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Harlem Landmark May Lose Two Floors (NYT)

Posted on 17 June 2011 by admin (0)
(John Weiss/Landmarks Preservation Commission)

(John Weiss/Landmarks Preservation Commission)

From the Metro-North station at 125th Street, it is one of the most visible features of the Harlem streetscape: a massive red stone building, covered with black netting, blue scaffolding and plywood boards. Through a gap, bay window frames and ornamental terra cotta rosettes peek out.

But soon, the throngs of commuters who pass by the landmark, the Corn Exchange Bank Building, an 1883-84 Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival structure, will be able to see even less of it. The top two floors will be gone.
On Wednesday, the city’s Department of Buildings issued a permit to demolish the two floors, finding that the building — as it has stood for 125 years — was unsafe.

A community activist purchased the building, at 81 East 125th Street, from the city in 2003 with the promise to rehabilitate it. Instead, the structure sat with a gaping roof and crumbling masonry for six years. The city moved to take control of the property, and this January, a judge ruled that the city could repossess the building.

But by then, it was too late. Click here to read the rest of the story in The New York Times and here here to read the version on city room.

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