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Walked by yesterday and saw a green box with an X inside it spray painted on the Canal Street sign. As I understand it, this is done by the Fire Dept. after an inspection to indicate a hazardous vacant building. The appearance of the box indicates the level of hazard. Plain box = entry permitted. Box with one diagonal line = proceed with extreme caution and make no heroics to save structure. Box w/ X = do not enter due to unsafe conditions which may have been caused by previous fire on building partial collapse. There are some numbers next to the box to identify the fire company that inspected. Didn’t see any markings like RO for roof out or FO for floor out. Seems like the owner is just letting the building rot.
Some good news. Looks like more funding and government support for the renovation of this theater. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303914304579194271702251270
Looks like there’s a new owner who bought the building for $20.5 million and is looking to develop the property.
Mr. Sung recently unveiled his new condo development in a former public school building nearby that he bought 30 years ago. Units start at $500K and he’s hired a real estate broker to market it to Orthodox Jewish families.
If it took 30 years for him to finish this project, who knows how long the theater will take! Theater will probably crumble first.
Two recent articles on the condos (LoDown) and how Mr. Sung’s acquired the school building (WSJ):
Shots by a local photographer who got in there recently to take some photos before the theater’s impending destruction:
Also an article
According to the blog EVGrieve, the building’s days are numbered. The grocery store is closing and building to be demolished. Some current photos of the interior included in this post:
Article in the LoDown yesterday – prompted by the buzz on Cinema Treasures http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2012/01/update-loews-canal-street-theatres-future.html
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has this theater on its meeting calendar for public hearing Tuesday, June 22. Anyone wanting to testify, the meeting is at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor. Follow this url for details View link
Last month, the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission voted to schedule hearings on landmarking this theater. This is usually the last step toward actually granting it landmark status. Unfortunately, this designation would only protect the facade on Canal St and not the rest of the building or interior, but better than nothing. Anyone interested should submit testimony or letters of support.
News about the theater in the local downtown newspaper View link
Word has it that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission is preparing to landmark the building soon.
Thanks, KSwizz. You got much better images than I got from the blueprints. How do you know that dressing rooms are demolished?
See my post from Feb 15, 2008. I went to Avery and viewed the full blueprints. Behnd the terracotta facade is a massive mechanical room. This was maybe one of the 1st buildings in NY with an ‘air conditioning’ or ‘air cooling’ system. The ‘smoke stack’ is a cooling tower.
According to architectural blueprints in the Thomas Lamb archives, there was a rather significantly sized fan room housing electrical and mechanical equipment behind the Canal Street facade above the lobby entrance.
I’ve been told that what appears to be black-painted windows on the Canal Street facade is actually rare black terracotta tile.
The non-profit organization in Chinatown looking to build an arts center in the neighborhood has been in discussions with VJHC about the site.
Interesting. How reliable is your source? Did s/he quote a dollar figure?
I just viewed blueprints and mechanicals for this theater at Columbia’s Avery Libary. They have two full sets of architectural drawings for this 2,313 seat tri-level theater showing specs and details of elaborate decorative plaster, grillwork, and terracotta; a copper roof; skylights; a marquee naming it Loew’s Canal; etc. Truly magnificent. Hopefully some of these details still remain on the interior.
For years, the theater has been used as a warehouse. Hence all the moving around and forklifts from time to time. Did it look like it was being emptied out? If so, that could be an indication of something different.
Muray that theater is the Music Palace and was recently demolished to make way for a hotel. It was at the corner of Bowery and Hester. Info is at /theaters/8362/
I hear that the structure going up on the site will be a hotel.
The Theater is now part of a new Lower East Side Historic District voted in last month by the local Community Board.