Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Developer destroys facade of Elks club in response to landmarking push

From LIC Post:

Unique exterior details were illegally torn from the former Elks Lodge on 44th Drive this morning just days after the local community launched an effort to landmark the property and stave off development.

Construction workers took jackhammers to the building, located at 21-42 44th Drive. An elk head, one of the building’s unique exterior details, has been hacked off.

According to DOB documents, the work was taking place without proper permits. By Monday afternoon, police had arrived to enforce a stop work order from the Department of Buildings, an officer told the LIC Post.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who wrote a letter to the Landmark Preservation Commission requesting landmark consideration of this property, called the illegal alteration “a disgraceful act of civic vandalism.”

He reached out to the DOB and Mayor’s office to have inspectors visit the location and issue a stop work order.


Anonymous said...

yank the contractors licence.

Anonymous said...

That's a great example of what communities are up against. Money hungry developers who don't care about quality of life, proper construction or taste.
If the communities don't unite and go after their elected officials there will be nothing left.
The developers and realtors are getting more brazen everyday, who is going to stand up to them and create some sound legislation that actually protects the people, not the developers?

Jerry Rotondi, Comm. To Save Keith's Inc. said...

This is exactly what Tommy Huang did in 1986 to the RKO Keith's Flushing theatre, when our committee members resubmitted to the LPC a petition of 3,500 signers demanding the landmarking of the ENTIRE interior as it had been originally but rejected by the Board of Estimate.

It was Donald Manes , and his apt protege Claire Shulman , who did not support the full interior designation of the theatre.
If Shulman had supported the landmarking of the ENTIRE interior in 1986, as we requested, the Keith's would have been whole today.

If you examine the LPC's photos of the interior destruction that was done to the Keith's in 1986, one would have to conclude that the random smashing of architectural details all around the auditorium was a deliberate attempt to stop the redesignation.

It was confirmed to me, by the LPC, that if Shulman supported the redesignation of the ENTIRE interior , that they would have gone for it.
Queens was betrayed by "granny" Shulman.
Her legacy to the borough , which she was supposed to be steward of , is the rotting hulk of this poor, once grand, theatre!

Contrast this with former borough president Marty Markowitz's legacy to Brooklyn.
He left a magnificently restored Loew's Kings Theatre movie palace for his borough to enjoy.
It is booked solid for performances today and is even attracting prime Broadway productions.

And what do we have in Queens? A pathetic Theater In The Park, located in the middle of muggers' alley.
Let's all attend an evening performance. Not without an armored car escort, thanks!

Anonymous said...

If it ain't already landmarked, it will be destroyed.
So much for any attempt to landmark a Queens site.
Start pushing and the owner will push back, knowing full well, that the LPC don't give a shit about Queens.
By the time , and if, they get around to calendar a site, it will have lost any criteria that would make it worthy of landmarking.
Why does the LPC not give a damn about landmarking in Queens?
Because they want to avoid any wheel spinning in the mud of corrupt politics.
Queens' pols are anti landmarking and pro development.
They get their money from developers.
So why the fuck should they support anything that bucks overdevelopment?
As far as LIC is concerned, it it zoned and slated for mega development. Nothing can turn the clock back on that.
Thank the Vallones.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Van Bramer, where was this anger over 5 Pointz? Mu$t have been the Wolkoff$' per$ua$ion.

Anonymous said...

Can we stop calling them 'developers' now?

Anonymous said...

Van Bramer the hero? From that LIC Post? Now there is an authority for balanced reporting. not.

The following is pieced together from what I heard from western Queens:

For hours while the members of the community kept running down to the site yelling at the workers nary a peep from any of the locals - Gianaris, Nolan, Van Bramer. Any could have shown up, sent down a staffer with a cop, called the press, but nada nada nada until late afternoon when "hero" Van Bramer told the community that he stopped the work.

Just about the time the workers were going home and of course, the damage done.

A stop work order was produced later in the day, but all of us on Crappy know this is something we have seen many times, a cost of doing business, and as it is Queens, a death knell to the building because here, unlike the other boroughs, LPC will not consider a building were something like this has happened.

In Manhattan, that is not true.

Most ominously, Van Bramer also opined that the damage cannot be repaired without even reaching out to the preservation community - which could provide him a dozen names that could repair the damage in a matter of weeks.

Well a real education to his community. Now if things follow course, a group will cleave to Jimmy dividing and dispiriting the community.

Anonymous said...

Nice book ends with the Steinway Mansion. This borough has no shame.

Queens is a joke.

Anonymous said...

One way of dealing with the landmarking issue is to destroy the property. Partially.
Worked in Flushing with RKO Keith - that was the test run.
What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Money - particularly maximal profits - is the root of all evil.

JQ LLC said...

"And what do we have in Queens? A pathetic Theater In The Park, located in the middle of muggers' alley.
Let's all attend an evening performance. Not without an armored car escort, thanks!"

Soon to perform for a year stay....

"Can we stop calling them 'developers' now?"

Yes, let's call them predators, anarchists, vandals and pirates. But mostly outlaws, since this resembles and from the location an apt modernization of the Wild West. With a feel of what motherfuckers did to farmers after the dust bowl in The Grapes of Wrath

Nothing short of an armed revolt is going to stop them from turning LIC into some lame version of Dubai and a place where leech investors, billionaires and actors can deposit their spoils.

Anonymous said...

The developer needs to restore the property to what it looked like before -- at his expense. Then, he should have his licensce revoked for a year and should be fined heavily. The problem is the politicians who are in bed with all the developers, so they can line their pockets.

Anonymous said...

5 Pointz? really? that eyesore?

Dan said...

Not the least bit shocking.. This is typical Queens, "oh you want to stop us from 'developing' your neighborhood? too bad we're just going to do it anyway because nobody will stop us" ... thanks for nothing to our elected officials who have so many 'developers' lining their pockets they don't know which lies to spin to their constituents.

Anonymous said...

But we need to build more housing for our soon to be newly minted illegal
Vote whitey out,vote whiteys out,see see puedo

Anonymous said...

5 Pointz? really? that revenue-generating tourist destination?


Anonymous said...

Since the Clintons have taken over the Democratic Party can we understand why people are turning away from them?

This is a hugh PR disaster for LIC because even the clueless hipshits (that chose apartments on line and go to places like We Heart Astoria to get the 'real' Queens scene) will recoil in horror. This is not something that is done in most places, even in NYC.

Couple this with living next to a trainyard, no infratstructure, and aside from comendy clubs and cafes, not a whole hell of a lot of real 'neighborhood'.

The community was trying to make this a better place and look what happens.

Only the transient or the speculator would want to buy property now.

Anonymous said...


No violations issued for the work with permit. ALSO, they erected scaffolding which looks from the photos to be in serious violation. OSHA should have been called as well. The workers or the public were not adequately protected.

See, 21-42 44th Drive

Also, see Virtual Job Folder for more insight.

Anonymous said...

Now you are being all too mean.

They have the most expensive dog run in western Queens, and there is that million for discretionary funding.

YOU can decide to repair the sidewalk in front of a school or to tear up the local playground for the umpteenth time so someone's who is well connected but saddled by a wastrel son can get a nice architectural contract.

Anonymous said...

Not the least bit shocking.. This is typical Queens, "oh you want to stop us from 'developing' your neighborhood? too bad we're just going to do it anyway because nobody will stop us" ... thanks for nothing to our elected officials who have so many 'developers' lining their pockets they don't know which lies to spin to their constituents.

now now lets not be so snarky jimmy !S calling a press conference as so breathlessly announced by the licpost

Anonymous said...

Dog runs are important, because the local politicians can relate to them if you know what I mean.

ron s said...

This quick overnight destruction tactic was used often by Robert Moses, although I doubt he originated it. Destroy so there's no more reason to save........
Could we go to the developers home and destroy the front of their house as payback? Of course, I would never advocate anything ILLEGAL.....

Anonymous said...

The building is gone - it will likely be incorporated into the other building and a select few will get to use it.

Anonymous said...

I was at the rally today - Van Bramers people were all over the place listening in on conversations and giving a general air of paranoia. Something odd in the air - they all seemed on edge like they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Very different than yesterday when the building facade was getting destroyed and they all stayed in their bunker.

I agree about Van Bramer suggesting that the facade will never be repaired. I got this gut feeling that he is talking to the developers. Who was that guy standing next to him? And what is the deal with the landmarks reviewing the building last month when it was flipped. Who asked them. And Jimmy did not know - was that letter to LPC just a front?

Something just does not add up here.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it the mystery man that Jimmy put on his right during the community meeting is the owner of the Elks Building.

Ballsy to say the least if true, but says volumes about Van Bramer if it even seems plausible if he would do something like that to the community.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for nothing to our elected officials who have so many 'developers' lining their pockets they don't know which lies to spin to their constituents.
Jimmy did.

The consensus in the community is that JIMMY is behind this.

HE was the person that had the reason for Landmarks to look at this before the article came out in the magazine – HE had an advance copy.

It was HIS STAFF that did not come down to the site while the community fumed at the building being jackhammered, yet, like a well-oiled machine, worked the crowd and noted every comment and scowl during the rally

It was HIS EMPTY LEGISLATION proposals and HIS EMPTY LETTER to LPC that played to the crowd (wrist slap fines is all the developer gets and note how the Queens weeklies that treat our politicians like they were the Kardasians getting the nod and wink ahead of time and were therefore MIA).

It was HIS CHOICE to cherry pick certain people at the rally, at expense of the rest of the community, to provide some cover (they will get a few thousand square feet somewhere in there for a few years - a small price to pay for positive spin from them and space as bone to shut up the community - and for him to say with a tight smile, that he takes credit to benevolently 'listening' to the 'demands' of residents)

It was HIS DECISION not to restore the facade.

This has Jimmy's fingerprint all over it. His staffers working the crowd, pet Sheila showing up to get credit, the Historical Society grudgingly getting the mike at the end of the program (always a mistake)

Naw, that was a big blunder by the community having him, and not the community itself, call the rally.

Now the hope is that the dispirited community will go back to their holes, or move to Jamaica where all good artists are to go - to provide cannon fodder for developer-donors, and, being taught their lesson, will nevermore lift their heads or express an opinion unless they are authorized to so - and going forward are good little boys and girls now that they have learned their lesson - Queens style.

Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library alum, self-styled cultural czar, self-touted future mayor. Manhattan and Brooklyn be forewarned.

Anonymous said...

That 5 Pointz "eye sore ", as the above dummy put it...was a world renown site attracting bus loads of tourists.
Meanwhile PS or piss One right across the street, never drew a crowd that large.
This idiot poster is a typical example of an insular Queens throwback. You would not know art if it crawled up your ass and made a home in your stomach! No wonder Queeens continues to get butt fucked. This is a fuckin' farmer's borough.

Anonymous said...

And was not the whitewashing of the art filled walls at 5 Pointz by Jerry Wolkoff "a disgraceful act of civic vandalism" councilman Van Bummer? I guess not since you grabbed yourself $10,500 in ice cream money from the Wolkoffs in campaign contributions.
What a two dollar whore you are. A classy courtesan would have been paid more for her skills.
Pucker up,for more developers' $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! It cost a lot to run for mayor! A liberal use of Chap Stick is advised.

Anonymous said...

Councilman Jimmy Van Developer's Bitch!

Anonymous said...

Suck Van Bramer's cuckoo by giving him campaign contributions and he will grant you an audience.
Wonder how much $$$$$$$$$$ he gets from Rockrose Development. I'll have to look that up.
When Jimmy is "catching" instead of "pitching" (check "The Sopranos" for the meaning of these two words) he tells his developer bedmates, "Just leave the contribution on my night table".

Anonymous said...

I dunno!
Two contiguous districts overseen by two openly gay councilman...Dromm and Van Bramer.
Do we have a lavender conspiracy or not?
Maybe I will have to come out and be gay to get Danny 's or Jimmy's attention.
Maybe there's more to Queens that has to do with it's other queens than Queens' Queen Catherine of Braganza, supposedly our borough's namesake.
Was Queen Catherine a drag queen? LOL! There was once a governor who dressed up like a woman,
Anyone know his name?