23 March 2009

More Unsettling News From Music Row

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.


Ken Mac said...

"with all things of value removed." That's Bloomie's New York for you.

Anonymous said...

The DOB record indicates that the building has been a wreck for awhile -- rear wall was bulging even in the early '90s.

Anonymous said...

Ken Mac said: ""with all things of value removed." That's Bloomie's New York for you."

I'm no Bloomberg fan - but how is this fallout from "Bloomie's New York"?
I also checked the DOB stats for this bldg (163-165 W. 48th). Clearly, the owners didn't think the building was "of value" for a long time: complaints about falling plaster, cracks, back-wall bulge and major instability date back to at least 1991.

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Karen Casciole said...

Hi this is very sad for me to see, as my grandparents Pasqualie and Theresa Gullotta owned this building for many many many years. Then operated the Famous Original Vesuvio Restaurant. Mannys music and Sam Ash were tenents of theirs for many years. Truly my heart is broken as I look at those pictures. Thanks for the update. There is so much history in that building.If walls could only talk.

barbara said...

I just saw this blog today when I came across an old matchbook from Vesuvio restaurant. When I was a child my family and I ate there all the time and I was just visiting New York this weekend and reminiscing about the restaurant. I wondered what had happened to it and then my husband found the matchbook so we did a little research and I came across this. Just wanted to let you know I have many fond memories of Vesuvio.