Digging Up the History Behind Your New York Building

12:15:57 | 2012-06-07

1200 Fifth Avenue Upper East Side Manhattan

(New York, NY) — Buying or renting a property in New York City can be a fascinating experience, not only because of the city itself but because of the rich area of the country’s largest metropolis. In fact, there are numerous historically rich buildings in the city, that buyers and renters may know nothing about. The good news is, there are ways that interested New York residents can now find out specific information about the history of the building they live in.

Whether New Yorkers are looking for the detailed history on the building they live in, or in other interesting buildings in their neighborhood, there are numerous resources available for those looking for historical information. Information on a building’s history can be used to delight personal interests or to find out pertinent information pertaining to rent or ownership. Thanks to the Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL), information on any city building in New York can be accessed upon request; making the process a hassle free one for New Yorkers.

The NYC Department of Buildings is often the number one resource for NYC residents looking for the history behind their buildings. This office houses complete, detailed records of all the properties in the city. These records include information on the ownership, architect, permits and pervious uses. This means renters can find out exactly what their home or building was before they moved in or who owned the building before purchasing. However, those looking for detailed records should keep in mind that building permits were only required beginning in the early 1920s. This means when looking back through an older building’s history, information before 1920 will likely be sparse or unavailable.

Fortunately for those looking for information pre-dating the 1920s is that there are additional resources that can help fill in missing information gaps. The Land and Deeds Office of New York as well as the New York Public Library, have researchable information available on properties and buildings in the city. Many of these property records date back to the 1600s, giving interested parties a complete history on some of the city’s most established buildings. Armed with the right information from these sources; renters can find a compendium of information regarding the background of their building, and just may be surprised about what they find.

—Email  richard@brokerpulse.com

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