01 June 2008

Shoulda Left It Alone

Looking at the lonesome facade of 37 Carroll Street over the years, you couldn't imagine how things could get worse for the former brick building. It had no walls. It had no ceiling. It seemed to have no future. It was just a facade (see below), standing up against the elements.

But anything can get worse. And, for 37 Carroll, it has. Last year, around this time, I met the owner of the mysterious one-sided structure. He told me the 103-year-old building that had stood that way for 20 years! He used to have a bricklaying business in the ground floor space, and had waited for years for a zoning change so he could install rental units. The change finally came through and he was beginning work.

But the labor has been fitful, and the new activity seems to have weakened the once-strong facade, which the owner had retained simply because he liked it. It now looks like it's wearing a metal straightjacket. And the cornice that once sat atop the wall has been removed. As for the walls and ceiling and additional floors there's little to show. Poor thing.

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