Sunday, December 12, 2021

Coney Island's oldest building demolished

A distressing report from our friends at Coney Island History Project. No doubt Harry and Bess Houdini would have known this building well.

The responsible party is Joe Sitt's Thor Equities who also demolished the historic Henderson Theater building where Houdini performed in 1915. It's heartbreaking to see Houdini's Coney Island being wiped away by developers who don't seem to care about history.


  1. The building is an eyesore at this point, so I can see the reason for tearing it down. I understand it's also bad in the Hollywood Hills. Cary Grant's home has been torn down to make way for a large house. Other historic homes in that area like Pickfair have met the sane fate.

    1. The eyesore will be what replaces it.

      Old Hollywood is being destroyed by development. You can't believe the cheap and ugly buildings that are replacing the old bungalows and buildings that gave Hollywood its unique flavor.

    2. It doesn't look remotely like it was in the 1880s. It's just a dilapidated shell. It looks like it fell into disrepair a long time ago and the owner didn't want to deal with it. The original siding and the beautiful trim is all gone.

      The Hollywood development is really sad. The homes and buildings that have been swept away were still in good shape. Real estate investing trumps sentimentality most of the time. Historical preservation groups can't save them all.

    3. It actually wasn't a shell. The top hotel floors were intact and still largely original. The photo you're looking is mid demolition after it had been gutted. If you click and read the articles you'll see there was a proposal to restore it. It was ripe for restoration.

    4. Ah--just read the article. The building was indeed largely original. Restoring the whole Coney Island amusement park area would have made a nice time capsule for tourists.

    5. These developers are greedy pigs