Canarsie may be losing its shine!
The man behind Canarsie’s most famous holiday lighting display, former Democratic party boss Frank Seddio, has put his building up for sale — potentially ending the half-century-old tradition that rivaled the most decadent displays from across the Five Boroughs.
At the corner of Flatlands Avenue and E. 93rd Street, Seddio and his trusty team of helpers would cover his law office, which he shared with influential party lawyer Frank Carone, with over 150,000 holiday lights, moving figurines, and blow-up animals that brought thousands of visitors each year to marvel at the bright display.
“We are probably the most elaborate Christmas display in the city of New York, including the Rockefeller Center. What do they have? They have a tree, which is bigger than mine, but that’s it,” the politico said of his display in 2018.
Now, though, the building is on the market for an asking price of $975,000.
The 3,400 square foot house was built in 1931 and boasts three bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms — but its biggest selling point is its place in Canarsie history.
“This is your chance to own a piece of history in Canarsie,” the listing reads. “The Seddio house has been entertaining thousands for more than half a century with the magnificent ‘Canarsie Christmas House.’ It has lit up the corner and faces since the 60s.”
And lit up the corner, Seddio has.
The former Democratic head honcho, who led the borough’s party from 2012 until he stepped down in early 2020, bought the house in 1986, when it was already well known for its Christmas lights display from the 1960s as the dreamchild of its previous owner, Frank Guarino.
“When Frank Guarino passed, I made it a point to take over and make him proud by keeping his memory alive the way he would want it,” Seddio told Brooklyn Paper’s sister publication PoliticsNY in 2019. “He was like a father and a mentor to me.”
But those days may soon be over.
Seddio, currently recovering from hip surgery, is moving his Canarsie law office in January to Downtown Brooklyn, in an effort, he says, to be closer to the county’s courthouse buildings. Meanwhile, Carone may soon no longer need the space, as he is under consideration for a top job in the incoming administration of Mayor-elect Eric Adams, Politico reported Friday.
As such, Seddio will not be hosting his light show this year.
“One thing after another got in the way, so we’re not able to do it,” Seddio told Brooklyn Paper. “I had hip surgery, which kinda knocked me off my feet, so we’re not doing it this year.”
Seddio, a fixture in Canarsie civic circles for decades, said that the decorations included about 350 animatronics and “thousands upon thousands” of lights, and the show expanded every single year with ever more knick-knacks, doodads, and thingamajigs.
“We’ve been buying stuff for 50 years,” Seddio said. “We have an accumulation of 50 years worth of Christmas decorations.”
The former chair typically threw a soiree each year to celebrate opening night for his Christmas display, featuring a who’s-who of Brooklyn politicos (the guest of honor in 2019 was Attorney General Letitia James).
Owing to the pandemic, Seddio elected last year to still put up the light array but to forgo the fiesta, though the public was still able to walk by and marvel.
“It’s time to bring some good cheer,” Seddio said of last year’s display. “This is the time to have hope that things will turn around and that we will be able to not just celebrate the holiday or celebrate our lights, but celebrate life again.”
Now, while he will no longer be getting lit, Seddio still holds out hope that the new owner may carry on the Canarsie custom.
“Maybe the new owner of the house may want to do it,” he said. “We haven’t decided yet, we’ll see what happens when that person comes along, if they’d like to do it.”