougal address. A small icon of a cat on the MacDougal entrance matches that on their website (see photo here). A visit to their website has a bio of Belgian filmmaker Simon Nuchtern, who owns Katina, a company involved in digital editing. Further investigation shows 205 Prince Street to be the residence of Anna and Simon Nuchtern, and property searches shows Anna Nuchtern to be owner of 205 Prince Street. I was told by a neighboring business that the building was owned by an “artist couple.” That’s quite a property for a couple to own and occupy, if they are the only tenants.

So there you have it. But I still do not know why all those plants are there and what’s behind door number one…

Postings of Other Mysterious Places: Enigma, Secret Society, Crime SceneBrutal, Pied-a-Aire

6 Responses to Behind Door Number One

  1. A beautiful building with an interesting story–a nice little slice of New York. Thanks for the cool detective work, Brian!

  2. I’m curious as to what you think the bigger story is here? A creative couple own a rather nice piece of Manhattan real estate. End of story. What’s the big mystery?

  3. Terry – Thanks.

    Christopher – To own a building like this and for only two people to occupy it is extremely unusual. This building would sell for an easy $10 million. The most puzzling thing is that ground floor space – there is about 10 feet of plants and then a stained glass wall. There are murals on the walls and a large turtle sculpture beneath grates in the sidewalk. I think you have an eccentric couple here.

  4. Yes, you are correct. But there are lots and lots of places in NYC that are owned by eccentric people that are worth millions. They obviously bought this when it was not worth $10m +.

  5. I’m curious to know more. Would be cool to see the inside and know more about them and how they ended up there. Maybe it will happen in the future if you happen to walk by and see someone coming out.

  6. Christopher – You are right. Check out the posting I did on 11 Spring Street. The quintessential eccentric who lived alone for decades in an enormous building.


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