COURT SQUARE — Demolition is underway on the former Elks Lodge constructing in Lengthy Island Metropolis, a yr after residents unsuccessfully rallied to landmark the century-previous property, which is understood for its facade of ornamental wreath and elk head carvings.
The constructing, at 21-forty two forty fourth Dr. close to twenty third Road, had been midway dismantled as of Friday afternoon — its prime two flooring eliminated. The Division of Buildings issued a allow for partial demolition of the location on the finish of December, based mostly on plans to retain the cellar and basis partitions, metropolis data present.
Demolition is predicted to wrap up in mid-November, in accordance with an indication on the development website.
“This can be a big loss for the group,” stated Bob Singleton, head of the Higher Astoria Historic Society, who was among the many group of residents who pushed final yr to attempt to get the constructing landmarked.
Locals had fought to protect the three-story construction, citing it as a singular piece of structure within the neighborhood, which has seen an inflow of latest development in recent times.
A shot of the constructing earlier than demolition started. (Credit score: Orestes Gonzalez)
The constructing was constructed in 1908, then renovated a number of years later by famend architect Harold Van Buren Magonigle, who’s believed to have added its ornamental stone carvings, in line with Singleton.
“The architect that had redesigned the constructing again within the day was one of many prime architects on this nation,” he stated.
The constructing was used as a clubhouse for the Queens Elks Lodge Quantity 878, an area chapter of the social group the Benevolent and Protecting Order of Elks, and later housed the Knights of Columbus and an area union, in line with Singleton.
Shortly after he and others started their preservation marketing campaign final yr, development crews started dismantling the constructing’s ornamental stone carvings, which residents believed was an effort to stop the location from being landmarked. The house owners have been fined on the time for beginning the work and not using a allow.
Nonetheless, the Landmarks Preservation Fee finally turned down requests to landmark the constructing, citing its “comparative lack of historic and architectural significance…