The Cheops Award: Cast Your Vote

No one today knows how long it took to build the Great Pyramid of Cheops, though it has been estimated to have been at least thirty years. My earlier post on the persistence of scaffolding, and the number of long-term construction or renovation projects underway in the Heights, brought Cheops to mind. So, I’ve decided to ask our readers to say which project they think deserves the Cheops Award for mind-boggling protraction. To see some candidates, as well as my personal favorite, read on.

First, there’s one obvious candidate I’m taking out of the running. That’s the exterior renovation of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church. This project has already put Cheops to shame. It was underway when I moved here in 1983, and has been on hiatus for about the last decade. It’s in a league of its own, perhaps Chartres Cathedral, which took 66 years to build, defines its class. Some that deserve consideration include the plaza reconstruction at 75 Henry, and the exterior renovation at 65 Montague/ 20 Pierrepont. A promising dark horse is 82 Remsen, and the partially collapsed 100 Clark is an intriguing prospect.

My personal favorite, though, is 80 Cranberry (see photo at left). Although the major exterior work on this magnificent art deco building was completed, and the scaffolding removed, some months ago, its once splendid doorway remains a skeleton sheathed in plywood. I can remember this doorway in its original state, and how chunks were allowed to fall off the fluted black columns flanking the main entrance, making me wonder if the building’s owners were striving to create a “picturesque ruin” effect.

What’s your nominee?

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  • AB

    After speaking today with the manager of Gristedes, now manning the store’s functioning pharmacy, it looks like the supermarket will be a fine candidate for the Cheops Award.

    When I asked him if the store would be completed by Christmas (I was exaggerating…I thought), he said that he “hoped” the renovation wold be complete by the fall.

    Had they got the insurance dough, I asked.

    Yes, he said. But…..

  • antlerjay

    How long has that black netting been draped over 161 Henry?

  • Ben Budick

    To those of you who love the Cranlyn….We lived there for 17 years…1976-93….Don’t know who owns it now but at the time it was Sol and Lilian Goldman….They let this masterpiece rot…In our time there the facade around the water tower collapsed, they “fixed” leaks in the apartments under the terraces by cementing over the original tiles, they physically threatened old ladies living there on rent control to try to get them out, they allowed weeks at a time to go by in the winter with no heat, and the elevator was also out for weeks at a time…..I’m glad to see they’re restoring the entrance…but have they finally pointed the building?….the place was leaking really bad by the time we moved…The only reason this masterpiece has stood for as long as it has was because it was so well built to begin with….EACH apartment was fireproofed unto itself…separated by other apartments by thick concrete walls and thick steel doors with cork tile floors….the cork tile was amazing, never seen anything like it before or since…But overall the Cranlyn was an amazing place to live…When we moved there in 1976 we were one of the first of the “new” crowd….most of the tenants had been there forever….Very colorful….Gald to see the place has survived in spite of the Goldman “touch”