As early as the mid-1850's a house stood at 303 West 19th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. The owner took in boarders who (not surprisingly given the location near the Hudson River) were all laborers. Whether the building was replaced, or simply heavily remodeled around 1860 is unclear. Either way, the three-story, brick-faced house now had a cast iron commercial space at ground level. The upper windows were given handsome cast iron Italianate lintels and sills, and a pressed metal cornice with scrolled brackets was installed.