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Thread: Bronx Borough Courthouse - by Oscar Bluemner

  1. #16
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    Thumbs up

    It's really great that this building will finally be used. I am a little worried about this charter school company, and about whether the building can be prepared in time for the school year, but here's hoping!

  2. #17

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    They say September. Lets hope they can do the work in time.

    There is a lot to do as it seems all metals and fittings have been ripped out and stolen.

  3. #18

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    July 25, 2008, 1:41 pm

    Old Bronx Courthouse Will Not House New School Just Yet

    By David Gonzalez


    The Bronx Borough Courthouse, a landmark that has stood vacant for more than 30 years, where a charter school was supposed to open.
    (Photos: David Gonzalez/The New York Times)

    Lady Justice sits atop the Bronx Borough Courthouse like a stone dowager, awaiting some gentleman caller who will try to persuade her to part with her majestic, though decrepit, mansion. With her shield and sword at the ready, she was never a pushover.

    In March, the owner announced that the Beaux Arts building on Third Avenue would come back to life in September as the Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School. But as summer inches ever closer to the start of the school year, the landmark courthouse remains empty and silent as officials from Imagine Schools, the non-profit company that will run the academy, go back and forth with the landlord to negotiate a 25-year lease.

    In just a few months, plans have changed, with the school’s proposed home going from grand to bland. It will now open in a temporary location a mile and a half away on River Avenue, inside low-slung windowless brick building. There wouldn’t be much of a view even with windows: the school sits in the shadow of the elevated tracks, next to a parking lot and across the street from a warren of beat up garages.

    Officials of Imagine Schools, a Virginia company which runs dozens of charter schools nationwide, said it they had been overly optimistic that the courthouse could have been ready for this school year. Instead, they are hoping to occupy the courthouse in 2009.

    “There just is no physical way,” said Samuel Howard, a regional executive vice president. “It is going to take every bit of a year for the landlord to do what we require of the structure and for all that needs to be there. There’s no way it could have been done by this September.”


    A close-up look at a bricked-up side entrance to the Bronx Borough Courthouse on Third Avenue.

    Henry Weinstein, the owner, purchased the courthouse from the city in 1999. He has said in the past that he intended to spend up to $30 million to renovate the building, whose interior had been picked clean by scavengers over the decades. At various times, plans had been floated to rent or sell the white elephant.

    Andrew M. Chertoff, a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein, said in an e-mail message that the two parties have been negotiating lease terms for the last several months. He also said that once the lease deal is completed, construction will begin and the building will be ready for occupancy by September 2009, if not sooner.

    The hulking building appears little changed since Mr. Weinstein bought it: a chain link fence hugs the building, where some cracked walls are covered with graffiti like “I Love You” and “Pistola.” Most of the windows are sealed tight with cinder blocks. Lady Justice – with no blindfold to block her view – looks out on a small plaza where weeds poke through cracks in the sidewalk. Several signs advertise “Building Available.”

    Community groups long familiar with the building remain skeptical of the owner’s intentions, said Yolanda Gonzalez, the executive director of We Stay/Nos Quedamos. Her group, a coalition of residents who successfully challenged local officials in the 1990s to make them partners in rebuilding their blighted community, tried to buy the building in the 1990s to make it a symbolic centerpiece for their neighborhood’s radically changed fortunes.

    “We still want it,” said Ms. Gonzalez. “The owner has done nothing except sit on it.”

    While school officials await a lease, they have rented the temporary space on River Avenue, which used to be an early childhood education center run by the Volunteers of America. Somewhere along the way to the new location, the school parted ways with Urban Youth Alliance, a faith-based group that had been the school’s community partner.

    Officials at the Urban Youth Alliance would not elaborate on the split, nor would officials at Imagine Schools. “I’m not at liberty to get into that decision,” said Mr. Howard. “There’s nothing I can say about that.” He suggested contacting the Rev. Michael Carrion, president of the school’s board. Mr. Carrion did not reply to an e-mail message.

    Still, the community remains enthusiastic despite the setbacks and switches. The school already has 180 students registered for kindergarten through second grade.

    “We filled up the kindergarten in a week,” said Angie Chiaravalloti, a regional director for Imagine. “And we have a waiting list for 50 more for K alone.” She said that while the building looked plain on the outside, the classrooms were bright and welcoming.

    “There are no windows, but it is air conditioned,” she said. “There is a big area in the back we plan on cleaning up. There is a very large cafeteria where you can have a playroom. From the outside it does not look like much. But you go inside and it’s amazing.”

    A few days ago, two maintenance men lounged in chairs at the school’s entrance, taking a break. One of them wore a Scarface T-shirt showing Tony Montana and his little friend about to get busy.

    “We’re just painting and doing things,” said Clinton Young. “Just brightening it up.”

    The façade could use it. The windowless stretch that is the school’s public face had already been tagged with graffiti. Atop its roof, where swirls of razor wire graced the sides, hung a banner with the only clue of what lay inside.

    “Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School,” it read. “Leading Communities of Achievement and Hope.”


    The temporary home of the Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School will now be inside this windowless building, just north of Yankee Stadium.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...hool-just-yet/

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  4. #19
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    i just did a thread on the longwood historic district and this neighborhood:

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/inde...c,16619.0.html

    some pics from 7/1/08:


    front


    back


    construction behind it


    i bet we have delays!

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    Thank you for posting these photographs.

  6. #21
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    Breath of Life to Come to the Old Bronx Courthouse?



    A few days ago I received an email from a friend and colleague of Henry Weinstein, who is the owner of the Old Bronx Courthouse, about what my thoughts as well as the community at-large would be on what should be done with the Old Courthouse while keeping in mind that SELLING IS NOT AN OPTION. I capitalize this for emphasis as that is not up for discussion but I am opening this discussion to all of Melrose and The Bronx since we are all in this together. For decades this old structure on 161st and Third Avenue has been a symbol of urban decay and collapse and now the time is right for it to become a new symbol. A symbol of renewal, a phoenix literally rising from the ashes of the neighborhood it once proudly served.




    Sometime in the next week or so, I have been asked to take a walking tour with Mr Weinstein and his representative to talk things through and as humbling of a request that is, I cannot do it without YOUR input so this entry is specifically for YOU to sound off on the issues...let us know what you think should be there. Do keep in mind to keep it realistically because it is something that needs to be viable for the individual who will be developling the property as well as the future tenants of the building and the residents they will serve.



    One of the ideas that I have for it (and the credit for this goes to Irwin Cohen, the mastermind behind the Chelsea Market) is to create a Bronx version of the Chelsea Market. Now as early as 2005, I read in a Q & A from the Center for an Urban Future where Mr. Cohen would like to develop such a mixed use project that is so successful in Chelsea - but with a Bronx twist and flair where the ethnic vendors displaced by the creation of the Gateway Center Mall would have a home. My idea as well as some locals who I've spoken to would be try and convince to have as an anchor in that building a Barnes and Noble open up because:

    • We do no not have anything remotely that is a bookstore in the Bronx outside of Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza in Co-op City yet neighborhoods such as the Upper East Side on 86 and Lexington had TWO Barnes and Nobles within 3 blocks of each other.
    • People are tired of having to go to places as 86th and Lex and go out of their way to buy books. Many residents are clamoring for one...just not to the right people...until now.
    • A bookstore will more than attract business, Boricua Village, once completed, will open up 700 apartment units bringing in at least 1500 new residents to just that ONE block alone where the Old Bronx Courthouse sits and that is not counting the 2,000 students plus 200+ faculty and staff that will be housed in Boricua College.



    Just those three points alone should be enough incentive for Barnes and Noble to want to invest in Melrose and the South Bronx as a whole. The 161st Street/3rd Avenue corridor is a transportation rich corridor with a Metro North Station at 162nd and Courtlandt, the 2/5 train at 3rd Ave/149th Street, a plethora of buses, 4, 15, 21, 19, 6, 44 just to name a few! Much better connected for those who rely on public transportation than Barnes and Noble in Co-op City.

    And Barnes and Noble or a similar book store would only be the anchor. The rest of the facility could house mom and pop markets, like the Chelsea market and the upper levels can give way to offices who knows? Maybe even Department of Motor Vehicles would like to take shop up there...aren't we being touted as Downtown Bronx anyway? Maybe the Bronx Chamber of Commerce can also have new digs there...the options are endless and Mr. Weinstein is not opposed whatsoever to even donating space for the arts or maybe even a gym for local community children.

    http://welcome-to-melrose.blogspot.c...old-bronx.html

    http://curbed.com/archives/2009/11/2...sea_market.php

  7. #22
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    Nothing happened. 4/01/10:







    Lady Justice, covered in injustice





    Grapes


  8. #23
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    Looking at the wasted and decayed state of this beautiful structure, it's almost as if this is part of one of those sci-fi disaster befalls NYC movies. So hard to believe that this happens, but there are so many examples throughout the 5 boros.

  9. #24
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    Old news now but I was prompted to post this after finding a photo and wondering what had happened to this wonderful building.

    Still no good news. Hard to believe it was landmarked way back in 1981 but is now still in this sad condition.


    Bronx Borough Courthouse still empty


    The century old marble structure, vacant for nearly 40 years, is ready for a tenant, says owner


    By Denis Slattery
    Sunday, April 13, 2014


    Florescu Viorel freelance NYDN
    The Beaux Arts-style Bronx Borough Courthouse at E. 161st St. and 3rd Ave. has been vacant since 1977. The graffiti-covered landmark features
    an unblindfolded marble statue of Lady Justice that towers over the building's main entrance.


    The Grey Lady is looking for company.

    Nearly 40 years after shuttering in the 1970s, the derelict Bronx Courthouse on Third Ave. and E. 161st St. in Melrose is ready to house a charter school or a community group, its owner Henry Weinstein told the Daily News on Friday.

    But a source within the city insists the landmarked Beaux Arts building, once the center of the Bronx court system, is in such a state of disrepair that no school could afford to complete the needed renovations.

    “There would be a lot of hurdles for anyone looking to take over the space,” said the source, who feared the building's landmark status would also prevent major alterations needed to transform the behemoth into an educational institution.

    “It’s just too big,” the source added.

    Dubbed the Grey Lady for the marble statue of Lady Justice at the center of its facade, the structure — once a symbol of the rough and tumble 70s and 80s — boasts 25-foot-tall ceilings, terrazzo floors and spiral staircases.

    After spending $5 million on rehabbing, Weinstein says he’s still having trouble finding a tenant with enough cash to cover the $25-a-square-foot rent he’s asking. Each floor of the nine-story structure covers about 12,800 square feet, which would add up to $320,000 a year in rent per floor.


    Florescu Viorel freelance NYDN
    Bought at city auction by Brooklyn developer Henry Weinstein in 1998, the beautiful Beaux Arts-style old Bronx Borough Courthouse still sits empty.
    After years of searching for tenants to renovate the place, Weinstein renovated the interior himself.


    “We talked to a number of brokers and prospective tenants, but none of those talks have led anywhere yet,” said Weinstein, who has owned the massive marble and concrete structure since 1998.

    The former hall of justice has been eyed by many local non-profit groups including holistic law group The Bronx Defenders and a charter school group called Imagine Schools that nearly leased the space in 2008.

    Electrical work, plumbing, and even elevator repairs have been completed in the 82,000-square-foot courthouse.

    “We could build out and deliver the space within six months,” the developer promised.

    “We would love for it to be fully restored back to servicing the Melrose community,” Weinstein added.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1753848

    Photos of the interior


  10. #25
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    Abandoned Bronx Courthouse Finally Used, For Art Exhibition

    April 25, 2015, by Rowley Amato


    Photo via Welcome2TheBronx.

    This week, the gorgeous (and sadly decrepit) old Bronx Borough Courthouse opened its doors for a massive art project organized by No Longer Empty, the very group that took over the Bank of Manhattan building in Long Island City several years ago. Titled When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out, the exhibition is spread across three floors and collects the commissioned work of 26 artists, which, according to the official press release, "echoes approaches attributed to cut-up poetry, early Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, and the sculptural practice of artist Gordon Matta-Clark, who sliced into urban spaces as social commentary."

    Pictures inside the abandoned courthouse and the exhibition itself are forthcoming in Thursday's Camera Obscura column, but for now, enjoy some shots of the empty, ruined courthouse courtesy of Nathan Kensinger after the jump.


    Photos by Nathan Kensinger, who writes and photographs Curbed's Camera Obscura series.

    No Longer Empty will also be running a series of community programs and activities as part of the project, including BX200 Virtual Artist Studios and Bronx Fashion Week. Check the website for more information and dates.

    No Longer Empty [official]

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

  11. #26
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    Inside The Abandoned Old Bronx Borough Courthouse

    http://gothamist.com/2015/04/21/insi...rt.php#photo-1































































































  12. #27
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    after the art exhibit the courthouse building has returned to renovation and repair. it will reopen as a permanent art exhibit space for the forseeable future:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/14...html?referrer=

  13. #28
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    Great building, but completely in the middle of nowhere and out of place. Like a gem in the mud

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