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Horror house on 79th Street inflicts raccoons, skeeters and mold on neighbors

The Brooklyn Paper

An abandoned, dilapidated home on 79th Street has left a neighboring family vexed for more than a decade — but years of inaction from the city and the landowner have broken the final straw.

The Gouras family has been complaining about the run-down mess between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard since 2007. At first, it was simply an uneven pile of soggy wood and caved-in roof that served as an eyesore for the swank block — three years later, it’s become a breeding ground for looters, raccoons and mosquitoes.

“There’s an unnatural mosquito problem — recently, I lost it and started taking pics for our Facebook page,” said Antigoni Gouras-Manzi, the second generation of neighbors who have urged the city to do something about the dangerous mess. “It could be 9 am and I’ll be overwhelmed by bites.”

Worse, water leaking through the roof of the structure has seeped into the basement and caused damage to the Gourases’ foundation — but they said that the Departments of Buildings and Sanitation merely write citations and nothing ever changes.

The debacle began in the mid-1990s, when the building’s owner, Frank Landy, and his wife divorced. At the time, he allegedly told the Gouras family that he could not sell the house because he did not want his soon-to-be-ex-wife getting half.

“I’m pretty sure that a couple years ago, they could’ve made a small fortune off that house,” said Antogoni’s brother, Spiro. “We don’t know why he left it like this.”

Mysteriously, they haven’t heard from the antique-collecting Landy family since Frank died a few years back. Holes in the roof offer views of century-old cabinets, a bathtub, and standing water. The front windows are smeared with concrete, and only a rickety fence separates the sidewalk from bushes and a water-damaged house front.

Needless to say, the Gouras family is at a loss for answers. Local elected officials said on Friday that they’re back on the case to get the building re-inspected, but since the Landy family has no outstanding violations with the city, officials aren’t sure what else can be done.

“On a block full of conscientious homeowners, the Landy family’s negligence is setting everyone else up to suffer,” said Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge). “We’ll make him aware, one way or another, that he’s got no choice but to fix the problems his neighbors live with every day. They put all this energy into building a life and a home on 79th Street, only to wake up every morning next to this nightmarish property.”

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Reader Feedback

Rob from Greenpoint says:
So bury them with violations. That's a good start.
Sept. 7, 2010, 1:23 pm
neighbor from bay ridge says:
If this has been going on for a decade, why haven't the Gouras sued this Landy guy for damages to their property? How can there be no outstanding violations? Where is the Building Inspector? The place is a wreck.

Frank Landy sounds like a complete fruitcake. But are you sure he's dead? Have you checked city records? Who is the current owner?
Sept. 7, 2010, 4:35 pm
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
there are many abandon houses owned by Mousa Khalil in Bay Ridge.. According to ACRIS Online City Register, he personally buys the properties and then get continuous "mortgage" funding from many Jewish congregations into each properties (at least 20 properties in Bay Ridge). Many of his properties were abandoned for over 7 years, so I don't understand why a religious group lends to an abandoned house.

http://bayridgejournal.blogspot.com/2008/02/demolition-by-neglect-in-progress.html
Sept. 7, 2010, 6:07 pm
BCT from Bay Ridge says:
What makes you think someone with the name "Moussa Khalil" is getting funding from Jewish congregations? How likely is that? Now funding from a mosque might be a different story.
Sept. 7, 2010, 6:35 pm
Antigoni from Bay Ridge says:
This story is riddled with inaccurate information.

First, this "debacle" began in the late 80's. Our family has been dealing with this mess for 20 years now and has made calls to the city for over 10 years.

Second, Frank Landy, a then employee of the USPS, has probably not died. A different Frank Landy died recently and he was a professor of industrial psychology in Pennsylvania.

Finally, there *are* open violations with the city: http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=3&houseno=237 &street=79th Street&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E
Sept. 8, 2010, 1:47 pm
Irene from Bay Ridge Brooklyn says:
I've walked down that block many times. I always wondered, how the heck could someone leave a home like that to fall apart. Let's hope something is done very soon.
Sept. 8, 2010, 3 pm
Eddie Mazz from Bay Ridge says:
It's a bit of Grey Gardens in Bay Ridge....
Sept. 9, 2010, 8:42 pm

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