From the Brooklyn Paper:
Coney Island is gearing up for a summer of new rides and circus attractions, but the neighborhood’s main private landowner is instead tearing down historic buildings — including the place where Harpo Marx made his comic debut — and replacing them with a temporary fast-food stand.
The turn-of-the-last-century buildings facing the wrecking ball include the Grashorn Building, the Henderson Music Hall and the Surf Hotel located between Stillwell Avenue and Henderson Walk.
Current occupants include a Popeye’s fried chicken outlet and Faber’s Fascination, an arcade. Shopkeepers said that they are aware of the looming demolition work, but aren’t concerned that they will be forced out before the summer seasons.
That confidence seems to be misguided. “This summer is going to be about the demolition,” said Thor Equities spokesperson Loren Riegelhaupt, claiming that the ramshackle structures are filled with asbestos.
Riegelhaupt said that Thor Equities must clear the land now in order to have new retail shops open for the 2011 summer season.
It is unclear what shops Thor is proposing. A rendering put out by the company last week shows a burger outlet and a taco stand.
Wait, let me guess...He's destroying it in order to save it!