251 Water Street

Carl F. Eisenbach

In 1788-89, Water Street was widened to its current size and paved with cobblestones, but Belgian blocks have since replaced them. John Eitel commissioned this tenement for eight families with stores on the ground floor. This building is an impressive example of the Romanesque Revival style, and features gracious terra-cotta ornament, especially above the entrance on Water Street. The building is separated into three tiers, demarcated between the second and third stories by a stylized foliate band course, and between the fourth and fifth by a geometric-patterned band course. The ground floor features a wooden entrance door in the style of a double-X brace barn door, as well as a set of double doors and wide fanlight enclosed within a large horseshoe arch. The fourth story round-arched windows feature terra-cotta keystones with faces peering down to the street below. The great variety of window treatments and decorative motifs enliven the façade and allow this former tenement building to shine.

251 Water Street is located in the New York City and State and National Register of Historic Places South Street Seaport historic districts.