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Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. November 23, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. November 23, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

R.I.P. Bank of Coney Island (1923-2010)

Eternal memory. Eternal memory. Grant to this demolished piece of Coney Island history, O Lord, blessed repose and eternal memory.

Thanks again to Eric Kowalsky for his excellent photo documentation of the Bank of 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).

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 29, 2010: Photos from the Demolition: Knocked Out Wall at Bank of Coney Island

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

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

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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 City rescinded Stop Work Order, required fencing put up #bknews”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 It says “STOP WORK ORDER FULLY RESCINDED.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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Related posts on ATZ…

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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Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. November 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Last week’s shocking news of the eviction of 9 Boardwalk mom-and-pop businesses by Luna Park operator Central Amusement International stole the spotlight from Thor Equities’ ongoing demolition on Surf Avenue. Some folks asked to be told when the heavy machinery arrived at the Bank of Coney Island. Well, it’s here and has been doing its dirty work..

The roof and part of the back wall of the building were taken out last week. Now you can see right through to the sky and the Wonder Wheel. In these photos by Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy, the bulldozer is parked inside the doomed building, which is shrouded in black demolition netting and scaffolding. Get ready for another funeral.

Check out photo blogger Single Linds Reflex stunning pix from inside the building. A construction worker allowed her and another photographer to take a peek inside yesterday! The worker told them it would take about 2 weeks to completely demolish the building. More photos on Single Linds Reflex’s flickr page.

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 Shrouded in Demolition Netting. November 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Shrouded in Demolition Netting. November 7, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 14, 2010: Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

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

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Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 28, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 28, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

On Thursday, the attack of the jackhammers began after Verizon finished removing phone lines for the area from the roof of the doomed Bank of Coney Island building. Photographer Eric Kowalsky has been valiantly documenting the demolition-in-progress. In the photo below, which was taken on Tuesday, Thor’s gang finish putting up the demolition scaffolding.

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).

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 26, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 26, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Related posts on ATZ…

October 20, 2010: Joe Sitt’s Gang Punches Holes in Bank of Coney Island Building

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

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

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Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 21, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 21, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Last week, the doomed Bank of Coney Island had holes punched in its wall by Joe Sitt’s demo men in prep for the installation of demolition scaffolding. The northeast corner of West 12th and Bowery has taken on the brutal look of a torture chamber. The victim is the 87-year-old building itself, the first of four historic buildings in Coney Island marked for demolition by Thor Equities.

As we wrote in “Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then” (Oct 14, 2010):

Shame on Thor Equities for not even responding to the written pleas of individuals and organizations to re-purpose the building or at least save the facade. Shame on the City of New York for sacrificing the building by rezoning the parcel for a 30-story high rise in July 2009.

Real estate speculator Joe Sitt bought the Bank of Coney Island building in 2005 for $3 million and kept it vacant. ATZ knows at least two potential tenants whose proposals for leasing and rehabbing the building went nowhere. Alas, Joe Sitt’s price to lease the property– $500,000– was too steep. Perhaps Thor did not want to be encumbered by tenants or leases because the building was marked for demolition from the moment it was purchased?

Bank of Coney Island Demolition Scaffolding. October 25, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition Scaffolding. October 25, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Thanks to Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy for documenting this unfortunate situation in his flickr set. “They built the scaffolding on the West 12th Street side today,” says Bruce, who notes that the police stopped to ask a passersby what was written on the permits posted on the wall. Though the signs are newly posted, what they have to say is not news: the Department of Buildings issued the demolition permit on August 13.

During Thor Equities’ 40 days of demolition, ATZ will continue to post documentary photos. Help us keep this disgraceful demo in the public eye by sending newsworthy pix and info to hello[AT]triciavita[DOT]com. Hey, maybe a sympathetic insider will send us a photo from inside the torture chamber! Be careful…

It's official: the City of NY approves the demolition. October 25, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

It's official: the City of NY approves the demolition. October 25, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Related posts on ATZ…

October 20, 2010: Joe Sitt’s Gang Punches Holes in Bank of Coney Island Building

October 14, 2010: Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

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

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Joe Sitt's Demolition Crew Punched Holes in the Bank of Coney Island's south wall. October 18, 2010.  Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Joe Sitt's Demolition Crew Punched Holes in the Bank of Coney Island's south wall. October 18, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

On Monday at 2 pm, “Mayor” Dick Zigun sounded the alarm on the Coney Island Message Board: “They have just started to punch holes in the Bank of Coney Island building’s south wall, facing the Bowery. The holes are being punched out from the inside via drills and jack hammers. Earlier today they erected scaffolding along the north and east facades.”

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 18, 2010.  Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Bank of Coney Island Demolition October 18, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Coney Island photographers Eric Kowalsky and Bruce Handy have been documenting the demolition for the past two days. They’re made of strong stuff. We’ve put off posting the images because it was painful to see this 87-year-old building having holes– first two and three, and now eleven– punched through its walls. We know a building is not a human being, but this is torture. The building looks as if it faced a firing squad and is a dead man standing.

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 18, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

A poster on the Coney Island board claims that the holes are for shoring up the upper part of brick wall while they build the scaffolding from the inside, so as not to disturb what’s left of the fire-damaged arcade next door. But the bank building was built to last and isn’t going to come down easily. On the first and second day of Joe Sitt’s 40 Days of Demolition, the worst is yet to come.

ATZ promised to live-tweet the demo to keep Sitt’s ongoing desecration of Coney Island in the public eye. But we have no idea how we’re going to weather the ordeal if the first two holes in a wall look like wounds to us. If we could have picked one building to save, the Bank of Coney Island would have been the one. For more info, read “A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island,” (ATZ, October 9, 2009).

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 19, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Bank of Coney Island Demolition. October 19, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 14, 2010: Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

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

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

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