The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

inner horrors

with 5 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been fascinated by this structure in West Maspeth, or Berlin if you’re of a certain mind, for some time. It’s 4411 54th avenue, and it looks as if things have taken an ominous turn for this old girl. According to the public record, this is a 2,030 ft. multi family dwelling which was erected in 1915. Real estate industrial complex sources price it at around a half million bucks, which is an incredible number given its neighborhood of heavy industry, highways, cemeteries, and a nearby superfund site. Additionally, the Kosciusko Bridge reconstruction will be happening just a block away, which promises ample nighttime noise due to construction.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The hill of Laurels, literally covered in Laurel trees, was what Calavry cemetery was carved into in a period between (roughly) 1848 and 1860. The modern day Laurel Hill Blvd, and the present Kosciusko travel through the shallow valley which separated it from the next hill- Berlin Hill. This house on 54th avenue was built in a time when the area was still called that, before the first world war made such nomenclature less popular. I’ve heard the neighborhood referred to as either West Maspeth (or just plain Maspeth) by people who live here, so I guess that’s good enough for me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, I always think of western Maspeth as the area around the Clinton Diner, with DeWitt Clinton’s mansion and St. Saviours and the town docks nearby at the head of Maspeth Creek which was at one of those tripartite corners you can find only in Queens- 56th and 56th and 56th. At any rate, this building has one of those fire department boxed hash marks painted on its wall, the one that says don’t risk a life trying to save this place. It’s a shame, really, imagine what this shunned house on the hill must have looked like “back in the day”.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 30, 2012 at 12:15 am

5 Responses

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  1. Mitch, Notice the brand new plywood covering the window above the entry. Someone’s still “maintaining” it. Who? Why?

    georgethe atheist

    March 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

  2. Plus the Google Street View photo shows the older window boarding. AND a cracked sidewalk. (Your photo shows relatively new concrete.)

    georgethe atheist

    March 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

  3. Is that the same shunned house with the old, battered, 1941 Chrysler in the yard? If the Chrysler is still there, I’m going by with a tow truck.


    March 31, 2012 at 8:45 am

  4. […] street will someday be the new DUKBO, and easement purchases for the new bridge have already seen nearby homes and business buildings shuttered and […]

  5. […] Street will someday be the new DUKBO, and easement purchases for the new bridge have already caused nearby homes and business buildings to shutter and be demolished. The State DOT has announced that the […]

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