14 December 2008

Bring Out Your Dead!: 2008

The Bush-era economy nose-dived into reality this fall, but not quickly enough to prevent the massive history-eraser of the Bloomberg-DOB-Developer Cabal from wiping out a good many irreplaceable landmarks, architectural and cultural treasures and just-plain-special places. Of course, while the financial downturn will slow the progress of the feckless Department of Building, criminally negligent Landmarks Commission and rapacious developers (who, God willing, invested heavily in Wall Street), it presents a new danger to the City's heritage. Great old businesses and institutions may now go under for the oldest reason in the book: trade is bad.

So, without further delay, and with a lump in our throat and a tear in our eye, here are the gems that, since Jan. 1, 2008, New York City has lost (for previous annual Bring Out Your Dead tallies, check here for 2007 and here for 2006):

Gone, Baby, Gone

Pozzo Pastry Shop, WWII-era Hell's Kitchen bakery.
Fazil’s Times Square Studio, legendary hoofer's hall in Times Square. Honi Childs, Gregory Hinds, Savion Glover, Alvin Ailey, Bill Irwin, Charles Cook, the Nicholas Brothers, Fred and Adele Astaire, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly all practiced their footwork there.
Cafe La Fortuna, one of the last independent cafes on the UWS, and a John and Yoko hangout.
Armando's, aged Brooklyn Heights restaurant and Dodgers haunt.
Ridgewood Theatre, Thomas W. Lamb structure, closed after 92 straight years.
Chez Laurence, old Murray Hill French bistro.
Montrachet, upscale restaurant that opened up eating scene in Tribeca.
Quality Meat Market, landmark Polish butcher in Williamsburg.
Le Figaro Cafe, holdout from heady literary and folkie days of Greenwich Village.
Cafe Mozart, civilized cafe in Lincoln Center area.
Florent, legendary, beloved Meat Packing District eatery, forced out by landlord, who opened her own diner there, only to see it close almost immediately.
M&G Diner, one of a kind Harlem chicken and waffle joint.
Nikos Magazine & Smoke Shop, classic Village newsstand.
Lehman Brothers, 158-year-old Wall Street institution felled by own greed.
Yankee Stadium (the real one)
Shea Stadium
Long Island Restaurant, never really officially announced as dead, but, after being shuttered for 16 months, you pretty much figure it's gone.
The New York Sun, not old, though the notion of a daily newspaper is an old one, and how many do we have left when it comes down to it?
The Donut House, because, I'm sorry, the new coffee shop that replaced it just isn't the same.
The Green Church of Bay Ridge, perhaps the single most grievous architectural loss of the year.
Astroland, after years of pain and worry, finally torn down and shipped away.
Five Roses Pizza
Chez Brigette
Cafe Madeleine
The Donnell Library

Endangered Landmarks

Cheyenne Diner, closed in midtown, and hopes to reopen in Red Hook, but no movement yet.
Tin Pan Alley, a strip of historic buildings on W. 28th Street on the block.
P&G Cafe, said to have found a new home further uptown in the UWS, but, as as Dec. 31, the original will be history.
Most of Long Island College Hospital

And These Were Landmarked or Saved

Red Hook Pool
I.M. Pei's Silver Towers
St. Savior's Church of Maspeth
Webster Hall
Jamaica Savings Bank
Congregation Tifereth Israel in Queens
(Many more, but those were the highlights for me)


Anonymous said...

don't forget Two Boots Theater!

Anonymous said...

....and Five Roses Pizza on First Ave + 11th Street....

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Both good calls, guys. Lord knows, it's hard to keep track of all the departures.

Lefty said...

Love Saves the Day

Unknown said...

Landmarked: Domino's Sugar factory, or at least part of it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor in Richmond Hill. I can't believe that's gone.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Jahn's disappeared in 2007. See my 2007 Bring Out Your Dead.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the new diner. So sue me. It has better food, bigger selection, and longer hours than Donut House. The people are nice and I NEED a reliable coffee shop around here. Donut House had the better name, of course, although never many Donuts.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

It's a decent coffee shop, Carol, and you're right, the neighborhood needs one. It just has less character than the Donut House, IMHO. I'm certainly not against it sticking around and thriving.

Anonymous said...

Where is St. Saviors???? It's been torn down and put where? IS it ever going to resurface. Will it be the same? we need to know also how much will it cost ?
If something is torn down ,but moved is it still saved?
Not sure,any answers. Someone.
I do believe that private business's are at there own risk, Bloomberg wanted to save CBGB's, although important in R&R, it's still a private business. We are already spending too much on the BIG THREE at the moment.
Always remember cash is king.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

St. Savior's is under "Landmarked or Saved." My understanding is it was dismantled and will be reassembled in a nearby location. I know it's not the same, but it's not lost forever.

edgertor said...

oh, i miss pozzo so much.

Anonymous said...

I know it was in 2007, but shouldn't Barrymore's be on the long overall list of the lost that includes previous years?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Barrymore's closed in 2006. You can find it on the 2006 "Bring Out Your Dead" list. Check the link above.

christine said...

also Lost were Cafe Madeleine on 43rd Street in Hell's Kitchen, a 30 years institutionin good tast for theater goers, artists and loclas. the last time I had lunch there, Kevin was having lunch incognito and there was no fuss. will be so missed.
Also Jezebel on 46th and 9th Closed its doors.

Florent in gnasevoorts closed its doors after 30 years. Its rent went from $ 6,000 to $ 55,000 some ridiculous number.

Go and visit Manganaro's Gorceria ( the girls ) and Poseidon Bakery both on 9th Avenue.