NYT: "THE KELLER HOTEL, an old seaman’s inn, has seen a few tides come and go. An Irish coal merchant constructed it in the late 1890s along a salty stretch of the Greenwich Village waterfront, at a time when the docks there were some of the busiest in the world. During the Depression, the Keller served as a flophouse for out-of-work sailors, who boozed and brawled in its ground-floor saloon. As the decades passed and economic forces pushed ships toward other ports, the West Side docks rotted, the Village deteriorated and a new clientele moved into the Keller. By the 1980s, the city was housing indigents upstairs, while the downstairs tenant was a gay leather bar, reputedly New York’s oldest. Then, in 1985, a real estate investor named William Gottlieb purchased the property for $1 million."
Since then the Keller has sat vacant while neighboring buildings were granted landmark status. I love the old Keller ruin. Look closely at the fine architectural detail (can you spot the 666?), you can almost smell the ghosts of a thousand lives that passed through the Keller's doors. Reportedly the birthplace of disco, the Village People photographed their debut album cover here. Now, Keller's ghosts whisper as you walk by the corner of West and Barrow, their secrets most likely awaiting the wrecking ball.