Saturday, January 13, 2018

Plywood and a petition at 84 2nd Ave.

[Photo Thursday by peter radley]

On Thursday, workers boarded up the second-floor window of the long-empty storefront at 84 Second Ave. just south of Fifth Street.

This was apparently done to take care of a "failure to maintain" complaint about a crack in the second-floor window, per city records.

As previously reported, the newish owners are looking to make some major renovations to the building that's in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. (Owners of buildings located within a designated New York City historic district must receive a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for major work.)

Among other things, there are plans to create four residential units (condos???) at No. 84. The work plans are still awaiting city approval. (The city disapproved them on Thursday, per the Department of Buildings.)

There is also a petition in circulation in opposition to the planned alterations to the rear of the building.

Per the petition:

The proposed changes would:

1 - Alter the building’s footprint by tearing down the rear wall, extending the building 12 feet into the backyard and bricking over 5 windows.

2 - Allow for construction of a one story commercial extension to occupy the remainder of the backyard, with a full basement and a roof terrace.

3 - Alter the rear wall profile by adding two balconies and a roof terrace.

The building’s architectural integrity and the character of the property would be lost if this application is approved.

Its approval would permit drastic and irreversible changes to a 175-year-old property that has historically complemented the surrounding buildings and yards.

Neighbors only within the vicinity of 2nd Avenue & 5th Street and 2nd Avenue & 4th Street are invited to sign this petition. If signing YOUR ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE COMMENT FIELD.

This Monday (Jan. 15!) is the deadline for signing the petition.

And to the history... which we've noted several times through the years... the address has a dark past. This is from The New York Times, dated Jan. 18, 1974:

The nude body of a 40-year-old woman propiretor of a tailor shop that rents tuxedos on the Lower East Side was found bludgeoned to death. The victim was Helen Sopolsky of 84 Second Avenue, near fifth Street, whose shop is one flight up at that address. The motive of the attack was not determined immediately....

As far as some longtime residents can remember, the storefront has remained empty since Helen's death in 1974. (Helen was Betty's sister.)

For years, you could see a plastic-covered dinner jacket in the second-story window with the neon sign that reads "DRESS SUITS TO HIRE."

[Photo by Jeremiah Moss]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Workers clearing out the mysterious 84 2nd Ave. storefront

Renovations proposed for mysterious 84 2nd Ave.


Anonymous said...

This was really such a sad East Village story, losing your sister in such a way, and seemingly going into a state of permanent shock as the everything continues to go on around you. I can't begin to imagine the grief she must have felt, it's as if her life ended too that fateful day.

Carol from East 5th Street said...

Actually Betty Sopolsky lived in the building up until last year when she "moved in with her lawyer's mother" a highly suspicious situation. Shortly after that the building was sold through an LLC. In addition her brother lived there with her until his death a few years ago.

The neighborhood (including the East 5th St. Block Association) has organized in challenging the proposed alterations which include totally demolishing the green space in the rear of the building while adding terraces (read as "party spaces) and balconies (ditto). The fear is also that the plan to tear down the rear facade and extend it will compromise the overall fragile structure of the building necessitating its total demolition. This would give the developer free reign to build whatever modern monstrosity they wish (currently this building is landmarked).