In memoriam: Sites New York lost in 2013 — or will lose

TRD New York /
Dec.December 26, 2013 11:42 AM

 The conclusion of another year marks the loss of the latest batch of landmarked buildings and longstanding, lived-in real estate in the New York City area. Some owners caved to the pressures of widespread redevelopment — and others found their properties literally caving. Read on for a look back at some of the sites that have disappeared — or are set to vanish.

Hoffman Auto Showroom, Midtown

In April, Midwood Investment & Management and Oestreicher Properties demolished the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hoffman Auto Showroom at 430 Park Avenue Near East 56th Street, paving the way for the construction of a TD Bank branch. About two weeks earlier, the Landmarks Preservation Commission had expressed interest in designating the showroom a landmark. Luxury-car mogul Maximilian Hoffman had the spiral car dealership office commissioned in the 1950s. The adjoining 19-story office structure still stands.

Building 877, Governors Island

More than the others, this building went out with a boom. In June, an 11-story apartment building that once housed the families of Coast Guard officers was imploded with more than 250 pounds of explosives, DNAinfo reported. Building 877 — one of the biggest on Governors Island — was destroyed to make way for a 38-acre space for sports fields and a new park as part of the city’s ongoing redevelopment of the island. The debris pile from the implosion was later recycled. The last time the city imploded a building was in 2003, DNAinfo said.

Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, East Village

Developer Doug Steiner razed the Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church at 436-440 East 12th Street in August, with plans to build a residential complex. The city Department of Buildings, however, has rejected his proposal to build a seven-story, 157,864-square-foot building with 158 units. Steiner paid $41 million for the site last year. The church opened its doors in 1917.

The 1820 Ludlow-Weeks House, West Village

An 1820s-era house at 54 Macdougal Street – best known as part of Vice President Aaron Burr’s onetime estate and as the jewelry shop in “Men in Black” – was put to pasture in July. Ajax Investment Partners, which paid $4.3 million for the property last year, sold the now-vacant land for the same price to New Canaan, Conn.-based Drum Hill Partners in October, property records show. Ajax had filed plans to build a five-story, four-unit residential building on the site.

5Pointz, Long Island City

The graffiti haven in Long Island City lost much of its soul last month when owners Jerry and David Wolkoff whitewashed the street art decorating much of its walls. The warehouse-like building remains, but not for long. A federal judge last month allowed the Wolkoffs to proceed with demolition of the structure to make way for two residential towers, slated for 22-44 Jackson Avenue. City Council approved the plans in October, after the Wolkoffs agreed to build and staff the buildings with 100 percent union workers. The opposition, led by the artist community, lost a bid for a court order halting development.

Roseland Ballroom, Midtown

The death knell has sounded for the Roseland Ballroom. The historic entertainment venue — which has hosted everyone from Fred Astaire to the Rolling Stones, per its website — will hold its final round of concerts in March, with Lady Gaga bringing the house down. Shortly after, Algin Management will literally bring it down, in an effort to build a 50-plus-story, 450,000-square-foot mixed-use building. Roseland arrived in New York in 1919, at 1658 Broadway, then moved to 239 West 52nd Street, where it occupies a full block.

701 Seventh Avenue, Midtown

Pre-demolition began this month on two buildings at 701 Seventh Avenue, near 47th Street in Midtown, to be replaced by a Marriott Edition hotel. Steven Witkoff and Michael Asner paid $2 billion for the 120,000-square-foot property late last year. Community Board 5 unanimously endorsed an air rights transfer for the 39-story, 270,000-square-foot hotel project, which will include 66,360 square feet of retail.

Inisfada, Long Island

Despite protests from preservationists, this 72,000-square-foot, Elizabethan-Tudor-style mansion on a 33-acre estate in North Hills on Long Island is in the process of being dismantled. The doors, windows and mantels were removed after the village issued a demolition permit earlier this month, Newsday reported. Developer Manhasset Bay Group acquired the land from the Jesuit Order of Catholic Priests in July for $36.5 million. Plans call for a gated community of high-end single-family homes, officials told the newspaper.

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