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Archive for the ‘Demolition’ Category

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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Flood at Henderson Building. Oct 6, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Flood at Henderson Building. Oct 6, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Update….Bruce Handy sent us the above photo and a link to a set of photos and a video of the water pouring out of the Henderson Building taken today, October 6th at 5 pm. Don’t miss the vid! The set also shows the Grashorn Building, Coney’s oldest, which had its locks cut and is now vulnerable to trespassers. Thor Equities desecration of their property in Coney Island continues unchallenged by City agencies. Please note that these buildings had tenants and were not vacant or derelict until Joe Sitt bought the property and emptied them of tenants.

October 6, 7 pm…Thor finally sent somebody over to turn off the flood in the Henderson Bldg. How come they don’t send a thank you note to everyone who looked out for their property?!

October 7, 10:45 am…Scaffolding is going up around the Henderson in preparation for the demolition.

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Calling all photographers! We’re saving a spot at the top of this post for the first, best or only photo of this developing news story: More than 24 hours ago Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA, posted on the Coney Island Message Board: “At this moment (October 5th at noon) water from a broken pipe is pouring out of the second story hotel section of Henderson’s into Henderson’s Walk, below. Maybe the idea is to get the building to collapse on it’s own?” The water is still pouring down.

ATZ made a few phone calls yesterday and learned that Sam Sabin of Thor Equities, the owner of the Henderson Building, had been notified of the situation. He was alerted again today.

Flood at Henderson Building. Oct 6, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Flood at Henderson Building. Oct 6, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

On the CIUSA board, Dick speculated that scavengers got into the building and ripped out the copper pipes for salvage. This wouldn’t surprise us since the building was unsecured after undergoing asbestos abatement and under the radar pre-demolition.

If the water keeps pouring down, the wall could collapse and the building declared unsafe and have to be demolished, regardless of whether a demolition permit was issued in the first place. According to CB 13, the DOB said a demolition permit had been issued. But no one was working in the building last week.. Demolition by Neglect? You decide….

New York City has a Demolition by Neglect law, but we could not locate its web page via Google. Hello? It’s worth noting the law was authored by former City Councilman Tony Avella, who is now running for State Senate. We found a handy definition on the City of New Orleans website:

Specific criteria for the determination of Demolition by Neglect are as follows:

* The deterioration of a building to the extent that it creates or permits a hazardous or unsafe condition as determined by the Department of Safety and Permits.

* The deterioration of a building(s) characterized by one or more of the following: a. Those buildings which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property; b. Deteriorated or inadequate foundation; c. Defective or deteriorated floor supports or floor supports insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety; d. Members of walls, or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration; e. Members of walls or other vertical supports that are insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety; f. Members of ceiling, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration; g. Members of ceiling, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members that are insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety; h. Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material or deterioration; i. Any fault, defect, or condition in the building which renders the same structurally unsafe or not properly watertight.

* Action by the City, the State Fire Marshall, or the Department of Safety and Permits relative to the safety or physical condition of any building.

The Henderson Building has already suffered so much damage from the “pre demolition,” it’s like watching an old person being slowly tortured to death. Save Coney Island, which has proposed re-purposing the building, might as well go ahead and start planning a New Orleans style funeral for the Henderson Music Hall right now.

Send photos to hello[AT]triciavita.com

Related posts on ATZ…

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?

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

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September 23, 2010: Cat Living in the Henderson Building Comes Out for Supper. Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

September 23, 2010: Cat Living in the Henderson Building Comes Out for Supper. Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

When Faber’s Fascination closed on Labor Day and began moving out, ATZ reported that the arcade was the last tenant of the soon-to-be demolished Henderson Building. Well, one more tenant- a grey cat – was discovered yesterday by a photographer who went there to document the demolition of the Surf Hotel on the building’s second floor. “The cat went under the gate of Shoot Out the Star into the Henderson Building when I came close,” says the anon photographer. A full plate of food and a full cup of water had been placed outside the building, probably by one of the cat lovers who care for Coney Island’s feral, stray and abandoned cat population.

As our regular readers know, ATZ loves a Coney Island cat story, preferably with photos or a video. For “I Love NYC Pets Month” in January, we wrote about the cats who live beneath the ramps to Coney Island’s Boardwalk and within its vacant buildings and an attempted cat rescue. We regularly feature Coney Island cats and kittens up for adoption. Now we seem to have hit upon an unfortunate new theme: cats displaced by redevelopment.

September 23, 2010: Demolition in Progress of the Surf Hotel in Henderson Building. Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

September 23, 2010: Demolition in Progress of the Surf Hotel in Henderson Building. Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

The appearance of the Henderson Building cat amid yesterday’s demolition of the Surf Hotel and the removal of the hotel’s original sign reminded us of our last day at Astroland. We’re not referring to the park’s last day of operation on Sept 7, 2008. We mean Astroland’s very last day, the day the lease expired and the property had to be vacated: January 31, 2009. On that day, we helped rescue a few signs from the water flume for the Coney Island History Project. By then there wasn’t much left of Astroland and we didn’t have the heart to take more than a few photos. One of the pix that we didn’t take: Two stray cats who had long found shelter in Astroland and were displaced by the teardown. As we stood outside the now demolished Feltman’s kitchen –home of the hot dog–and peered in at the original tile floor, the cats paced and waited. An Astroland worker came out and fed the Astro cats their last meal.

For information about feral cats, visit the website of the New York City Feral Cats Initiative, a joint program of two private non-profit organizations–the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Neighborhood Cats.

September 23, 2010: Last Happy Meal for Cat Living in Coney Island’s Henderson Building? Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

September 23, 2010: Last Happy Meal for Cat Living in Coney Island’s Henderson Building? Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion

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Related Posts on ATZ…

September 6, 2010: Cutie & Patootie: Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

January 27, 2010: I Love NYC Pets Month Preview: Coney Island Cat Rescue

July 21, 2009: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Introduces His Sister Targeretty

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