194 Columbia Heights Owner Speaks to Eagle

He didn’t have much to say, but Dr. Austin Moore the owner of what neighbors say is a neglected brownstone at 194 Columbia Heights spoke to the Brooklyn Eagle this week:

Brooklyn Eagle: “I’ll probably surprise everybody by doing some improvements this spring,” Dr. Austin Moore, the owner, said in a slightly bemused voice in a brief phone call Tuesday. He did not reveal details of his plan other than to repair the roof

The building “may not yet have reached the threshold required to request a Demolition by Neglect action,” Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association stated. The building deteriorates merely by being unoccupied, she said.

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  • John Wentling

    What a bloody shame (“bemused???). It’s not just a potentially magificent home, it’s an investment, which he’s chosen to flush down the toilet – together with adjoining properties.

    The psych needs psychiatric help.

  • Nancy

    NOT demolition by neglect??
    I think Ms. Stanton would have a different opinion if this were next to her.

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com Qfwfq

    As someone who lives across from the building, I would rather see it restored than demolished. I can’t believe he never tried to sell it or anything. There must be a story involving grudges and spite.

  • Pierrepont

    I heard talk that it’s essentially a pawn in a long-running divorce settlement. Not sure that’s true, but either way it’s a shame the condition it’s in.

  • John Wentling

    I can’t believe any Heights resident would suggest, much less support demolition of such a classic brownstone, on the Promenade no less.

    That said, the only redeemable feature might be the shell, if that roof has been leaking for years, the interior structure might be too far gone to rehab –

    It’s all about the $$$ I suppose, but if I owned a neighboring property, Dr. Moore would have utter hell to pay – up to and including picketing his friggin’ office.

    Grrr, this really pisses me off!

  • fulton ferry res

    To clarify, a demolition by neglect action is not a decision to demolish a building. Rather, it is a court order to the owner to make required repairs because their neglect is tantamount to “demolition by neglect.” In 2004, a bill introduced in City Council by Tony Avella would have allowed Landmarks to order the repairs, without going to court, but I do not know if this bill was ever passed.

  • Nancy

    That’s right, demolition by neglect, means that we, the community, should press the landmarks commission to take legal action against the owner for basically demolishing a protected building through his neglect. It worked at 135 Joralemon Street and it needs to be done here as well.
    I’m calling the landmarks commission and complaining, 212-669-7888, I think the more of us that call the better. Let’s not wait for the BHA.

  • nabeguy

    As frustrating as this situation is on the surface (no pun intended), I wouldn’t be so hasty in recommending that Landmarks has the last word on how “demolition by neglect” is defined. This kind of talk has a certain “eminant domain” nastiness to it that can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, especially a group as fussy as LPC. As a lover of old architecture and historical preservation, I laud them for their intent, but if my own experience with them is any indication, it’s an exercise in speed-of-glacier bueracracy, so don’t expect immediate action on their part. Better one focus on the owner, who seems to now be responsive despite his past irresponsibility to his neighbors.

  • John Wentling

    FYI, interesting information – can’t really decipher the records (what’s a “sundry agreement?) but someone familiar with NY deeds, etc., might. Go to this link, you’re looking for either Block 208, Lot 315 for Brooklyn, or “Austin Moore” if you want to see any other parcels the Dr. owns. This link:


    Moore took title in 1969, a Vacate Order was filed 6/1986, a tax foreclosure was filed 5/1986, however, he paid off the mortgage 0n 7/31/2001 – I imagine he satisfied the tax delinquency and had the Vacate rescinded.

    An “Ann M. Ryan” appears on record several times, but I don’t think that was his wife/ex-wife, that appears to be “Madiline”.

    Have fun.

  • Nancy

    He is obviously a wack job.
    One would have to be naive to think that he will any way take care of the house from now on. The man has issues, and what he needs is a court order to repair or sell.

  • John Wentling

    Ugh, I think he owns 2 Grace Court as well, hows THAT one look?

  • Nancy

    2 Grace Court is a co-op. do you mean 2 Grace Court Alley?

  • John Wentling

    Oops Nancy, my bad – he owns a couple of condos, one on Hicks, and of course, 2GC.

  • nate

    I think John Wentling is either a goof or is senile.

  • John Wentling

    Neither Nate, just a little fuzzy on certain aspects of The Heights – it’s been awhile.