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Thread: Endangered NYC - Lost & Threatened Treasures

  1. #361

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    Stroika, I am trying to 'turn the dial down' by stopping petty tit-for-tat posts. Yes the post was interesting, I didn't say that it wasn't. It is my opinion that it has no context here. The post, while interesting, doesn't really add to the conversation of alternate methods of protecting buildings. It simply informed us that, yes, London does knock down old buildings as well, what does that have to do with NY? It says nothing of what London does extremely well which is protecting the vast majority of buildings.

    I may have read the tone wrong but the post seems like a petty 'London is no better' post that I want to put an end to around here. If it wasn't said in such a tone then I apologise. However the post isn't really relevant in the context here without information about what London does right.

  2. #362

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    Why is it only an issue when something negative is posted on London? There hasn't been an issue in this thread when London is mentioned to fault NY.

    Anyway, the fact that London has razed great buildings does not make the destruction of our buildings any more excusable. So I don't see what I'd gain from that argument. Rather the point of the post was to help dispprove the notion that NY developers are so much greedier and more "barbaric" than anywhere else. And that the attocities that have taken place in NY are not unique; an idea that is often conveyed in this thread/forum.

  3. #363
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    A very good and informative post by a forumer....

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=442332&page=1
    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:::


    On a positive note, here is a thread showing some of London's immaculate streetscapes that have survived.
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1061745
    Someone who doesnt understand it....
    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    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.
    Still doesnt understand it....
    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    Stroika, I am trying to 'turn the dial down' by stopping petty tit-for-tat posts. Yes the post was interesting, I didn't say that it wasn't. It is my opinion that it has no context here. The post, while interesting, doesn't really add to the conversation of alternate methods of protecting buildings. It simply informed us that, yes, London does knock down old buildings as well, what does that have to do with NY? It says nothing of what London does extremely well which is protecting the vast majority of buildings.
    Abuse of power because of lack of comprehension....
    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    I may have read the tone wrong but the post seems like a petty 'London is no better' post that I want to put an end to around here.
    A reasonable explanation via dumbing it down for those who did not get it....
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    Why is it only an issue when something negative is posted on London? There hasn't been an issue in this thread when London is mentioned to fault NY.

    Anyway, the fact that London has razed great buildings does not make the destruction of our buildings any more excusable. So I don't see what I'd gain from that argument. Rather the point of the post was to help dispprove the notion that NY developers are so much greedier and more "barbaric" than anywhere else. And that the attocities that have taken place in NY are not unique; an idea that is often conveyed in this thread/forum.

    Exellent post Derek, I think that if the context of the overall conversation has to be taken beyond the borders of NYC then it is very appropiate for this conversation.

  4. #364

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    It would take true ignorance to ignore how easily threads get off topic because of these type of posts in reference to London. Especially when they are to 'disprove' something that hasn't been said on this thread in months. Interesting post, but take it where it is on topic.

    Abuse of power because of lack of comprehension....
    Sure, I abuse my power by keeping threads on topic. Get a grip.

    Any further discussion on this can be made by PM.

  5. #365
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Conservancy’s Technical Director in Midst of Fight to Save Historic Brownstones


    329 & 331 MacDonough Street.
    Photo by NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

    Initial steps were taken today to stabilize two historic Brooklyn brownstones at 329 & 331 MacDonough Street. The Conservancy has worked to prevent the demolition of these circa 1870 houses designed by prolific Brooklyn architect Amzi Hill. They are part of a row in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, which was designated in 1971.

    MacDonough Street is one of the most architecturally distinguished streets in the borough.

    Today’s work involved pouring concrete into the cellar of number 329 which will stabilize the bearing walls and allow further shoring to occur once the concrete sets.

    Improper excavation work in the cellar of 329 lead to a partial collapse of the cellar party wall in the early morning hours of January 21, 2010. The Gas Company was called, and after shutting off the gas, alerted the Department of Buildings (DOB) about the partial collapse in the cellar. DOB inspected the two houses that share the party wall and immediately ordered all occupants of both to vacate. They then ordered an immediate demolition of both houses, citing the danger of “imminent catastrophic collapse.” The owner of 329, an attorney, sought and obtained a temporary restraining order, which bought some time.

    The Conservancy enlisted the services of an engineer from Robert Silman Associates. Technical director Alex Herrera accompanied the engineer on a site visit on Saturday morning, January 22. Inspecting the interior of the house, Herrera and engineer Pat Arnett did not notice any discernible settlement or sinking of the floors or walls of 329.

    The partial collapse of the cellar wall was a very serious breech of the house’s structure as it opened up a gap in the bearing wall. But somehow the structural loads in the bearing wall found their way around the gap. The Conservancy contacted expert shoring contractor Richard Mugler who visited the site on Tuesday, along with DOB staff and prepared a shoring plan to present the court. The following Wednesday, at Brooklyn Supreme Court, an extension of the restraining order was granted. The judge ordered the engineers to come up with a plan to save the houses.

    As of Thursday, January 28, the parties were discussing how to begin the shoring process. The DOB wanted concrete to be poured into the cellar to stabilize the foundations of the house but does not want any workmen in the house when the pour is underway. Those details were being ironed out and it is our hope that concrete will be poured no later than Friday, January 29. Once the concrete is poured and sets up, the actual shoring process can commence. The fact that neither house has moved or shown any evidence of displacement is a positive sign that indicates that they can be saved.

    On Friday, concrete trucks pulled up in front of the houses and contractors arranged an elaborate piping system that permitted concrete to be poured into the illegally excavated trenches in the cellar of 329. As of noon today, we received word from the LPC that the pour was completed successfully with no structural movement in the houses. Once the concrete sets (six to twelve hours) the houses will in effect have concrete footings, which will provide solid support for the load bearing party wall.

    Now, a shoring plan needs to be submitted and approved by DOB to allow a shoring contractor to enter the houses and stabilize the floors prior to the permanent repair of the collapsed portion of the party wall. Those plans will be submitted early next week prior to the next court appearance scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

    If it had not been for the sympathetic ear of the court, the political pressure of the neighborhood and the assistance of the Conservancy, these fine houses would have been demolished a week ago; four families would have been displaced; and the lovely intact row of landmark brownstones would have been irrevocably diminished.

    http://www.nylandmarks.org/advocacy/...toric_brownsto

    http://www.brownstoner.com/brownston..._st_h.php#more

  6. #366
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Preservationists Seek To Save Historically Italian-American Church

    Brooklyn Diocese Says It’s Too Deteriorated

    By Raanan Geberer





    http://www.brownstoner.com/brownston..._to_preser.php
    http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/b...reto/index.htm

    OCEAN HILL – A group of Italian-Americans has been mounting an effort to save a historically Italian church building in this low-income neighborhood, one that has architecturally unique characteristics.

    However, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, saying the now-vacant building is too rundown to restore, wants to sell it with an eye toward creating affordable housing.

    The church, built in 1906, is the baroque-style Our Lady of Loreto on Sackman and Pacific streets. According to Mario Toglia, one of the group that is leading the preservation effort, the church “is truly Italian because it was built by a talented group of gifted Italian immigrant artists – Adriano Armezzani, architect; Antonio Federici, builder; Gaetano Federici, sculptor; Gaetano Capone, artist; and Serafino Biancardi, interior decorator.”

    He also calls attention to the three main paintings in the church, representing the Transfiguration, the Immaculate Conception, and the Translation of the House of Nazareth, all painted by Capone.

    The area was heavily Italian from the 1880s through the 1970s, similar to such other historic Italian neighborhoods as North Williamsburg, Bensonhurst and the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue section. Indeed, the block upon which the church rests was once owned by Venetian merchant Cesare Alberti, who has the first Italian to settle in what is now New York City.

    “If someone visited the area today, one would never know that Italians had lived there,” says Toglia, a retired teacher. “The church remains the only remnant of that era in the community’s past.”

    However, says Msgr. Kieran Harrington, spokesperson for the Diocese, the effort is being led by “people who do not live in the community and did not support the church when it was open.” Right before the church closed, only a “handful of parishioners” were attending it. The parish has merged with Presentation parish, whose church is a mere three blocks away.

    Saying the church would require a “huge amount of money” to be saved, Harrington added that “it’s a question of where we’re going to put our resources.” Citing the needs of the neighborhood, he said the Diocese is selling the church with an eye toward creating affordable housing on the site. “It’s a non-story,” he commented.

    Still, preservationists say the church is indeed worth saving. Although it is not a landmark, it was deemed eligible to be listed on the National Register of national historic sites last year by the New York State Office of Historic Preservation.

    Prof. Joseph Scelsa of the Italian-American Museum in Manhattan’s Little Italy says that the building is valuable not only for its architecture, but for its “patrimony.”

    “When the Italian-Americans first came to New York, many of those who were here either wouldn’t let the Italians into their churches or put them into basement. So they built their own churches,” says Scelsa. Our Lady of Loreto is one such church.

    The museum is sponsoring a program next Wednesday, Feb. 24, in which Toglia and Dr. Marilyn Verna of St. Francis College will discuss “the growing concern of losing such a precious historical site.”

    Ann Friedman, director of the Sacred Sites Program of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, says her organization encountered Our Lady of Loreto when it did a survey of all Catholic churches in Brooklyn after the Diocese said it would look at all existing churches with a view toward “realignment” in 2006.

    The church is historically significant, she said, for several reasons. One, it is a “very early example of a Catholic church in a high Italian baroque style.” In contrast, most churches in the city are built in a gothic style. “It is not a typical Brooklyn church,” she said.

    Also, the church is a very early example of concrete construction used in an artistic way. Concrete, or cast stone, she says, was just coming into use in 1906, and even then, it was usually used as a complement to other materials.

    Housing-Cultural Center Plan

    The Sacred Sites Program, she says, has helped the preservationists with their plans. These plans include affordable housing nearby and the church building itself being turned into a cultural center and community hall. The advocates have also selected a possible developer, Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp.

    The problem, says Ms. Friedman, is money. Even an engineering study, she says, would take $15,000 to $20,000 to complete.

    The preservationists have gained the support of state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Bay Ridge/Staten Island), Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblyman William Boyland, the Order of Sons of Italy in America, the aforementioned Italian-American Museum, the Brownsville Heritage Center and more.

    As for Toglia, he was never a parishioner, but his family came from the Italian village of Calitri, and at one point a society of immigrants from Calitri held many of its religious functions there.

    The group had several meetings with the Diocese, beginning in June of last year. They presented their plan for the facility in August.

    However, in December, the Diocese wanted confirmation that the group had sufficient funds to restore the church, according to Toglia. Soon afterward, they were informed that the Diocese would sell the building, resulting in its probable demolition.

    Sen. Savino says Toglia, “is now looking into why the Diocese blocked the engineering firm from gaining access to the church as agreed. This church is and has always been a source of pride to those Italian-Americans living in Brooklyn.”

    http://brooklyneagle.com/categories/...id=31&id=33585

  7. #367

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    You know, it's great that they're trying to save these old buildings, especially the Brownstones(My aunt owns one on Harlem and it is incredible). Because you know for sure that they would've put up one of those crappy looking multi-family homes popping up all over the borough.

  8. #368

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    That church is a keeper.

    Any building can be restored. They accommodate thousands for grand opera in the Roman amphitheatre of Verona.

  9. #369

  10. #370

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    A time when Woolworth was the tallest building in Lower Manhattan....nice.

  11. #371
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    Looks more like Singer, no?

  12. #372

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    That's what I was thinking.

  13. #373
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    That last photo is amazing. The clarity and crispness highlights the detail of the marvelous buildings in the foreground.

    It does look like the Singer, but wouldn't it be the Woolworth since it's taller and also further north than the Singer?

  14. #374

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    Isn't it just a picture before Woolworth was constructed?

  15. #375
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    ^ This Library of Congress Flickr page states that the Bains News Service photos were taken in "about 1910-1912", so, yes, it appears the photo was taken prior to the Woolworth being completed in 1913.

    1913:
    According to the notes added, the building on the right under construction is the Adams Express Building, designed by Francis Hatch Kimball.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/3438462778/

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