Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Houdini's new view

Here's a nice photo of Machpelah Cemetery in Queens taken by our friend Colleen Bak on Sept 2, 2013. As we learned over the weekend, the cemetery office building that stood in front of Houdini's plot since 1928 was recently demolished. Harry now has an unobstructed view of the street (Cypress Hills).


Below is another shot looking into the cemetery courtesy of Carl Morano (along with a comparison photo I took in 2005). Even thought it's a shame seeing the old building torn down, I actually think this is an improvement. I like that the plot can now be clearly seen from the street, and I also like that it restores the cemetery to what it was when Houdini first selected the plot and erected the exedra. It all seems more...peaceful.

2005
Today

Thank you Colleen and Carl for giving us our first look at the new Machpelah. You check out more photos of Houdini's plot and original Houdini poetry on Colleen's tumblr, A Braid of Frost and Felt.

7 comments:

  1. How awesome if they turned that area into parking for the cemetery.

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    Replies
    1. Are you being sarcastic? :p

      Actually, they could turn that into parking...but then Houdini is beside a parking lot. I'd rather they just lay down grass and keep it tranquil. Maybe make room for new, um, "guests."

      I wonder how much a plot goes for? I could spend eternity there. ;)

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  2. He can be seen he likes being in front.

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  3. We are planning a visit there in a couple of weeks.

    A while back David Jacobson told us he may tear down the old building.

    This proves, once and for all, he takes good care of the grounds, contrary to the claims of George Schindler, and others at the SAM.

    He just needs to be paid for his hard and good work in order to deep the grounds in good repair.

    It is a shame and a scandal that The Society of American Magicians (SAM) was stopped of the upkeep of the grave by such "illuminaries" and spokesman for the organization as George Schindler and John Bohannon, with the other top executives of the organization looking the other way for decades. Ironically, it is because of their publicity stunts that got their names in the papers that resulted in the damage at the Houdini Grave, so bad the administrators closed them out on Halloween. This is the legacy they bring to their names for future generations of magicians. Houdini in his lifetime took care of dozens of magicians delapidated graves, it is a shame that 5,000 magicians belonging to the club he trailblazed cannot take care of his one grave site.

    It seems both the Parent Assembly #1 and the National has let much important magic history and tradition slip through their supposedly dexterous fingers.

    When Houdini was elected president from 1917 till his death in 1926, of The SAM (Society of American Magicians) he took it upon himself to expand the organization from one small New York City club to where it now has about 300 clubs worldwide with between 5,000 and 6,000 dues paying members. The SAM (Society of American Magicians) has literally made many millions of dollars due to Houdini's hard, costly and visionary work. He was responsible for the greatest movement in magic history, the expansion of the SAM.

    Check their income statements for their various organizations at http://guidestar.com just type in The Society of American Magicians
    Here are the figures from guide star for the last years filing on record.

    SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANS
    Income: $378,403.00
    Parker, CO 80134


    SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANS MAGIC ENDOWMENT FUND INC
    Income: $27,815.00
    Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002
    Assets $744,481.00


    SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANS HALL OF FAME AND MAGIC MUSEUM
    Income: $565,944.00
    Los Angeles, CA 90027

    SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANS PARENT ASSEMBLY NO 1 INC
    Income: $83,603
    Lake Success, NY 11042
    Assets $462,592.00


    We will be posting these statements on our web site in future days when we have the time.

    Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz
    The Houdini Museum
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini
    First established in NYC in the early 1970's

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  4. I like Houdini’s new view. The SAM needs to take a new view and finally make things right and resume taking responsibility for the upkeep of the Houdini grave site.

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  5. I also like the new view. It's looks peaceful and is now the way it was when Houdini was alive. I would be willing to bet that he had his bust facing the street because he liked the view.

    The building did give the cemetery an old style mojo, and frankly I thought it was there when Houdini bought his plot.

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  6. Is there anyone near this cemetery that can take us some digitals of a family members grave? my email is Signmanj@yahoo.com Grave: Solomon Bloom died April 26, 1900. We need a close up of the stone and a couple of the plot area. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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