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Archive for the ‘Demolition’ Category

arcade machines

Water-damaged arcade machines were removed from the burned ruins of the building and put into a compacter. April 28, 2011. Photo © Eric Kowalsky via Amusingthezillion.com

Almost one year after the fire on May 5, 2010 that ravaged the Coney Island Arcade, the burned ruins of the building at West 12th Street and the Bowery are being prepped for demolition. On Thursday, Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky took these photos of the water-damaged arcade machines being removed and disposed of in a compacter. Charred pieces of wood were put in a dumpster. The now empty remains of the building are expected to be demolished next week.

arcade

One year after the fire that destroyed the Coney Island arcade, a dumpster was moved in front of the burned ruins of the building, which is finally being demolished. April 28, 2011. Photo © Eric Kowalsky via Amusingthezillion.com

As previously reported in “Coney Island Arcade Debuts Cobra, Braves Loss of Arcade” (ATZ, April 13, 2011), arcade owner Manny Cohen continues to manufacture and distribute arcade machines under the Coney Island Boxer brand. He also operates games on the Bowery, but there’s space for only a handful of arcade machines as you can see in the photo below. The Coney Island Rumor Mill is saying that Jeff Persily, the owner of the building, has no plans to rebuild. But we certainly hope the empty lot gets rented out for something amusing this season. The arcade building is adjacent to Thor Equities’ empty lot at Surf Ave and 12th Street, where the Bank of Coney Island and game concessions stood for decades until last year’s demolitions by Thor.

CIA Cobra

The Coney Island Arcade's new Cobra and a few other games can be found on the Bowery. April 2, 2011. 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We’re sad to report that if Cohen is unable to find another location, his 12th Street arcade will join the ranks of Coney’s lost arcades. Among the arcades that have closed due to the redevelopment of the past few years are Astroland’s three arcades and the Fascination arcade in the now-demolished Henderson Building. Coney Island’s last remaining arcades are located in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the Eldorado on the Bowery.

Last summer, Foster Kamer wrote a piece in the Village Voice titled “The Five Best Video Arcades in the City.” Two of the three–Coney Island Arcade and Chinatown Fair–are now closed.

Skeeball

Skee Ball at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park Arcade, Coney Island. April 24, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

April 13, 2011: Coney Island Arcade Debuts Cobra, Braves Loss of Arcade

February 1, 2011: Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels

May 21, 2009: Astroland Closed But Your Kid Can Still Ride the USS Astroland This Summer!

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New View

New View from Stillwell Terminal of the Island. January 13, 2011. Photo © Anonymous Poet via Amusing the Zillion

The view as you come out of Stillwell Terminal beneath the letters that spell Coney Island is rapidly changing. Earlier today, Anonymous Poet sent us this striking image of the Henderson demolition along with the message: “I was awed by the almost art nouveauy beauty of those big metal supports.” The Bowery side of the building is all that remains of the once grand and soon-to-be-gone Henderson Music Hall.

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December 27, 2010: Video: Tribute to the Henderson Theater by Charles Denson

October 28, 2010: Photo Album: Requiem for Coney Island’s Shoot Out the Star

September 12, 2010: Video: Coney Island’s Faber’s Fascination by Charles Denson

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky, who documented the demolition of the Bank of Coney Island in November, has eloquently captured the destruction-in-progress of the historic Henderson Music Hall in this series of images.

Eric put his camera through the gate on Henderson Walk to take the above photo of the crushed remains of part of the Henderson Building formerly occupied by Faber’s Fascination. “They took the front and side of the building down. The Bowery is still standing,” he said this morning.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Last week we posted historian Charles Denson’s video tribute to the Henderson Theater. As we previously noted, the City aided and abetted Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt by rezoning the Henderson parcel for a high rise hotel. There are however no immediate plans to build a hotel on the site. 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.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

The Henderson Building is the first sight you see on Surf Avenue when you step out of Stillwell Terminal. It is at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. We should probably use the past tense, though the demolition is still underway. The first sight you see when you step out of Stillwell will soon be another empty lot to add to Joe Sitt’s collection of empty lots.

demolition

Thor Equities Demolition of the Henderson Building. January 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 29, 2010: Saved or Not? Signs from Coney Island’s Henderson Building

September 24, 2010: Coney Island Cat Is Last Tenant of Henderson Building

September 12, 2010: Video: Coney Island’s Faber’s Fascination by Charles Denson

April 29, 2010: Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall

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Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Shore Hotel, Coney Island. December 10, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Shore Hotel, Coney Island. December 10, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Coney Island’s Shore Hotel was built circa 1903 and demolished by Thor Equities on December 10, 2010. It took only a couple of days for the demo men to take down the century-old wood frame building. There’s nothing left but a pile of sticks to be hauled away. Vanishing New York’s post from August 2009, which we linked to on Friday could serve as its epitaph.

In the post-demolition photo below taken on Saturday, Surf Avenue looks like a dowager with a tooth knocked out. Demolition is also underway at the Henderson Building, seen on the right hand side of the photo. The buildings on the left–the Eldorado Bumper Cars and the Popper Building–are NOT owned by Thor Equities and are NOT endangered.

View of Surf Avenue after the Demolition of the Shore Hotel. December 11, 2010.  Photo by Anonymouse

View of Surf Avenue after the Demolition of the Shore Hotel. December 11, 2010. Photo by Anonymouse

Last week photographer Lindsay Wengler took this photo of workers putting demolition scaffolding to the top of the former Henderson Music Hall. The building, which is at the corner of Surf and Stillwell across from Nathan’s, is next on Thor’s hit list of historic properties. You can see more pix from the set on the photoblog Single Linds Reflex.

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor-Owned Henderson Building. December 9, 2010. Photo © Lindsay Wengler/Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor-Owned Henderson Building. December 9, 2010. Photo © Lindsay Wengler/Single Linds Reflex via flickr

UPDATE… Why Weren’t These Buildings Saved?

We’ve received a few emails asking why these historic buildings were not saved. The short answer is these Thor-owned properties were rezoned for high-rise hotels by the City in July 2009. The long answer is the effort to save these buildings goes back to 2004, when Coney Island USA received a grant from the JM Kaplan Fund to “protect the legacy of old Coney Island” and nominated six buildings for landmark designation. But the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission dragged its feet and would not calendar any of the buildings until 2010, months after the lots had been rezoned. Of the nominated buildings, only two–the Childs Restaurant (owned by CIUSA) and the Shore Theater (owned by Horace Bullard)– are under consideration for landmark designation.

The Municipal Art Society had the Shore Hotel and the Henderson Building on their list of seven to save in Coney Island when MAS testified at a City Planning hearing on the rezoning in May 2009. Among the other structures identified by Coney Island USA, MAS and Save Coney Island were Nathan’s Famous, Childs Restaurant (CIUSA Building), the Grashorn Building, the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Theater. “Under the NYC Landmarks Law, structures can be designated as landmarks for architectural, historical and cultural reasons,” said MAS’s Lisa Kersavage in her testimony. “Although some of these structures have been altered over the years, their ties to the legendary Coney Island of the past gives them a cultural significance that should be recognized and protected.” 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 buildings.

After the Demolition of the Bank Building, Coney Island. December 9, 2010. Photo © Lindsay Wengler/Single Linds Reflex via flickr

After the Demolition of the Bank Building, Coney Island. December 9, 2010. Photo © Lindsay Wengler/Single Linds Reflex via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 8, 2010: March 23: Rescuing Coney Island’s Shore Theater from 35 Years of Neglect

April 29, 2010: Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 7, 2009: Tall, Skinny & Destined to Kill Coney Island: High Rises on South Side of Surf

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Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Here are a few photos of the demolition-in-progress taken yesterday in Coney Island. As ATZ tweeted on Monday: “Alas funeral services for Bank of Coney back on track. In lieu of flowers send donations to National Trust @PresNation” and “Today in #ConeyIsland saw Thor’s crew resume work at doomed bank bldg. City rescinded Stop Work Order, required fencing put up #bknews”

Bank of Coney Island Demolition viewed from Jones Walk. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition viewed from Jones Walk. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The DOB web page for the building, which has a lag of about 48 hours is now updated. It says “STOP WORK ORDER FULLY RESCINDED. FENCE ERECTED RESCIND APPROVED” The reason for the Stop Work Order, issued on November 10th, was “FTSGP&P NO CONSTR FENCE PROVIDED FOR CREATING SAFETY ZONE DE BRIS FALLING IN ADJ PROPERTY, STOP ALL WORK COMPLY WITH VIOL”

Though the City’s “Full Stop Work Order” remained in effect for only a few days, it gave what’s left of this historic building a respite from the bulldozer. And it was immensely satisfying to be able to write a headline that began “DOB Stops Thor Demo of Coney Island…. “ while the Stop Work Order was in effect. The City has of course failed to stop Thor Equities from first blighting and now demolishing historic buildings in Coney Island.

For more info on the building, see “Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then” (ATZ, October 14, 2010) and “A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island” (ATZ, October 9, 2009).

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 17, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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November 12, 2010: DOB Stops Thor Demo of Coney Island Bank, Cites Hazardous Conditions

November 9, 2010: Photos from the Demolition: Bulldozer Inside Bank of Coney Island

July 1, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Demolition Under the Radar?

June 14, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Caution! Asbestos Removal at Doomed Bank

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Stop Work Order issued by Building Enforcement Safety Team for 1124 Surf Ave. November 10, 2010. Photo © Mr Jones via ATZ

ATZ has postponed our funeral service for the Bank of Coney Island, which was expected to be completely demolished in two weeks. The partially demolished building is still doomed, but on Wednesday it got a respite from the bulldozer. The Department of Building’s BEST Squad –the Building Enforcement Safety Team– issued a “Full Stop Work Order” at the bank because debris was falling onto adjacent buildings. Our source said a wall coming down is shared with an adjacent property owner who according to city regulations must pay to build a new wall before work can proceed. There’s talk of a court order to force compliance. Who knows how long this will drag on? The demolition permit, which was originally issued in August, was re-issued in October and remains valid through June 11, 2011.

The DOB web page, which has a lag of about 48 hours, is now updated and cites “HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS OBSERVED AT SITE” and “NO CONSTR FENCE PROVIDED FOR CREATING SAFETY ZONE DEBRIS FALLING IN ADJ PROPERTY, STOP ALL WORK COMPLY WITH VIOL.”

These documentary photos are from a set shot inside the bank on Sunday by photo blogger Single Linds Reflex.

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

NYC Department of Buildings
Overview for Complaint #:3360583 = RESOLVED
Complaint at: 1124 SURF AVENUE BIN: 3245151 Borough: BROOKLYN ZIP: 11224
Re: HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS OBSERVED AT SITE

Category Code: 21 SAFETY NET/GUARD RAIL-DAM/INADEQ/NONE(OVER 6 STY/75 FT)

DOB District: N/A
Special District: CI – CONEY ISLAND

Assigned To: BEST SQUAD Priority

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Received: 11/10/2010 16:36 Block: 8696 Lot: 37 Community Board: 313
Owner: WEISS SURF AVENUE,LL

Last Inspection: 11/10/2010 – – BY BADGE # 2342
Disposition: 11/10/2010 – A3 – FULL STOP WORK ORDER SERVED
Job Number:
Comments: FTSGP&P NO CONSTR FENCE PROVIDED FOR CREATING SAFETY ZONE DE BRIS FALLING IN ADJ PROPERTY, STOP ALL WORK COMPLY WITH VIOL
DOB Violation #: 111010BS13MI01
ECB Violation #s: 34860946M

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 8, 2010. Photo © Single Linds Reflex via flickr

Update… November 15

Alas, Thor’s demo crew resumed work at the doomed Bank of Coney Island again on Monday. The DOB rescinded the stop work order, noting that the required fencing was now in place. Though the Stop Work Order remained in effect for only a few days, it was immensely satisfying to read the headline “DOB Stops Thor Demo….” while it lasted, wasn’t it? Funeral arrangements are being planned. In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Related posts on ATZ…

November 9, 2010: Photos from the Demolition: Bulldozer Inside Bank of Coney Island

September 23, 2010: Demolition in Progress! Coney Island’s Surf Hotel in Henderson Building

July 1, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Demolition Under the Radar?

June 14, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Caution! Asbestos Removal at Doomed Bank

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Demolition scaffolding on Stillwell side of Henderson Building. Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Demolition scaffolding on Stillwell side of Henderson Building. Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

On Thursday, Coney Island’s former Henderson Music Hall and Bank of Coney Island buildings moved one step closer to total annihilation by the hammer of Thor. Next time you arrive in Coney and step out of Stillwell Terminal, the gateway to Coney Island, you may be just in time to see and snap documentary photos of a real, live demolition!

We’re not referring to a demolition derby folks, but the sad and shameful dismantling of four historic Coney Island buildings. Joe Sitt of Thor Equities did not respond to preservationists’ efforts to “save” or re-purpose the buildings, but the City of New York is also to blame for having rezoned the parcels for 30-story high-rise hotels in 2009. On Thursday morning, workmen began putting up demolition scaffolding around Thor Equities-owned Henderson Building at the corner of Surf Avenue and Stillwell. Before they quit for the day, the first piece of scaffolding had been erected in front of the Bank of Coney Island building on West 12th Street. On Friday, the workmen finished the scaffolding at the Henderson.

First piece of demolition scaffolding erected at Bank of Coney Island Building.  Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

First piece of demolition scaffolding erected at Bank of Coney Island Building. Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

The demolition will be a weekday event due to the demo company’s work schedule. These guys usually start work early in the morning. The Coney Island Fun Guide is unlikely to list this event, but you can depend on ATZ’s twitter feed for updates on which building is being demolished and when. We intend to follow this story to the bitter end! If you’re working on a documentary about Coney Island redevelopment, you won’t want to miss it! The demolition is expected to be finished within a 40-day time frame, according to sources.

Demolition scaffolding at Thor Equities-owned Henderson Building. Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Demolition scaffolding at Thor Equities-owned Henderson Building. Oct 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 29, 2010: Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

February 10, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Amusement Operators Balk, Money Talks at Stillwell

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