Historian Charles Denson‘s video tribute to Coney Island’s historic Henderson Music Hall is beautifully done and, of course, heartbreaking. In addition to rare archival material, the video features an unexpected recent look inside the building, which is currently under demolition.
Denson’s interior shots reveal what remains of the Velocity Nightclub on the building’s second floor. This performance space was exquisitely restored and brought up to code in 2004, before Thor Equities bought the building and began to blight it. The footage shows the space to be in surprisingly good condition and repudiates what Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt told NY1 in May: “Every one of these buildings is just horrible, rundown relics with nothing exciting about them. I hate to say it, but the great buildings of Coney Island disappeared 80 years ago.”
Last time we wrote about Thor’s demolitions, readers asked: Why wasn’t this building saved? The City aided and abetted Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt by rezoning the Henderson parcel for a high rise hotel. The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission denied landmark designation and also declined to create a historic district, which would have created tax incentives to rehab the building.
Related posts on ATZ…
December 23, 2010: Coney Island Christmas Wish List: $12M Shore Theater
December 13, 2010: R.I.P Coney Island’s Shore Hotel, Henderson Next on Hit List
September 12, 2010: Video: Coney Island’s Faber’s Fascination by Charles Denson