Preservationists Hope Derelict MacDougal St. Building Can Be Saved
MANHATTAN — For years, a landmarked building at the corner of MacDougal and King streets in Greenwich Village has been vacant, boarded up and infested with rats. But after its recent sale, a local preservation group is hopeful about the building's future.
In a letter sent last week to Para Mac Holding of Brooklyn, which bought 43 MacDougal St. on Sept. 2 for a bargain $449,000, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation suggested cooperation on "an appropriate restoration plan" for the building.
"As you are aware, the former owners neglected the building, allowing deterioration to threaten its historic integrity," the letter says. "[We] look forward to assisting in preserving this wonderful piece of history."
The building's previous owner, the estate of Arthur Blasof, racked up $5,350 in building violation fees in the past four years, according to Department of Buildings records. The violations describe crumbling walls, a sagging roof and exposed shards of glass.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission ordered Blasof to repair the building, which is located in the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District, last spring.
GVSHP executive director Andrew Berman said Monday that he is optimistic that the new owners of the building will restore and maintain it.
"This is a beautiful structure in a wonderful historic neighborhood," he said. "There is no reason why this house should not flourish and become a beacon for this neighborhood, rather than the eyesore and safety hazard it’s been allowed to become over the years."
Para Mac managing agent Mike Tappas said the company was working to get the building up to code and did not have information about its future as yet.
"As of right now, we don't have any plans," he said. "We don't even know if it will be residential or not."
The building currently falls within a residential zone, according to Department of City Planning records.