03 June 2014

Gage & Tollner Building Falling Into Ruin

The Gage & Tollner building was once a thing a beauty—the only thing of beauty, in fact, on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn for decades. Now, it is an eyesore.

The interior of the 19th-century restaurant is famously landmarked. That, of course, hasn't stopped the current occupant of the building—a low rent jewelry hawker—from covering over all the elegant woodwork and gas lamps with garish purple and pink display fixtures and posters. But the exterior of the historical building also enjoys city protection. This has given the landlord and the renter any pause in letting the structure fall apart.

The windows of the old revolving door are broken and have not been repaired. The plaster on the twin pillars on either side of the entrance has begun to fall apart. The hallway and stairway leading to the second floor are filthy. The carpet obviously hasn't been cleaned in years. There are ink stamps on the walls. On top of all that, the facade in general is dirty. And the damned Arby's sign—the last tenant—is still up there!

We are living in a time where Fulton Street is getting gentrified, with a Shake Shack and other fancy stores lately opening, and a Nordstrom's on the way. The landlord and renters have run afoul with the City many times in the past few years. Where is the Landmarks Commission to make sure that the one building that kept up appearances through all those lonely years doesn't fall apart?


Brett Underhill said...

Arby's actually did a really nice job restoring a lot of the interior, if I recall. I imagine a re-rescue of anything on Fulton Mall is still a few years away.

Mitch said...

Very sad. I wonder if all the development down by Atlantic and Flatbush will prompt something to go in here.