Image via Library of Congress
As part of the Greenwich Series, a monthly series dedicated to the quirkier side of life, we were asked to curate our favorite bizarre true stories about New York City. Here are the few of the fun facts we showcased at last night’s event in the East Village, including buried time capsules, a building that was lost in its entirety (twice), and the most bizarre fact about our drinking water.
1. The Building That Was Stolen In Its Entirety (Twice)
The Edward Laing Stores/Bogardus Building. Image via Library of Congress
Keys, bikes, a wallet – these are things that more commonly get lost. But New York City has an entire building that was stolen, twice. The Bogardus Building/Edward Laing Stores, notable for being one of the first cast-iron buildings in the city, was taken down piece by piece for preservation in a future building at Manhattan Borough Community College. The Bogardus building sat in a vacant lot, awaiting construction to begin when on June 25th, 1974, Beverly Moss Spatt, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reportedly ran into the press room at City Hall announcing, “Someone has stolen one of my buildings!”
A building contractor saw three men loading large pieces into truck. They had been stealing up to 2/3 of the facade over the course of a few weeks. 22 pieces were later found in a Bronx junkyard, and moved to a secret location in a city-owned building on 52nd Street, off 10th Avenue.
When architects went to measure the panels, to be incorporated into a South Street Seaport building, in June 1977, the hidden storage unit was missing all of the panels. Read more about the Bogardus Building here.