One of Thor Equities’ omnipresent “Stores for Lease” banners went up yesterday on the Grashorn Building. Thanks to Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy for stopping by and taking these photos last evening. The banner caused excitement as peeps realized it meant that Coney Island’s oldest was not going to be demolished after all! Not this season anyway. But will it be leased? We’d really like to hope so, though potential tenants’ efforts to lease the building last year fell through. ATZ knows a couple of people who have already expressed interest. Get your bid in now!
For the record, Thor Equities never got a demolition permit for the Grashorn. ATZ first noticed this in August when the demo permits for the now demolished Bank of Coney Island, the Shore Hotel and the Henderson Music Hall were first issued. We never mentioned it because by then not calling attention to the Grashorn seemed the best way to protect the building.
Why was Coney Island’s oldest building granted a reprieve? Unlike the Bank of Coney and the Henderson, the Grashorn parcel at Surf Ave and Jones Walk was not rezoned for a 30-story high rise hotel. There’s also the fact that the building is just a few doors away from Luna Park’s entrance. And there’s also the fact the City owns the east side of Jones Walk and leases it to game concessions. The demolition of the Grashorn would have created a desolate empty lot near the City’s showcase amusement park and killed business on the Walk. Hey maybe the Mayor said to Joe, no demo?
In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.”
Related posts on ATZ…
January 1, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010
December 29, 2010: New Restaurant Building Next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal
December 23, 2010: Coney Island Christmas Wish List: $12M Shore Theater
December 10, 2010: Displaced Queens Flea Vendors Eye Coney Island’s Vacant Lots