Concourse residents fear loss of gazebo

The residents of 3224 Grand Concourse fear their gazebo is in danger of demolition, though changes to its structure could violate current zoning laws.

A building’s gazebo that once stood as a resplendent symbol of a prosperous community, but has suffered deeply from neglect, has admirers fearing it’s demolition.

In mid May, residents from Pickwick Arms, 3224 Grand Concourse, contacted Community Board 7 district manager Fernando Tirado about what they called suspicious work activity around their coveted gazebo.

Having lived in the building since 1976, Helene Hartman-Kutnowsky said she’s enjoyed the fixture in the center of the complex’s courtyard for years. “It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a tremendous asset to the building,” she said.

While the gazebo’s dilapidated state continues to concern the residents, it’s the newly installed scaffolding that has residents wondering the fixture’s fate.

After running into the contractor, she said, “We started to worry the gazebo would be taken down.”

Upon reviewing the Department of City Planning’s zoning regulations, Tirado discovered the site was part of the Special Grand Concourse Preservation District, therefore severely limiting any alterations of the gazebo.

He immediately wrote a letter to the landlord, Josh Goldberg, informing him of the property’s designation and urged he contact the building’s tenants before any further work was done.

While the site’s work has stopped for now, Tirado said he doesn’t believe it was because of his request.

Portions of the gazebo’s roof have already been removed without the proper permits in place, he said.

The triangular shaped English Tudor-style structure is one of the neighborhood’s many charming assets that Tirado said has to be maintained to sustain the historical integrity of the area.

“One of the things we want to do is bring back the quality of life people once had on the Grand Concourse,” he said, believing the restoration of the gazebo would be a step in that direction.

Hartman-Kutnowsky agreed, stating “We’d like to see the gazebo restored as faithfully as possible.”

The gazebo once had lion head fountains and benches, “It was just lovely, a real focal point of the building,” she added.

Hartman-Kutnowsky said residents are keeping a close eye on the situation.

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