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Thread: Endangered NYC - Lost & Threatened Treasures

  1. #346
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    More towers not (yet) landmarked:
    Hey now! My office is in 116 John, and I have to say, landmarking the building would not help. The building is not in great shape and has been infinitely neglected by the deadbeat owners. Long story, but really, it's not even a particularly attractive exterior. I don't know, I just can't see the appeal of landmarking the building, as someone who has to use it daily.

  2. #347
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Default Corn Exchange

    Harlem Landmark's Post-Demolition Look Revealed

    January 27, 2010, by Joey

    (click to enlarge)

    A few months ago the city's Department of Buildings began emergency demolition work on the Mount Morris Bank Building, the Harlem landmark at Park Avenue and East 125th Street more popularly known as the Corn Exchange. The long-neglected building—where the recent owner's plan for a culinary school fizzled, followed by a judge's ruling that the city could repossess the property—was deemed unstable, and it was decided the top floors of the 125-year-old building had to be lopped off. Blog Harlem Bespoke reports that the dirty deed is done and the scaffolding has come off the red-brick Corn Exchange, where only a couple of floors remain.

    Harlem Bespoke is hoping that the city is storing some of the lost architectural elements and that any plans for the building include a complete restoration. More pics of the battered landmark in the gallery above.

    The Corn Exchange Building Revealed [Harlem Bespoke]
    CurbedWire: Harlem Landmark Dismantled [Curbed]

  3. #348


    barbaric. shame on the past owners who allowed the building to erode to such a condition.
    Shame on the city for seemingly not giving a hoot about the building, until it was about to fall down. The LPC has been around for nearly 50 years and we can't get buildings like this preserved and placed into good hands before they crumble?

  4. #349
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    ^ Well said. I could've cried after seeing that photo of what it used to look like. Surely the demise of this magnificent building was totally avoidable.

    Shame on the LPC. This building was designated in 1993 for goodness sake.

    From the LPC's own book, Guide to New York City Landmarks, published in 2009:

    This prominently sited Romanesque Revival-style building on the corner of Park Avenue and East 125th Street is one of the most impressive structures in Harlem.
    Not any more.

    From The Landmarks of New York, Barbarlee Diamondstein-Spielvogel:

    After years of neglect, the exterior will be restored by Danois Architects. The building will be converted into retail and office space, with the Harlem Culinary School on the top two floors.
    What happened?



  5. #350
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Far West Village, NYC


    Below are some examples of classic buildings that have had their cupolas removed.

    LEFT: 331 Madison. Photographed in 1982 by Laura Rosen for her book "Top of the City." I tried to find it, but believe it was removed:

    MIDDLE: Tudor City Tower. Once had a significant spire.

    RIGHT: Decker Building. b. 1892 Union Square West
    Last edited by RandySavage; January 31st, 2010 at 08:40 PM.

  6. #351
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Default 4 East 43rd Street

    Looks like this little gem is going to be saved .

    Abandoned on East 43rd Street

    by Nick Carr

    Each time I walk down East 43rd Street, I expect it to have been torn down:

    A beautiful Italianate marble building, 4 East 43rd Street has to be one of the few abandoned properties in Midtown. Nestled in amongst the skyscrapers adjacent to Grand Central, it has been decaying since I began my location scouting career over four years ago.

    To me, the building has always felt like it would be right at home in Venice, especially with its beautiful second floor balcony:

    The building is covered in wonderful ornamentation, and I realized as I passed it today that I've never even taken a photo. Those red x-ed boxes on the front are never a good sign of health, and rather than miss my chance forever, I decided to snap some pictures.

    As I was shooting, a guy suddenly approached me and accusingly asked me why I was taking pictures. I get hassled all the time while scouting, and I'm usually quick to cop an attitude whenever someone gets in my way. However, this time, I found myself answering honestly: "Because it's an incredible building."

    The guy sorta stepped back and said "Ha, yeah, I think so too. That's why we bought it."

    Turns out the guy is somehow related to the company who recently picked up 4 East 43rd Street for a cool $6.3 million (maybe he's the owner? part-owner? It was unclear). We chatted for a bit, and the man told me how he's passed the building every day on his way to work for years and really really hated to see its decay. He was thrilled to purchase it recently, and can't wait to get to restoring it.

    Honestly, in a city where 99% of developers would raze this property without an ounce of guilt, it was really astonishing to hear him talk so passionately about saving it. This NY Post article pretty much mirrors the conversation we had. Apparently, the building is to become a boutique hotel, which I think is a perfect fit.

    4 East 43rd Street was built in 1916 and originally leased to the Mehlin Piano Company. Though the interior is now completely destroyed, this is what it originally looked like:

    An old Mehlin advertisement:

    At some point, the first floor became a clothing store - over the right doorway, you can still see the remains of a "WOMENS DEPARTMENT" sign (can anyone make out what the upper line reads?):

    The building is lined with cherubs, which are now significantly weathered:

    The second floor balcony (note the mermaid-like creature sculpted into the center):

    Third floor balcony:

    Finally, the top floor - note the row of crests:

    A close-up of the crest designs. Note the swastika in the center shield. Nothing unusual about this - prior to World War II, the swastika appeared quite frequently in building ornamentation as a symbol of religion, luck, or prosperity. I especially like how the crests are sculpted so as to appear to be hanging from bolts.

    The west side of the building is in pretty bad shape, with an enormous broken window:

    Side entrance to the building, now completely sealed up:

    Side window, featuring more ornamentation:


    The cherub design continues around the exterior:

    The second floor side balcony looks like its in bad shape:

    It's tragic that this building has been left to rot for so long, but I've got my fingers crossed that we'll see a rejuvenation in the coming years. Check it out if you have a chance - one way or the other, it'll look quite different in the coming years.

  7. #352


    That's GREAT news!

    I work right near this and have shared the exact same thoughts countless times, both about the presumed imminent destruction as well as about the Venetian qualities of the building. Very happy to hear it's being restored.

    Hopefully Aby Rosen will do the same with the beautiful building at 43rd and 5th, right near this Venetian, that he's been threatening to demolish. Maybe there's some class in this city yet.

  8. #353
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Default Coignet Stone Company building

    3rd Ave Landmark Still Crumbling

    (click to enlarge)

    Just as nothing has been doing at the Whole Foods site on 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, nothing has been done to stop the landmark building on the edge of the grocer's land from falling into even deeper ruin. As shown in the photo gallery, the property is literally falling apart and it's also a dumping ground for all sorts of trash. On a positive note, if there's one to be found here, at least the unintentionally (?) ironic banner that's sometimes hoisted to the side of the building advertising demolition has been taken down for the time being. The building is not owned by Whole Foods, but the retailer entered into an agreement with its owner back in '05 to repair the structure. The building is known as the Coignet Stone Company building and was landmarked in 2006 as a "pioneering example of concrete construction in the United States."

    Whole Foods: Not the Best of Neighbors [Brownstoner]
    3rd St. Landmark Crumbling; Is Whole Foods to Blame? [Brownstoner] GMAP
    Missing Details at Landmarked Third and Third Building [Brownstoner]

  9. #354


    For the love of god. And that building is landmarked...

  10. #355


    Looks like a landmark to me.

    Fix it up and lease it to an exclusive club.

  11. #356


    I'm not questioning the worthiness of the building. I am shocked that a landmark can be allowed to fall into such disrepair. Disgusting.

  12. #357


    If it was landmarked in '06 it was most likely in direpair before the designation.

    When I first moved to Clinton Hill, many old mansions and brownstones inside the historic district were in the same condition and for the most part. they have all been fixed up.

  13. #358

    Thread on lost buildings of London due to demolition and the war. After seeing some of those images I have to say Victorian London was probably the most beautiful cityscape ever.
    Due to it's longer history London has lost far more great structures than NY.





    I was surprised to find out how much of London was lost to developers rather than to the blitz. Funny enough a forum member said that these kind of atrocities would never take place in other world class cities like New York. ::eyeroll:::

    And if you move through some of the later pages of the thread you'll find some beautiful buildings currently slated for demolition. Like these:

    On a positive note, here is a thread showing some of London's immaculate streetscapes that have survived.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 7th, 2010 at 09:10 PM.

  14. #359


    Yawn. I may be wrong, but that just seems like a petty dig Derek. Not really sure why it is posted here. There are many London threads. I wish there could be amicable, mutual respect for these two cities on this forum.
    Last edited by Alonzo-ny; February 7th, 2010 at 10:06 PM.

  15. #360


    I thought it was an informative post, Derek. Thank you. I had been under the impression that London was pretty on top of its game with regard to preservation and am saddened to hear about the impending demos. I've got family in St Johns Wood and consider London a great city, and I'd like to see it stay that way.

    It's also good to gain some perspective on best practices vis-a-vis preservation of historic structures in non-US cities. We all know the unfortunate truth that too often prevails in US cities but I for one feel like we often get a whitewashed view of the situation elsewhere. Would be curious to hear about just how strict they are in Paris, or Germany, how they make the economics of preservation or different zoning codes work, etc. ...

    Re. Alonzo's remark that this is an improper place for such a "controversial" post -- not sure if this is necessarily the correct thread, but it's definitely a relevant, interesting post for some thread.

    ... And, Alonzo, can we please turn the dial back a bit on the sensitivity to all things London? I mean, it gets stifling and surprising how all references to London must be positive or huge photo dumps of pretty scenes. What gives -- nobody is trying to compromise the UK's good name... and I think Derek's post provides some interesting perspective

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