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Take a Closer Look at the Facade of 357 Canal Street

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A tipster sent along some photos of exterior work being done at 357 Canal Street, and at first glance, it doesn't seem like anything noteworthy is going on. That is, until you realize that these structural details are made of painted styrofoam that was slapped on the side of the building. The building has landmark status, and it was converted to residential use about a decade ago. "Not sure if this is newly added detail or replacing an old facade that was taken down," writes our tipster. "Could be a landmarks issue if it's an change to the appearance." In 2010, permits were issued for a "building alteration" and "remedial repair," and in 2011, these permits were renewed. Most recently, an application for "general construction and structural modifications to repair the sidewalk vault" was disapproved.

As for the occupancy, StreetEasy shows three separate rental listings (one of which only has a photo of a brick street), a few months apart all for the second floor. Our tipster wasn't really sure what's going on, and neither are we, but 357 Canal doesn't really seem like a place we'd like to live.

· 357 Canal Street [StreetEasy]