LIC locals furious after workers dismantle Elks Lodge facade

Residents, groups launched landmarking campaign for 21-42 44th Drive last week

Former Elks Lodge building at 21-42 44th Drive
Former Elks Lodge building at 21-42 44th Drive

A week after locals launched an effort to landmark a former Elks Lodge in Court Square, workers hired by the property owner dismantled the facade.

Residents say the building’s facade, which featured wreath and elk’s head cravings, were what made the building at 21-42 44th Drive special and worthy of landmarking.

In December, Alwest Equities’ Adam Westreich told the LIC Post it planned to demolish the three-story building, built in 1908, and construct an eight-story, 74-unit luxury condominium.

Alwest Equities, using an LLC, bought the building and an adjacent lot for $8.5 million on Nov. 12, according to property records. It then sold the property to 44th Drive Owner LLC for over $9.7 million on Feb. 2, according to property records. It is unclear who’s behind 44th Drive Owner LLC.

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Spurred by the demolition of the former Elks Lodge and the general construction boom in Court Square, the Court Square Civic Association starting an online petition last week to landmark the building, DNAinfo reported.

The news site reported that there are no active permits on file for the site.

Bob Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society told the website, “This is a misguided effort to perhaps derail the landmark application by the community. That will not be successful.” [DNAinfo]Dusica Sue Malesevic