43 MacDougal Street
Deterioration & Restoration of a Landmarked Building
April 2008 - May 2010

After several years of urging by GVSHP, the building’s owner finally hired an engineer and contractor and submitted plans to the City to have the building stabilized. The stabilization work, which was approved by both the LPC and DOB, involved shoring and bracing the roof, erecting a temporary roof, and sealing the windows. The roof was shored in late April 2010 as the interior clean-out continued.

December 7, 2009
Upon attempting to inspect the building but finding it too hazardous to go inside, the Dept. of Buildings issues an Emergency Violation ordering the owners to clean the inside of the building. For the first time ever, the owners respond to the city’s order, and spend several weeks clearing junk and hazardous materials from the inside of the building.

April 2, 2009
The Dept of Housing Preservation & Development erects plywood around the building. The historic storefront and ground floor details are completely obliterated from public view. GVSHP writes a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, urging the City to pursue alternate measures to reverse – rather than simply “band-aid” – this escalating problem. The property has accrued over $120,000 in fines. The owners remain unresponsive.

March 12, 2009

A homeless man is seen jumping down from the sidewalk shed. A suitcase and shoes on top of the shed indicate the presence of squatters.

February 27th, 2009
After multiple complaints led by GVSHP, the Dept of Buildings finally issues a second Emergency Declaration, ordering the Dept of Housing Preservation & Development to board the windows and storefront and to remove the ladder.

February 11, 2009
A ladder is found extended from the ground to the top of the sidewalk shed, allowing access onto the fire escapes, through the open top-floor window and onto the roof. GVSHP reports the issue to the City.

February 5, 2009
The storefront window remains broken for over a month. Excrement is found smeared on the building.

January 12, 2009
Vandals pry apart the plywood on the storefront, allowing ease of access to the building’s interior. GVSHP writes another letter to the city, urging them to think proactively about reversing the building’s imminent deterioration. A response is received from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, indicating that they might consider pursuing a Demolition by Neglect case if and when the building deteriorates to such a degree that the historic materials would be jeopardized.

October 30, 2008
The storefront graffiti is whitewashed.

September 16, 2008
A school crossing sign that had been removed during the sidewalk shed construction is found on the roof of the shed. The hatch cover remains open four months after is has been reported to the City, and water continues to pour into the building.

August 10, 2008
The sidewalk shed is completed. GVSHP writes a letter to all City agencies asking them to take collective action as soon as possible.

August 9, 2008
The Department of Building orders an Emergency Declaration, issuing the Dept of Housing Preservation & Development to seal the building and construct a sidewalk shed. The hatch cover remains open, allowing water to flood the interior.

May 16, 2008
A hatch cover, which allows access to the attic, is open on the roof during a rainstorm, contributing to water leakage/damage inside the building. GVSHP reports the issue to the City.

April 15, 2008
The storefront has been boarded. Property neglect/abandonment is evident. GVSHP has reached out to both the City and the owner to request that action be taken. The owner remains unresponsive.