Monday, July 02, 2012

Update: After Wall Collapse,Beautiful Old Carroll Gardens Brownstone At 241 Carroll Street Waiting For Demo

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Demolition is imminent for the beautiful 4-family, 25-foot wide Brownstone, whose side wall collpased at 1:30 Am last night. Representatives from the Buildings Department, Fire Department and an ambulance are still on the scene.
Number 241 was once part of a row of brownstones between Smith and Court Streets, and was framed by two buildings. The houses closest to Smith Street were demolished a long time ago, when the subway was built and the rest was taken down to make room for Public School 58 in the late 1950's

Below are some last photos of the brownstone before it is forever gone.
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Below is a photo of the houses that stood where PS 58 stands now as seen from Carroll Park in the late 1920's.  Number 241 was once in the middle of that row of brownstones. (to the right)
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And the same view today.
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And here is a photo I took just two weeks ago of the owners' dog looking out of the window at 241 Carroll Street.
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Thankfully, no one was hurt when the wall fell down.

To Howard and Sisi, I am so, so sorry and can only imagine what you are going through.  How can we help you?  I am sure the Carroll Gardens Community will want to do whatever we can.



20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let us know what we can do for these people. Where they Condo Owners or Tenant/Renters?


Also, Katia - can you find out if teh "F" train is running to Carroll Street Yet. It was rough goingt o work today - and it's too hot to walk from Jerlomomn Street when it's time to come home.

Thanks.

Katia said...

They are owners., but probably shared the buildings with tenants as well.

As far as I know, the F and G are back in business.

Anonymous said...

The family of six that was displaced (the kids on the street in only pajamas) from the top floor unit are renters. They are not allowed to re-enter to retrieve any of their belongings. They are in immediate need of a sublet.

Anonymous said...

If I lived next door I would be freaking out about them tearing down 241. Who knows how well that one is standing up and weighing against 241....

Anonymous said...

Katia - thank you for the updates. Howard and Sisi are long time customers of ours and all of us were deeply saddened to hear about their building. I don't think anyone can imagine what they must be going through right now. Most importantly, thank God that they are all safe. Please keep us informed if there is anything we can do to help or if the families have any immediate needs that we can assist with.

Matt Mazzone
Mazzone True Value

Katia said...

Matt,
Thank you so much. I am sure that Howard and Sisi and their tenants will gladly accept any help this community can provide.
We should perhaps set up an online fundraiser.

Anonymous said...

In the old photo 241 was never attached to the demolished large corner building.
The heat and humidity and age. A matter of time. I'm so sorry.

Carole G said...

WOW!! The poor people involved! Clearly, there was "recent" construction done on this building as can be seen from your photo, Katia. The wall near the roof was "recently" worked on...one can see the newer bricks in the photo--I wonder by whom and when? and how? I hope they don't tear down this building til some proper answers can be found.

I've never heard of any brownstone house weak enough to fall down. These houses are veritable tanks. Hate to say it, but shady contractors abound in Brooklyn as does the infamous bureaucracy known as Department of Buildings.

Liza said...

Kristina Frantz is setting up the fundraiser -- it will go out tomorrow. These people were amazing friends of ours, real pillars of the community. SO glad that everyone is safe!

Katia said...

Liza, I don't know Kristina, but please let her know that I would love to help out by posting the information on the fundraiser.

Anything to help Sisi and Howard, the kids and their tenants.

Anonymous said...

my good friends is the family with 3 kids who were on the sidewalk in the middle of the night... they just moved in 6 month ago and lost everything.... from what I heard, the landlord is not very communicative... he is the one who rented an unsafe apartment...
Anyway, fundraising is an amazing idea and please keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry of you guys wanna turn a blind eye to the situation . I fell bad for everyone especially the tenants , but look closely there is a huge cement mixing bucket in the front yard. Everyone saw it. Come
On people the guy was doing work. He had no permits and that is why the building came down.

Anonymous said...

Howie & Sisi are part of our community. Howie started the movies in Carroll Park years back, totally on his own, his own equipment & movies. Sisi has helped many people, and has long been committed to her childrens' schools. Their kids are great, and must be devastated & confused. As for their tenants and their kids, a terrible event for them as well. So, as a community, let's stop speculating, and berating 241. Instead, we should all focus on fundraising for 241 and stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I like Howie and Sisi and feel terribly about the situation. That said, there was indeed work going on at the house. There is a cement bucket as noted above and there was also a small contractor's sign in front of the house. This certainly does mean anyone deserves to have their house fall down around them when they sleep but i do think it is a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of having work done on their house. The shoddy construction the Barrett's did on President Street has meant endless problems there and there are many other examples we can all point to of bad construction leading to disaster. We all need to vet contractors and proceed carefully when working on these old houses.

Anonymous said...

As I posted (1st) "Let us know if we can do anything for these people" - please continue to let us know.

It's a horrible shame for the renters and for the building owners - ESPECIALLY when there are kids involved. Again, Thank God no one was hurt.

Meanwhile, Brownstones are NOT tanks - they are buildings that need to be maintained. A couple of years ago there were Prop Devices along that side of the building - I hope the landlord checked to confirm that the repairs were done by professionals - NOT the many "short-cut artists" that do so much of the work in C.G.

As someone noted yesterday, these houses are over 100 years old - so you can't just break through walls to make bigger rooms AND you have to suppliment 100+ wooden beams with steel ones.

If you are doing work in your Walk-in floor or in your cellar PLEASE make certain you have your support beams checked & re-supported.

Also, do NOT place decks or gardens on your roof - these builings are NOT designed for the moisture that builds up.

Anonymous said...

Didn't we have an earthquake last year?
Have you ever put a dish in the sink, and then later that night hear it falling as it settles?

Maybe the house sustained damage in the earthquake that went unnoticed until it finally settled. This really could be the case for any number of buildings in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

While the fund for the displaced families was set up by a friend of the homeowners, I urge the money to go to the renters. Particularly the family who was home, traumatized by the tragedy first-hand and evacuated in their pajamas with their terrified small children and baby. They have lost everything.

Anonymous said...

Good Point 10:06 anon -

Earthquake, Heavy Truck Traffic, too much water undergorund, being over the subway. There are many reasons why an 100-150 y/o building could shake itself apart.

Check your homes - if you have an absentee landlord call them to ask when the building was last inspected by an engineer. Especailly if anyone on your street has done renovations recently!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the residents affected in this unfortunate situation. And while I understand that "speculation" can be dangerous, as a new tenant of one of these 100 year old "tanks" a block away, I for one would appreciate a more substantial explanation of what caused this - other than "gravity got the best of it". I hope an honest investigation of what happened takes place over the next few days to educate the neighborhood, public officials, and other homeowners. I rest uneasy at the thought of the entire neighborhood "coming of age" and this happening to someone else (even possibly me). If in fact construction work had/was being done, it would bring a bit of peace to know.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the residents affected in this unfortunate situation. And while I understand that "speculation" can be dangerous, as a new tenant of one of these 100 year old "tanks" a block away, I for one would appreciate a more substantial explanation of what caused this - other than "gravity got the best of it". I hope an honest investigation of what happened takes place over the next few days to educate the neighborhood, public officials, and other homeowners. I rest uneasy at the thought of the entire neighborhood "coming of age" and this happening to someone else (even possibly me). If in fact construction work had/was being done, it would bring a bit of peace to know.