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October 30, 2006

Unstable Foundations

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Yea, verily the Broken Angel house (as featured in Dave Chappelle's Block Party) doth teeter high above the rooftops, here in balmy Brooklyn one October afternoon, visited by us.

Also we did note some further examples of, erm, well; "dubious architecture" nearabouts, venturing 10 minutes walking distance or so into the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood from our current domicile.

I would prefer that buildings such as Broken Angel might be left standing, however it seems the city of New York has other plans.

Further information about the house, including some beautiful photos and a plea for help from artist Arhtur Wood's son, may be found here.

1 Comment

Update Broken Angel 10/29/06
On 10/10/06 Broken Angel suffered minimal damage from a fire at the top of the structure. The cause of the fire is unknown and still under investigation. Broken Angel has been an active project of construction by my family beginning in 1979. Major construction was finished in 2002, and all work done thereafter has been for the purpose of maintaining the building. The fire brought the attention of the Department of Buildings (DOB), previous interactions had occurred in 1986, and 2002 with no action taken against the building. During the course of building and maintaining the structure there have been no accidents or complaints. Compared with most modern construction projects, such as the Time Warner building in NYC, this is an excellent record. It raises questions as to why large developers are allowed to continue construction when they pose a risk to the community, whereas Broken Angel, which has no history of construction problems, has been singled out as a danger. My mother and father, the legal guardians and owners of Broken Angel were threatened with eviction for 6 days. On the 7th day they were vacated by the police without a court order or engineer’s report. We question the necessity and the humanity of this action. They were told that this was done for their safety; however action was taken prior to any inspection of the interior of the building by an engineer. Furthermore, we were told that the building would be demolished in 3 weeks if an architect did not submit plans to bring it to code. We have been compliant with this request. We are thankful to the firm of Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture http://www.jpda.net/news.html for all of their help and support. On Thursday (10/26/06) an engineer from the DOB toured the structure, and the next day the DOB released a different story. A DOB spokesperson recently commented to the Daily News (10/27/06) that any demolition orders, if warranted will take approximately 3 months to begin.
Photos of broken angel http://www.flickr.com/photos/onebadapple/