Historic Bed-Stuy mansion demolished despite community's efforts to preserve it

There was a standoff between residents and the developer early in the morning with the goal to stop the demolition on the mansion on Willoughby Avenue but the efforts didn't pan out.

News 12 Staff

Jul 21, 2022, 10:32 PM

Updated 695 days ago

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A 120-year-old Bed-Stuy house was demolished Thursday afternoon despite the community's outcry.
There was a standoff between residents and the developer early in the morning with the goal to stop the demolition on the mansion on Willoughby Avenue but the efforts didn't pan out.
To save the mansion, community members applied to get landmark status with Landmark Preservation Commission a few months ago. Once they agreed to look into the case, the LPC had 40 days to determine whether to give it landmark status or not.
The LPC held a public hearing last week, but the 40-day deadline was this past Tuesday and the LPC never gave a response.
On Wednesday, the developer arrived and began to tear down the roof and the windows.
Early on Thursday, there was a bit of hope among residents. There were talks of a stop work order, and there was an inspector from the Department of Buildings on the scene.
The demolition did stop for a while, but it's not clear if it was because of the rain.
Then in the afternoon, a bulldozer arrived and began to gut the house.
Residents said they are sad and frustrated, especially because they received a lot of support in their efforts to preserve the mansion from politicians like Council Member Chi Ossé and state Sen. Jabari Brisport.
Both politicians were at the scene early on Thursday.
News 12 reached out to the LPC but was told to reach out to City Hall.
The mayor’s office spokesperson released a statement to News 12 saying, "As the Landmarks Preservation Commission considered this building for potential designation as a landmark, the developer was able to legally obtain demolition permits. We will continue listening to and working with the community to help address any concerns about the future of this site."
Ossé sent News 12 statement that said in part that he is disturbed by the process that led to this point, especially the unacceptable lack of transparency and community input.


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