Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rebuilding the Half-Demolished 100 Clark Street, Brooklyn Heights

What the Department of Buildings has pulled asunder, a determined owner can put back together.

At least that's how it appears at the notorious 100 Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights, a building so neglected that the DOB decided to pull it down before it fell down.

When demolition began in May, the 1852 mansion possessed five stories. DOB knocked off the top two and was eating into part of the third when the owner went to court to have the wrecking ball halted.

And there the poor old building stood -- bulging and creaking -- until last Wednesday, when a $25,000 repair job was approved by the Department of Buildings. As shown above, a new roof has been built on what used to be the ceiling of the third floor.

The job description is "Repair building facades. No change to use egress or occupancy." The engineers are Pulaski & Sirota.

The photo below shows this same section as it looked on June 2, after the fourth and fifth floors (and part of the third) were removed. Notice the sky view from the third floor.

A bit of history: 100 Clark was one of three buildings that the Brooklyn Heights Association cited for "Dereliction of Duty" in the Spring Newsletter (Brownstoner has more details on this). Judy Stanton of the BHA told the Brooklyn Eagle that the whole affair was a shame: "Landmarks could have worked collaboratively with the city to bring ‘demolition by neglect’ charges to force the owner’s hand to undertake restoration," she said.

The creaking old mansion has a long history of literally falling apart. The Brooklyn Eagle has reported on neighbors dodging flying bricks as the building "bulged" and cracked.

Early on May 29, demolition workers told McBrooklyn that the building was coming all the way down. But the demolition was halted later that same day after the owner, Penson Corp., went to court to force the city to stop the knockdown, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Above: The mansion as it looked on May 26, during the top floor takedown.

- 100 Clark Street "Creaking" and Rocking
- Owner Goes to Court to Stop 100 Clark St. Demo, Brooklyn Heights
- 100 Clark Street -- It's All Coming Down, Workers Say
- 100 Clark Street Demolition Update -- How Far Will the Heights Let This Go?
- Knocking Down 'Derelict' 100 Clark Street -- Brooklyn Heights

Photos copyright MK Metz


Anonymous said...

I don't want to start a rumor or a fight but to the best of my knowledge, the folks that own this building, own a great deal of property throughout brooklyn. that said, they are "bedfellows" with ratner on the AY project and are not the most attentive landlords. they have a lot of pull/power so i am sure they had no problems doing what they did with this building...and getting away with it.

Anonymous said...

It is not being built but kept in a status quo. Without the "roof," there was water damage. Now, it is keeping some of the elements out, though there are windows on the Monroe Place side that have remained open.