The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Shunned House

inner horrors

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– 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

weeds and creepers

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

One would imagine multiple generations inhabited this place, celebrating dozens of birthdays and decorating scores of Christmas Trees. It’s only been a decade or so that I’ve been consciously watching this moose of a house sit abandoned, its windows gathering evidence on the actions of small boys, and it’s yard producing thousands of feral cats. There are several of these large homes sitting shuttered in a cluster on 31st Street and 37th avenue here at the borders of Astoria and Dutch Kills, so one would assume that the amalgamated combination of them will form the footprint of some ambitious real estate project in the future.

This house, this “shunned house”, just breaks my heart.


Astoria’s “Ghost House” at 31-01 37th Ave.

Ok, so this one is not a haunting—the house is just out of every scary movie, ever. Abandoned for decades, this eerie house has fallen into disrepair, with its siding removed and what little paint is left chipped into oblivion, making it the perfect setting for ghost stories. It’s even said to be on a toxic site! While no one is known to have died in the place, it is a mystery why the owner doesn’t want to sell it…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Amongst the few friends your humble narrator has managed to acquire, one or two are Astoria natives who feel similarly about this house, but shrug their shoulders while pointing out sagging wooden beams and bulging walls. Speaking with certain authority, a sturdy Croat who has some familiarity with the arts of home construction and carpentry opined to me that it would be cost a small fortune to restore the place just to “livable status” let alone to restore lost glories. He suggests harvesting anything “made of old wood” within that has value, followed by a tear down and new construction.

A year or two ago, the roof was removed at this “shunned house”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m hardly the first person to mention this house, of course (it’s even been featured briefly in other posts here at Newtown Pentacle). Scouting-NY and Forgotten-NY have featured the enigmatic wooden structure before. Area wags speculate on its fate, and tell me that the abandonment of the structure might be as long as two decades.

Anybody out there have information on the place, and is it, as Scout suggests, a “ghost house” or has it merely been shunned?

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 26, 2012 at 3:53 am

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