The graffiti-bombed mansion at 190 Bowery, built in 1898, was originally a bank and according to the New York Times, will likely be turned into condos with commercial space below. Since the late 60’s, the 72-room dwelling has been home to photographer Jay Maisel, who bought it for only $102,000.

The insides were a kind of bohemian utopia, with massive art projects and DIY air conditioning. Maisel has lived with his wife in a sectioned off part of the residence, but was finally convinced to offload the property to developer Aby Rosen of RFR Holding. It was by no means an easy sell.

“The building is in terrible shape. There’s no heat, Jay lives in just a small area of the building, another winter is coming, and it was time,” said Mr. Rosen, who spent six months cajoling Mr. Maisel into selling the home. “When you own a property for that long, and you are not a real estate professional, it takes a lot of convincing.”

The Times reports that Rosen wouldn’t divulge the purchase price and that the deal hasn’t been closed yet. So for now, the location will still continue to double as a canvas for street artists.

Bowery Boogie claims there’s a reason why all the tags and wheatpaste has never been buffed:

As the urban lore goes, the artist and family refuse to scrub the graffiti from the building because the city allegedly rebuffed his attempts to do the same in the bad old days of the Bowery.

(Photo: mt 23)