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Thread: Endangered NYC - Lost & Threatened Treasures

  1. #586
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    It's sad the whole block couldn't be saved.


    Site of Notorious Uptown Murder to Be Demolished for New Development

    By Lindsay Armstrong

    WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — One of the neighborhood's most infamous — and spine-tingling — houses will soon be no more.

    The crumbling home at 663 W. 187th St., the site of a brutal murder of a teenage girl in 1958, will be demolished along with two neighboring properties under a plan to build an apartment project, building records show.

    The three-story house, built around 1899, was most notably the site of the 1958 strangulation death of Lillian Mojica. Locals said it sat abandoned for years. Property records show a developer bought it in 2012.

    According to court documents, Richard Mojica discovered the body of his 16-year-old sister Lillian beneath a mattress in the basement of the home on Feb. 13, 1958. Lillian’s body had been partially burned, and it was later determined that she died of strangulation. She had also been raped, court records show.

    After a brief investigation, police charged a boarder at the home, 33-year-old Pablo Vargas, with the crime.

    Vargas, who worked as a cook at the Jewish Memorial Hospital on West 190th Street, and a few other men were renting rooms in the Mojica house at the time of the murder, court records said.

    He briefly reported to work on the day of the murder, even though it was his day off. Police found bloodstains in Vargas’ room, including on his bed and on a pair of slippers, according to court documents.

    Vargas confessed to Mojica’s rape and killing, and was found guilty of first-degree murder. He later recanted and filed an appeal, saying that his confession has been coerced, according to court records.
    Vargas was executed at Sing Sing Prison’s notorious “death house” on May 12, 1960, according to historical records.

    The tragic story has continued to capture the interest of Heights residents, some of whom held a Mass in Mojica’s honor at nearby St. Elizabeth’s Church last year.

    Even for those who don’t know the story of the crime, the house has been a source of fascination.

    Slide Show

    “I passed by these houses half of my life, everyday,” wrote Maiki Andres Montoya in a community Facebook group. “I never knew the history behind that burnt house. We used to dare each other as kids to go inside. No one ever did.”

    Workers at the site confirmed that the house, along with two others, would be demolished next week to make way for a seven-story, 47-unit apartment complex from HAP Investment Developers.

    HAP, which has several Uptown projects in the works, gained attention last year for thwarting another developer’s plans to build three residential towers at Broadway and 192nd Street.

    The towers would have included about 180 affordable units in exchange for an amendment to the zoning requirements. HAP is instead moving forward with a smaller building that can be constructed as-of-right and will contain 98 market-rate units.

    HAP Four, the project on West 187th Street, will similarly offer market-rate housing. The modern structure will house 47 rental units, according to HAP’s website.

    While some people lamented the loss of three of Manhattan’s few remaining wood-framed houses, others said they would not miss the dilapidated structures.

    “I’m happy that they are going to be torn down,” said Isidoro Ptachewich, 81, who has lived in an apartment building on 187th Street since 1977. The houses have been in decline since he moved in and have sometimes attracted squatters, he said.

    “Anything they put there is going to be better for the neighborhood and local businesses,” he said.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2014...ew-development
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  2. #587
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    Having lived by this for the better part of the last 7 years, it's better they're going. They really were an eyesore, and in a place that could easily support much denser development than a few houses, it was time. I am kind of surprised that it's a 7 story apartment house going in here. There had been plans for a highrise quite a while back. I bet it's over in the Wash Heights thread. Let's see... Or not. Uh. Hmm. And of course now I can't find it. If I do, I'll post.

  3. #588
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    ^ Saved them before they became an eyesore .

  4. #589
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    There are definitely some seriously out of place houses in the Bronx

  5. #590

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    Not too many wood-frame buildings left in Manhattan.

  6. #591
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    Harlem's Historic Corn Exchange Building Has Risen Again

    April 6, 2015, by Jeremiah Budin



    Left: Harlem's Corn Exchange in 1982, via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Camilo José Vergara; Right: Photo via Harlem + Bespoke

    The Corn Exchange building on 125th Street revealed its new facade over the weekend, and Harlem + Bespoke got some photographs. The Queen Anne-style structure, which lost its upper floors in 2009 due to safety concerns, has been rebuilt by Danois Architects and Artimus Construction, with the Landmark Preservation Commission signing off and ensuring that the new structure is largely faithful to the historic former design. (As you can see from an old rendering, the design is much better than the one the developers first proposed.) The building is now looking to fill its retail and commercial space.

    The original Corn Exchange:



    Pre-construction in 2009:



    Today:


    Photo via Harlem + Bespoke

    Architecture: Corn Exchange Restored on 125th Street [Harlem + Bespoke]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...isen_again.php

  7. #592

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    Nice!

  8. #593

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    (From: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/ny...ange-bank.html)

    1997 photo:



    Now:



    Looks like they made the bay window sections wider than the original. Kind of looks odd with the original support corbel just above the left-most arch just "floating" there, now out of line with the center of the new bay.
    Last edited by Music Man; April 16th, 2015 at 02:09 AM.

  9. #594
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ Is that first photo really from 1997 (as per NYT article)? Looks like the pre-finished reno (but where is the top row of windows?).

    Edit: Maybe 1997 refers to when it was covered in mesh and scaffolding pre-demolition?

    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON056.htm
    Last edited by Merry; September 8th, 2015 at 08:25 AM.

  10. #595
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    Another view of the Corn Exchange's former magnificence.



    http://clocktowertenants.com/2015_01_25_archive.html

  11. #596
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    Postcard showcasing the Art Deco splendour of the Airlines Terminal Building



    https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2014/05/

  12. #597
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    Probably should be included in the demolished/destroyed thread
    Last edited by GordonGecko; September 9th, 2015 at 12:24 AM.

  13. #598
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    Anyone here going or able to make it to this? Great photo op.


    Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of Harlem with NYCEDC to Corn Exchange Building, La Marqueta, Hot Bread Kitchen, Harlem Biospace



    The Corn Exchange Building Renovation in Harlem


    We’re very excited to announce our next Behind the Scenes NYC tour in partnership with the NYCEDC where we’ll bring Untapped Cities readers into Harlem’s exciting development projects and incubators, including a special visit into the Corn Exchange Building redevelopment and its rooftop.

    On this walking tour of East and West Harlem on October 1st at 6pm ($25), guests will learn about the history of the neighborhood and observe first-hand the role of new incubator spaces and urban redevelopment projects on the present and future of Harlem.

    Stop will include La Marqueta and the Hot Bread Kitchen Incubator, led by Nadia Munoz, NYCEDC’s project lead for the Marqueta and the Head of Operations at Hot Bread Kitchen, a tour of the Corn Exchange Building with Artimus Developers, and a tour of Harlem Biospace with Matthew Owens (Harlem Biospace Executive Director) and Christine Kovich (Harlem Biospace Co-Founder and head of HypotheKIDS).

    http://untappedcities.com/2015/08/28...rlem-biospace/

  14. #599
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    5 Classic NYC Buildings Likely Coming Down for a Purple Neon Moxy Hotel



    The first Moxy Hotel opened in Milan in 2014 with a business plan we’re seeing more and more of these days: just outside the city center, with small rooms, large communal areas, aggressively—and regressively—trendy interiors, in this case featuring a lot of purple neon, and full digital connectivity at all times. Since then, the brand—co-owned in an unexpected pairing by Marriott and Inter Ikea (the furniture maker’s parent company)—has opened five more locations in Europe and the United States, placing some of them well within city centers. The new hotel brand is a play for the younger generation, which has been abandoning traditional hotels in favor of Airbnb and indie upstarts like the Ace Hotel. When all is said and done in this initial push, Moxy expects to boast 150 hotel locations.

    One of those locations sits in New York City’s East Village, across from the storied Webster Hall music venue on East 11th Street. A passerby today would note that there appears to be no space on this stretch large enough to accommodate a 300-room hotel. That’s because five 19th century Beaux Arts buildings will have to come down to make room for what Marriott’s VP of brand consulting has called Moxy’s “culture of experimentation.” These are the kinds of gorgeous New York buildings that make one think of West Side Story, of Rent, of a previous century’s immigrant life on the Lower East Side; essentially, of all the things that place New York City so firmly in the cultural imagination. Wrought iron fire escapes cling to their brick facades. Impressive cornices crown them.


    The south side of East 11th Street from 4th Avenue in 1936, image courtesy the New York Public Library.

    Marriott has partnered with the development firm Lightstone Group to execute the project. Lightstone, not Marriott or Inter IKEA, purchased the plots of land, closing on them in April for $52.1 million (as part of a larger deal totaling $127 million). The developer is building five Moxy Hotels total—four in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

    On August 4th, Lightstone Group filed and received demolition permits for the five buildings, showing a thorough disregard for the fabric of the city it is based in. In anticipation of the filing, four local preservation groups came together to request a hearing for the buildings in front of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. The commission ignored the request and declined to “calendar” it, a move that would have held up demolition at least until a decision could be made about their landmark status. The commission’s failure to consider the buildings for landmark status contradicts its own finding in a 2008 study that found this section of the East Village worthy of such. Only after the demolition permits were filed and brought to the public’s attention by the press did the commission respond to the groups’ request.

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission certainly bears much of the responsibility for the loss of these five historic buildings, if it comes to pass, as seems increasingly likely. Of course, so do Lightstone Group, Marriott and Inter IKEA. Other players include Goldman Sachs, whose $85 million loan made the purchase of the buildings possible.

    These companies’ gamble must be a calculated one they’ve faced down before, and their approach fairly clear: weather the rage of the locals as the beautiful historic buildings come down, then erect the glassy new hotel and bank on short memories and the blank-slate perceptions of those who had never before walked down this block. Still, they will have diminished the very neighborhood they’re seeking to exploit, very likely creating an eyesore out of what was once a beautiful block.


    The south side of East 11th Street from 4th Avenue today.

    With the demolition permits filed, is there any sliver of hope for the buildings? Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told me that his organization is working with the three others that filed the preservation request to get a meeting with Lightstone and encourage a change to its plan from demolition to one of “adaptive reuse,” which would involve incorporating the current structures into the hotel plan.

    GVSHP is also looking into any infractions that may have been committed in evicting the buildings’ tenants. If anything was done illegally, Lightstone’s ability to proceed could be compromised. “Dozens of long-term tenants were very quickly removed from the building,” says Berman, “and that does raise some eyebrows.”

    Also raising eyebrows are Lightstone Founder and CEO David Lichtenstein’s close ties with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Lichtenstein is a de Blasio appointee on the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors. Lichstenstein also made significant political donations at the bequest of de Blasio’s office earlier this year, which is part of an ongoing investigation. De Blasio supported Lightstone’s massive residential complex Gowanus, the first building of which opened to tenants in March. The Landmarks Preservation Commission–the only organization that could have stopped the demolition outright–has 11 commissioners, and all are appointed by the mayor.

    As this all literally goes down, the Moxy brand continues to court Millennials, yet doesn’t seem to quite understand its own demographic. Part of its homepage copy reads, “…kick back with a Cosmopolitan like the cosmopolitan you are,” in a nod to a cocktail that went out of fashion before the first millennial reached drinking age. (It’s worth pointing out that, like a cosmopolitan, Moxy’s neon purple logo also evokes the 1990s.) It’s not a huge gaffe, but it does suggest the kind of tone-deafness that could lead a large corporation—or in this case, several large corporations in cohort—to attempt to capitalize on the enduring appeal of a historic neighborhood by demolishing a significant swath of that neighborhood’s quintessential architecture.

    http://flungmagazine.com/2016/08/16/...on-moxy-hotel/

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