The Dismantling of 74 Grand St
Outside of the south-facing windows of B&Co's studio is 74 Grand Street, one of Soho's cast-iron façade buildings protected with landmark status. Due to a poorly executed excavation of the neighboring site in 2004, 74's foundation started to falter after two weeks of heavy rainfall that spring. The building started to tilt – sliding 13.5 inches out of alignment – and was in danger of collapsing, not to mention pulling the rest of the block towards it (neighboring buildings have shifted 7-12 inches to the west.)
With no possibility of rehabbing, it's being taken down, but in an extremely careful and deliberate manner: the Landmarks Preservation Commission has ordered the façade to be dismantled and put into storage, with the instruction that it will be included in the rebuild of the site.
Being that it's right behind us, we have the unique perspective of watching it come down brick by brick. Above is the view from the studio; already one floor has been removed. The process is certainly exciting and interesting to watch, but it's a bit creepy that there's a cool and wet feeling in the air around the site, and with the way it smells like a century-old crypt that has been pried open.
Link to Curbed's coverage on 74 Grand.
Link to see 74 Grand in 2004 here