Spring Street Natural wasn’t the only victim of the rent hikes at its now-former HQ. The increase, which forced the restaurant to relocate to Kenmare Street, also displaced its little-known basement occupant. The renowned “Spring Studio.”
Well, the Lower East Side opened its arms to the artistic refugee. Spring Studio, founded in 1992 by Minerva Durham, just settled at 293 Broome Street within the last couple weeks. As before, the business remains a professional art studio that offers “ongoing life drawing sessions 7 days a week.” (The studio coincidentally celebrates its 24th anniversary next month.)
It’s a pretty awesome deal, too (i.e. budget friendly). For instance, a package of five sessions only costs $75 (that’s $15 for an hour). Full pricing:
5 sessions $75 Good for 1 Year 10 sessions $140 Good for 1 Year 25 sessions $300 Good for Unlimited Time 50 sessions $500 Good for Unlimited Time
Durham’s lease on the basement of 64 Spring Street expired at the end of December. (Upon moving there, rent was $900; upon departure, $2,000!) The owner will probably use the spot as storage for the new ground-level tenant, and even sent architects to take measurements while she was still there. Durham concluded to the New York Times back in October that the SoHo art scene is pretty much over.
“It got to be a sign of wealth rather than a sign of struggle, to have space,” she said. “Artists need space to make art. But people with money wanted space for consumption, and they got the art. It’s like eating your enemy’s brain. You have everything — art and money.”
While purists might miss the dingy, but lovable basement digs, the new location on Broome Street is literally a step up for the business. Above ground, that is.
The building itself, meanwhile, is historic in its own right. 293 Broome Street dates back to 1823. Unfortunately, the owner decided to raise the roof some six years ago for additional residential space, yet the project never concluded. It remains in a state of arrested development. Indeed, the two-floor skeleton sits untouched, thanks in part to an active stop-worker order from 2010.