A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“Chew the scenery” (to overact) (12/6)
“Exit, stage left” (12/6)
Eleven O’Clock Song (11 O’Clock Song) (12/6)
“Don’t make me use my director voice” (12/5)
“Those who graduate with a theater degree and can’t find work suffer post dramatic stress disorder” (12/5)
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Entry from April 16, 2009
God’s Dorm (St. Ann’s Church facade and NYU dorm)

New York University built a 26-story dorm at 12th Street (off Fourth Avenue) in 2008-2009. The facade of St, Ann’s Church (built in the 1840s) was kept; the real estate blog Curbed.com called the mixture of old church and new university building “God’s dorm.”

God’s Dorm Update: NYU Nearly Reaches the Heavens
Wednesday, January 16, 2008, by Joey
Yesterday’s news that NYU could potentially stash some kids away in Long Island City got us thinking: Hey, what’s up with the school’s newest East Village dorm? You know, the one that preserved the St. Ann’s Church fa├žade for use as some sort of grand entrance? The 26-story monster that even NYU is slightly embarrassed about? Yeah, that one. So we swung by 12th Street and Fourth Avenue and, uh, jeez. Wow that thing is depressing. Did they really have to opt for “chunky puke” as a color selection? Spit on the Bible, why don’t you!

Checking In on God’s Dorm: A Hollow Gesture
Friday, April 25, 2008, by Chris Carrara
More than two years ago, when plans surfaced about NYU’s dorm at the site of St. Ann’s Church on 12th Street, the university pledged to maintain the facade of the church. They said it would be incorporated as part of the site of the megadorm. Now, with the uglier-than-we-could-have-ever-imagined 26-story eyesore towering over the front of the church, it looks like they kept their promise--literally. The facade of the church has been incorporated into the site of the dorm, but not into the dorm itself. Nothing on the worksite seems to indicate that there will be a connection between the aging steeple and what what has been called a “puke-colored-brick monstrosity.”

Ugly As Sin
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, by Joey
We haven’t checked in on the still-under-construction NYU dorm at Fourth Avenue and 12th Street in the East Village in a while, but God’s Dorm (nicknamed as such because it kept one part of the old St. Ann’s Church in a bizarre scheme to incorporate it into the dorm design) does not have a friend in broker-blogger Andrew Fine: “Yes, it was a beautiful structure, but to preserve such a small portion to adorn the sidewalk of faceless 26 story dorm is an insult. I really wish they had gone 100% one way or another. But, perhaps, this is a good thing. Perhaps, this will stand as a monument to our warped priorities or a warped culture, and future generations will learn from it. In the meantime, it is one of the most hideous displays in the city.”

Construction Watch: God’s Dorm Severs Its Ties
Friday, February 13, 2009, by Joey
The news yesterday regarding the Upper West Side’s historic West-Park Presbyterian Church got us wondering what’s up with the city’s other big act of holy war, the drab 26-story NYU dorm shooting out of a preserved sliver of the East Village’s St. Ann’s. Turns out, a lot! The scaffolding has come down from around the old church’s leftover not-so-pearly gates at Fourth Avenue and 12th Street, forcing a confession out of the controversial project’s developer, Hudson Companies.

Whereas up to now it had been assumed that the church’s narthex was left behind to be incorporated into some sort of grand entrance for the little purple people, the truth is a different matter: The old church bits aren’t connected to the dorm at all. Instead, the tower has its own cement access path, and St. Ann’s is floating out in some sort of purgatory, with the immediate area behind the church’s door (permanently?) gated off. We’ve had a lot to say about this project over the years, but still: Is this the building boom’s worst?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 16, 2009 • Permalink