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Karl Fischer Destructoporn: 13th Street History Revealed

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The demolition of 52-54 West 13th began earlier this week to make room for a controversial Karl Fischer hotel and the work is nearly complete. As the front two buildings have fallen fast, two pieces of history have been revealed. Hidden in the back, you can now see clearly the circa-1790s Federal building that could only be accessed by walking through the first building. Its address is the indelicate 52-54 Rear. Neighbors tried to get the structure landmarked with no luck. It, too, is being gutted and demolished at this moment.

The revealed Federal building.

Also revealed, painted against the upper wall of Edith O’Hara’s 13th Street Repertory Theater is a ghost sign for a century-old carpenter, builder, painter.

As the walls rumbled with next door’s demolition, Edith said she’s still fighting her court battle against eviction. Mr. Fischer wants her property, too, so he can make his hotel a few feet wider. But Edith isn’t budging.
Hot Karl Has Plans [Curbed]
Making Room for Karl Fischer [Curbed]

--Jeremiah Moss