The Real Deal New York

Department store, auction house get landmarked

May 15, 2012 02:00PM

From left: the Sears department store in Flatbush and the Van Tassel & Kearney Auction Mart

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission today approved landmark status for the Sears store building in Flatbush and a former horse auction house in the East Village, the LPC announced today.

“Both of these buildings represented business that served as significant engines of the city’s economy,” LPC Chairman Robert Tierney said in a statement.

The Art Deco-style Sears building, located at 2307 Beverley Road, was designed by Chicago architects Nimmons, Carr & Wright and completed in 1932. Sears built an auditorium inside the store in 1936 that could accommodate 650 people, and added a 43,000-square-foot wing in 1940.

“The building is as impressive for its architectural style, scale and massing [and] for the impact it must have had on Brooklyn and the city’s economy when it first opened,” LPC Chairman Robert Tierney said in a statement.

The Van Tassell & Kearney Auction Mart, located at 126 East 13th Street, was completed in 1904. Auctioneers Van Tassell & Kearney used the red-brick, Beaux-Arts building for the sale of polo ponies, thoroughbreds, coach horses, hunt horses, show horses and carriages until the 1920s. In the 1970s, sculptor Frank Stella converted the building to a studio.

As The Real Deal previously reported, a state Supreme Court judge ordered the sale of the building in January after its investors defaulted on a $10.5 million loan and failed to secure approvals for a proposed condo project.

“This elegant building was constructed expressly for a highly specialized purpose and recalls a period when New York City was a leading auction center and horse sales were not uncommon,” Tierney said. — Zachary Kussin

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