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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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