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Historic Long Island City Facade Destroyed Amid Attempts to Landmark Building

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Plans once called for the lodge to be replaced by an eight-story condo

Just a week after concerned residents renewed efforts to preserve a historic building in Long Island City, construction workers started chipping away at parts of its facade, DNAinfo reports.

However in a quick turn of events, the Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on the site yesterday afternoon for "dangerous and illegal construction."

Neighbors have been battling to save the old Elks Lodge building at 21-42 44th Drive and have it landmarked since a developer purchased the site last December and planned to replace it with a condo building and retail.

A community group, the Court Square Civic Association launched a petition last week addressed to local City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer to prevent the demolition of the building. He subsequently reached out to the Department of Buildings to intervene.

Residents want the building to be used as a community space. It was most recently used as a meeting spot for Sheet Metal Workers Union 137. The structure was built in 1908 and originally served as home for the Queens Elks Lodge Number 878.

Plans once called for the developers Alwest Equities and Planet Partners to replace the lodge with an eight-story, 74-unit condo building, but it's unclear if those plans still stand. No new construction permits have yet been issued for the site.