From the Daily News:
[Susan Smolin and Peter Mariotti] were talking yesterday as if at the wake for a mansion at 74th St. and 34th Ave., recently demolished to make way for a junior high school.
The lunch seemed cathartic for Smolin, whose relatives lived in the home during her childhood, and Mariotti, who long dreamed of making the house his own.
Mariotti, 68, agreed to purchase the home for about $1.8 million in 2007, hoping to preserve it. But a confusing series of events put it in city hands instead.
Smolin's family, meanwhile, didn't know the home was endangered until reading a Daily News article in June.
The neo-Tudor home was erected in 1941 and 1942 for Smolin's great-uncle, Dr. Tobias Watson, and his wife, Lillian, who wrote a fairly successful etiquette book.
[Mariotti] had placed only one condition on their meeting. He did not want to go by the vacant lot where the mansion had stood, fearing an onset of emotional pain.
"I'm angry at how beautiful things are treated," he said.