Brooklyn Today January 8: Will 200 Montague St. Be Demolished?
Happy Tuesday! A four-story Brooklyn Heights building could be demolished, Nathan’s Famous closes in Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights, and the city mourns the death of firefighter Steven Pollard. Plus, Max Rose is sworn into Congress, a 44-year-old man is murdered in the Farragut Houses, and Mayor de Blasio hurriedly announces a rollout for half-priced metrocards. Finally, the buildings commissioner says he will leave at the end of January, the Nets will play preseason games in China, and the city will finally begin renovations on the Cadman Plaza War Memorial.
Soccer superstar David Beckham wears green eyeliner on the January cover of Love Magazine.
WILL 200 MONTAGUE ST. BE DEMOLISHED?
Brace yourself for a new round of construction on Montague Street. Another building on a busy block of the Brooklyn Heights commercial corridor will be torn down — if the city Landmarks Preservation Commission allows it. Midtown Equities, which owns 200 Montague St., has filed for a demolition permit for the low-rise office property. It’s in a landmarked area called the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. The building’s location within a historic district means the property owner cannot demolish 200 Montague St. or change its exterior without the LPC’s approval. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
NATHAN’S FAMOUS SERVES LAST FRANKS ON 86TH STREET
Dog-gone it! The Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights Nathan’s is no more. After more than 40 years at 650 86th Street, the franchise shut down the nearly 20,000-square-foot space after closing on Sunday. On its last day of business, the place was packed not just with local residents but also with many from outside the community. “I’m gonna say goodbye and best wishes going forward, and get a large order of cheese fries to go,” said Bay Ridge resident John Landers. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
CITY MOURNS STEVEN POLLARD, FDNY FIREFIGHTER WHO FELL TO HIS DEATH
A firefighter fell to his death on Sunday while responding to an accident on the Belt Parkway. According to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, 30-year-old firefighter Steven Pollard — a member of Ladder Company 170 — was killed while responding to a multiple-car accident at the Mill Basin Bridge. “Members of 170 … needed to cross over the roadway to assist the injured motorist,” Nigro said. “And then in the process of crossing over, Steven fell [through a gap, 52 feet down] to the ground below.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)
ROSE VOWS TO COMBAT OPIOID EPIDEMIC, ATTACK CORRUPTION
U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who directed a nonprofit agency providing care for opioid-addicted patients before entering politics, vowed to combat the drug epidemic hitting his Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island congressional district as he laid out an ambitious agenda for his first term in a swearing in ceremony on Saturday. “No parent should have to bury their child,” Rose said. In his speech, Rose, a U.S. Army veteran who earned a Purple Heart while serving in Afghanistan in 2013, also promised to work to improve transportation in the district and to fight corruption in politics. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
DEATH OF FARRAGUT HOUSES RESIDENT RULED HOMICIDE
The death of a 44-year-old man, who was found dead in a hallway inside the Farragut Houses on Friday, was declared a homicide by police on Monday. Roshee Williams, who lived on the third floor of the Sands Street building, was found semi-conscious in the hallway of his building, police said. He was taken to Methodist Hospital where was pronounced dead from blunt force trauma to his torso, according to the medical examiner’s report. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
ICYMI: DE BLASIO HURRIEDLY ANNOUNCES LIMITED, LATE ROLLOUT FOR HALF-PRICED METROCARDS
On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson belatedly announced details of a half-priced MetroCard program for low-income New Yorkers. This comes after an intensifying volume of criticism from transit advocates and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who called the mayor’s rollout of the program late, disorganized and lacking clarity. Half-priced cards were originally scheduled to be available on Jan. 1. According to a release from the Mayor’s Office, the half-priced cards will be available at first only to a fraction of working residents at or below the federal poverty level. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
CITY FINALLY PLANS TO BREAK GROUND ON CADMAN PLAZA WAR MEMORIAL RENOVATIONS
Local residents have waited many decades, but the city finally plans to break ground on renovations to the long-shuttered War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park. Many plans have been floated to bring the building, which was dedicated in 1950 as a memorial to WWII veterans, back to life, but the stumbling block was the need to make the building handicapped-accessible. In March 2017, news broke that the Parks Department had collected the $4 million needed for a necessary upgrade, but the money that was available turned out to be $1 million short. (Brooklyn Daily via Brooklyn Eagle)
BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER RICK CHANDLER TO LEAVE AT END OF JANUARY
Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler, 58, will leave his post at the end of the month. First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello will take over until Mayor Bill de Blasio appoints a replacement. Chandler, at various times, worked as borough commissioner in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. He was appointed commissioner in 2014. John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said Chandler was a “tough negotiator” who worked to make sure that DOB wasn’t a “bureaucratic dead end.” (The Real Deal via Brooklyn Eagle)
“The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist” (via The New Yorker)
ANOTHER LONG READ
In an age where people can instantly be smeared on social media, publishers are increasingly adding “morality clauses” into contracts with writers. (via NYT)
Normally thought of as negative, one author is changing the stigma about grudges, saying it can actually be positive to hold on to one. (via NYT)
Mother to son: “Johnny, did you prepare for your mock impeachment trial today in school?” (via The New Yorker)
Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty in a Nantucket court to groping an 18-year-old boy…A Georgia family returns home from vacation to find a stranger living in their house…And Cyntoia Brown is granted clemency in Tennessee. (via CNN, WSBTV and NBC News)
“Will Prince Harry choose Meghan Markle over his royal family?” (via Now To Love)
“Lakers, Nets to play China preseason games” (via ESPN)
Happy birthday to Shirley Bassey, Noah Cyrus, Bob Eubanks, Vladimir Feltsman, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Giambi, Kathleen Noone, Charles Osgood and Genevieve Padalecki!