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Grand Prospect Hall slated for the wrecking ball

grand prospect hall
The new owner of the Grand Prospect Hall plans to demolish the iconic structure.
File photo by Bess Adler

The dream is coming to an end. 

Grand Prospect Hall may soon be demolished, as the property’s new owner has filed demolition permits for the iconic Prospect Avenue structure, public records show. 

The banquet hall is one of several connected buildings between 253 and 273 Prospect Ave that are being cleared for the wrecking ball, which comes after a developer purchased the properties in mid-July for $30 million.

Now, the buyer, Angelo Rigas under Gowanus Cubes LLC, filed yet-to-be-approved permits with the Department of Buildings that would level the structures. The developer could not be reached for comment about future plans for the properties. 

The four-story French renaissance-style Grand Prospect Hall, known for its over-the-top elegance and iconic cheesy commercial, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 — although it is not landmarked, and therefore could potentially be demolished. 

The building was erected in 1892 as a Victorian banquet hall by entrepreneur John Kolle, before it was purchased by Michael and Alice Halkias in 1981. It contains the oldest elevator in Brooklyn, which was still functioning when the business shut down. 

Halkias, who ran the event hall with his wife for decades, passed away from COVID-19 during the summer of 2020. The Halkias couple became local celebrities when their extremely low-budget commercial first hit the airwaves in 1986, airing constantly on local television channels for decades, and making their tagline “we make your dreams come true!” instantly recognizable to any New Yorker who owned a television set.

grand prospect hall
Previous venue owners Michael Halkias, who passed away recently from COVID-19, and his wife Alice pose inside Grand Prospect Hall.File photo by Bess Adler

The commercial was even parodied on Saturday Night Live, and Mets star Pete Alonso filmed a tribute with the couple for Jimmy Kimmel Tonight in 2019.  

For years, the couple planned to erect an 11-story hotel on a parcel next door to the hall, which was used as a garage, but the plans never took off. 

The business had been shut down since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with the sale to Gowanus Cube taking place just as catering halls and wedding venues were beginning to reopen.

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