The fates are steadily chipping away at Music Row.
Less than a month after news came that Manny's, the W. 48th Street music institution, was closing in May, and further scuttlebutt that Rockefeller Center intended to make the entire block between Sixth and Seventh its second home, we see that the Department of Building has taken a mortal swing at 163-165 W. 48th, an old building that was until last week the home of Sam Ash's Sheet Music and Brass and Wind store.
A vacate order from the DOB, dated March 16 (last Monday), is pasted in several places on the store's facade. And the telltale orange X-ed box, with an "RO" next to it, was painted on the building, indicating roof trouble. The DOB record indicates that that rear wall was bulging, there was a leaning parapet wall and mortar joints were missing. A scaffold, we're told, went up on March 17. (By March 23, a homeless man had already taken up residence outside the store.)
The store apparently acted quickly. A sign alerts customers that the Sheet Music department is now located across the street at No. 160. Inside, the place has been torn apart, with all things of value removed. Word on the street is that the hammers will start swinging away at No. 163 today.
I don't know how old the building is, but it dates at least to the early years of the 20th century, and was a restaurant for most of its time.