Historic building could be destroyed on Old Fulton Street

Historic building could be destroyed on Old Fulton Street
Community Newspaper Group / Andy Campbell

Three buildings on historic Old Fulton Street will be demolished if owners don’t fix them up.

The city last month put a vacate order on 11, 13 and 15 Old Fulton Street — adjacent to the infamous Grimaldi’s pizza and directly under the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO — because the structures had “significant structural defects on the rear wall of the entire building.”

Now, the Department of Buildings and Landmarks Preservation Commission are keeping a close watch as they negotiate with owners to get the gutted buildings fixed.

“The rear brick facades are badly deteriorated — they are cracked and missing bricks,” said Landmarks spokeswoman Lisi de Bourbon on Friday. “[We want] to keep the buildings in place without compromising safety or their architectural integrity.”

So far, those negotiations have been sour. Landmarks ordered the building repaired in 2009, but it took the threat of demolition for owners to finally put up scaffolding — the first step in what could be a big restoration project, Department of Buildings officials said.

Hypothetically, if owners decided to scrap the negotiations, the city would have to demolish the building — but could not take over the property.

“If they were unwilling or unable to pay for the demolition and the building is an imminent hazard, the city would step in and do it — then recoup the costs of the demolition,” a city official said.

The vacate order was likely no surprise to the owners, given that the city has received 14 complaints and wrote a handful of violations since 2004 because of the buildings’ failed structural integrity.

Neighbors complained of floor collapses and worried that nearby structures could be affected.

Even today, the buildings are gutted and show obvious signs of water damage. The Department of Buildings wouldn’t release a timeline for the buildings’ demise, but officials said that the negotiations are starting to look positive.

The owners have been unreachable.