Carroll Gardens is now big sky country

Carroll Gardens is now big sky country
Photo by Tom Callan

Carroll Gardens is getting a tumor removed.

Work began this week to excise the illegal 40-foot steel structure atop a 19th-century Carroll Street building — derisively nicknamed “Hell House,” for haunting of the neighborhood for half a decade.

“The sky is opening up again,” declared Maria Pagano, the president of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, a civic group. “Nobody ever thought it would come down, so this is really a big step for us.”

The structure was the handiwork of controversial architect Robert Scarano who was hired by builder Isaac Fischman in 2005, but axed in 2008 after the city halted work at the site between Hoyt and Bond streets on the grounds that Scarano falsely claimed that the building was zoned to allow two additional stories.

Work at the site stalled, and outraged residents mobilized, succeeding to sway the city to rezone area to prevent out-of-scale structures.

The addition, dubbed “the tumor” in the local blogosphere, subsequently received a negative prognosis from the city, which ruled that Fischman did not build enough of the structure to make legalize the building under the prior zoning.

Fischman said he intends to move ahead with a plan to convert the soon-to-be-five-story building into 37 condo units.

Gravesend-based firm NSC Architecture will design the new building.