New York's Grand Prospect Hall to be demolished

But who will make Brooklyn’s dreams come true? The new owners of the Grand Prospect Hall wedding hall, famous for its 1986 televised p...


But who will make Brooklyn’s dreams come true?

The new owners of the Grand Prospect Hall wedding hall, famous for its 1986 televised promise to ‘make your dreams come true’, quietly applied for a permit to demolish the 118-year-old building last month.

The Ministry of Buildings issued an interior demolition permit on July 19. It is not known how much work has already been completed, but the permit expires on September 30, according to the NYC Buildings website.

The developer has pre-filed a separate full demolition permit for the Grand Prospect Hall and a nearby parking lot, but plans have yet to be provided and no plan reviews have been scheduled, according to the processing update. from July 23 on the New York Department of Buildings website. .

“If the owners wish to proceed with the proposed full demolition of the building, they must return to DOB ​​with a complete application for our review and obtain the necessary permits,” said Andrew Rudansky, press secretary for the New Town Buildings Department. York. The post office.

Angelo Rigas, that is related to a residential and commercial development company, spent $ 22.5 million to acquire the building on June 24, as part of a larger purchase of more than $ 30 million of surrounding properties through an entity called Gowanus Cubes LLC, The Post reported at the time. Rigas and his lawyer did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment.

At the time of publication, more than 400 people had signed the petition against the demolition, according to Change.org. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the organization responsible for examining historic monuments, according to the DOB.

The previous owners were Michael and Alice Halkias, who bought the building in 1981.
The previous owners were Michael and Alice Halkias, who bought the building in 1981.
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The buff-gray brick exterior is adorned with a sheet metal ornament imitating limestone.

The buff-gray brick exterior is adorned with a sheet metal ornament imitating limestone.


The stained glass fronts on the ground floor are separated by an ornate cornice.

The stained glass fronts on the ground floor are separated by an ornate cornice.


Above are 10 sets of windows, three of which are topped with triangular pediments, as shown in the photos.

Above are 10 sets of windows, three of which are topped with triangular pediments, as shown in the photos.


“Brooklyn needs this building”

Michael Halkias coronavirus death at age 82 in May 2020.

He and his wife Alice were known for their long-standing TV commercial, which gained a cult following after gaining popularity when “Saturday Night Live” and Jimmy kimmel with Mets player Pete Alonso spoofed advertising 2019.

But the local ardor for the building started with Halkias himself. He immediately recognized the history and potential of the building when he purchased it in 1981.

“My husband had a great vision the moment he walked through the doors… He saw the staircase, which was painted white at the time, and he started to jump and said, ‘I have to buy this building. and fix it for New York to enjoy. this… I have to do it. Brooklyn Needs this building,'” Alice Halkias told BuzzFeed after the death of her husband.

The four-story Victorian-era building was constructed in 1903 as a gathering place for German and later Polish immigrants after a previous hall burned down at the site in 1900, according to documents from the National Historic Register.

Inside the double glazed doors is an ornate lobby where a butterfly staircase leads to twin wickets on the first landing before dividing into two staircases leading up to the main ballroom.
Inside the double glazed doors is an ornate lobby where a butterfly staircase leads to twin wickets on the first landing before dividing into two staircases leading up to the main ballroom.
Zandy Mangold
“’I have to do this. Brooklyn needs this building,” Alice Halkias told Buzzfeed, her husband said.
National Register of Historic Places
Inside the double glazed doors is an ornate hall.
Inside the double glazed doors is an ornate hall.
Zandy Mangold

“By providing a place of entertainment, dining and active recreation in the native language, as well as a facility for Masonic lodges, singing societies and other ethnic cultural organizations, buildings like Prospect Hall have become bridges between the old and the new, welcoming and facilitating the experience of strangers in a new homeland, ”says a 1999 National Historic Register record.

The Polish-American organization White Eagle Hall Company lost the property to foreclosure in 1981, and Halkias purchased it on November 4, 1981, according to New York property records.

Halkias redeveloped the theater which once featured German folk music, vaudeville performances, national artists, boxing matches and professional wrestling into a ballroom that would host hundreds of wedding receptions over the next four decades – three large chandeliers suspended from the ceiling of the plateau and balconies supported by marble columns and adorned with garlands of fruit and arches.

News of the demolition sparked a wave of angry remarks on Twitter.

Although the property has been listed by the National Register of Historic Places, it is not registered as a landmark, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission website says.

“Prospect Hall is probably the largest and best-preserved example of this type, the Victorian meeting room located in a large ethnic community facility, remaining in the country,” according to the National Historic Registry.

In a nod to its historical significance, a Partial Stop Work Order was issued on August 16 to stop work in the East Side Yard, specifying that no work will be allowed at the Polish-American Veterans Monument. from World War II, according to building records.

“Prospect Hall is probably the largest and best-preserved example of this type, the Victorian meeting room housed in a large ethnic community facility, remaining in the country,” the National Historic Register reads.
Zandy Mangold
The room has great touches throughout.

The room has great touches throughout.


More detailed moldings and painting are shown.

Detailed moldings and painting are shown.


One of the many paintings in the building.

One of the many paintings in the building.




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