07 July 2009

Another Landmark Leveled In The Name of Higher Education

The new blog ArchiTakes, subtitled "on architecture in New York and beyond," tells us that everybody's favorite New York preservation watchdog—The City University of New York (almost as good at NYU and Columbia)—has demolished a 1914 garage on its LaGuardia Community College campus that was part of the historic Loose-Wiles Sunshine Biscuit plant in Long Island City.

The building had been protected by its formal status as “eligible” for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places until the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) issued a Letter of Resolution allowing its demolition in January. The ground on which the building stood will be paved for parking.

The garage was built to house trucks for the adjacent main building of the Loose-Wiles Sunshine Biscuit Company, the world’s largest bakery from its completion in 1912 until 1955. The bakery’s famous 1000 windows allowed for a daylit workplace and gave the Sunshine brand its name. It is now part of LaGuardia’s Campus...

A 2000 inspection report estimated the cost of restoring the 63,000 square foot garage at $6.5 million and the cost of replacement at $7.9 million... The 2000 report was updated in 2005 to say that “the overall condition of the building has not significantly changed in 5 years”, but that “the cost at this time will have mushroomed to $9 million given escalation and increased construction costs generally”.

DASNY’s letter proposing the building’s demolition to SHPO cites this $9 million restoration estimate and asserts CUNY’s mission “to provide higher education to those who may not have any other opportunity for college”. It states that “repairing the Garage does not fulfill the mission of CUNY or LGCC” and concludes that demolition is “the only reasonable, prudent and cost effective alternative”.

Vile, dissembling insects. They're like rampaging robots who can only understand they're pre-programmed mission. "Must destroy garage. Does not fulfill mission. Must fulfill mission. Destroy. Destroy. Destroy."

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