Broken Angel Up For Sale

broken-angel-0109.jpg
It’s a sad day in Mudville: Shahn and Arthur are having to give up on their dream of converting the Broken Angel into a bunch of eclectically designed condos. A few days ago, they put the 13,000-square-foot property up for sale with no asking price. Interested parties can contact Shahn at 917-627-6454. Given that the new NYT listings site currently returns zero responses to a Clinton Hill search, we’re unable to come up with the listing right now!
Judge Gives Angel Duo The Heisman [Brownstoner] GMAP
Broken Angel: DOB Overzealous or Just Doing Its Job? [Brownstoner]
Broken Angel Reno: Approaching the Summit [Brownstoner]
More Details on the Broken Angel Project [Brownstoner]

0 Comment

  • daveinbedstuy

    Good luck with that mess.

  • what is broken angel?

    *rob*

  • “Shahn and Arthur are having to give up on their dream…”

    Why?

    ***Bid half off peak comps***

  • daveinbedstuy

    the picture you’re looking at rob. Between this and the question about city employees below can I ask if you’re still drunk from last night?? :)

  • I’m very sorry to hear this. I was rooting for them to succeed. On my first trips to Clinton Hill, before even moving to Brooklyn, I remember Broken Angel, in its glory. My friend went to Pratt, and we used to frequent the Salvation Army outlet on Downing. The whole installation was so mysterious, strange, and very cool. That was around 1980.

    I always thought the court case was unfair, and was glad Shahn was going to try to rescue the project. I guess the physical and financial obstacles were just too high. I’m very sorry.

    I’m sure we’ll be visited by all those who have been ridiculing and ragging on Shahn since day one, who are glad he failed. I don’t understand why anyone would take such glee in someone else’s misfortune or enjoy their defeat. I for one, am glad he cared enough to try to preserve the dream of an eccentric artist and his family, with an innovative plan geared towards artistic and creative people. The fact that he stood to make some money from the venture is a given, he is a developer and businessman, and he put his own time, money and expertise into the mix. Aren’t we supposed to be lauding and emulating those who take risks and actually put their money where their mouths are?

    All in all, a shame for those involved, and a shame for Clinton Hill, which will loose an iconic building, and a last vestige of the creative big dream.

  • broken angel used to a fabulous artist created architectural fantasy until the City decided to screw with it. It used to be one of the most distinctive pieces of the Brooklyn skyline- I loved it. Instead of working with the artist to keep this unique structure and make it safer, the city decided to force the artist to destroy it. I’m convinced the MREB led the City to decide that getting it scrapped would allow new money development come in. just my take on it- but it used to be the most incredible structure and we’re all the poorer for it being dismantled. You can only see a part of what it used to be in the photo.

    so sorry that shahn and arthur couldn’t finish doing the work on it. Would have been great, I’m sure. sigh. Probably someone will come along a tear it down to put up yet another mediocre p.o.c. with granite countertops and vessel sinks.

  • quote:
    the picture you’re looking at rob. Between this and the question about city employees below can I ask if you’re still drunk from last night?? :)

    nah dave, but according the Janice in the target thread, i “border on mental retardation AT BEST”

    *rob*

  • daveinbedstuy

    If anyone has seen the original pics (look at the “Approaching The Summit” page listed above) you’ll understand that clearly there are issues of OCD and other APA pathologies at work in the construction of this “project.”

  • I’m truly sorry as well. I could see the top of Broken Angel from my place and it was magical. I dreamed of photographing it on a moody night and making a Halloween card out of it….too late. At least Broken Angel is somewhat immortalized in Dave Chapelle’s “Block Party”.

  • Dave — your glib pronouncements along with your lack of firsthand knowledge of Broken Angel don’t sit well with me.

  • BrooklynButler

    What a mess. It would have been great if the duo could have pulled it off, but they didn’t, and I hope that the neighborhood isn’t stuck with that pile for too long. Hopefully whoever buys it can save what looks like a great historic building.

  • Jimmy Legs

    the whole thing has been an extended exercise in the expulsion of anything remotely unique in Clinton Hill. Mission Accomplished!

  • Truly dave- but what a shot in the artistic arm to see it! There are fabulous, artist built fantasy structures all over the US. Broken Angel was an artwork, not just a building. Could have been fixed and should have been landmarked. Arthur is an artist first and foremost- wish we had a Living National Treasure program like Japan does.

  • we have been working on a documentary about arthur and this process for the last couple of years.

    here’s a long trailer for that film.

    rumur.tv/brokenangel

  • daveinbedstuy

    Schultz…I’ve read all about their trials and tribulations, seen the place and all the pics of the place. Firsthand knowledge would imply that you’re actually partners with them, or their attorney, or someone like that.

    Don’t really care if my thoughts on that abomination sit well with you or not but my assessment of what drove them to add on one after another of ridiculous structures is probably pretty much on the mark.

  • I’m sorry this failed. Truly I am. But I’m not surprised at all. I’d like to point out that Shahn commented extensively on how cheaply he could renovate the dilapidated houses on Admirals Row – trying to call bullshit on the navy yard for saying they would be way too expensive to restore. As prove, Shahn pointed to how cheaply he was going to restore the Angel. To me this just shows that Shahn doesn’t really know enough about this kind of stuff and got in way over his head and completely over promised. It’s not that hard to convince people that you know what you’re talking about when you basically are telling them exaclty what they want to hear – which is what Shahn has done here. I hope some developer with more experience and realistic expectations can step in here and salvage something interesting and unique for this project…

  • slopefarm

    Dave,

    If it weren’t for mental illness, there’s a lot of art (great and otherwise) that wouldn’t be around. Few of our most important artists, composers, etc. (contemporary and past) would escape the DSM-IV entirely untagged. Not that I make any great claims for Broken Angel.

  • daveinbedstuy

    That’s probably true slopefarm.

  • This makes me sad as well, just the fact that shahn had stepped in to attempt to help rectify the situation, but really, who can take on more debt and expenses in this era?

    dave – i have no doubt that schultz was referring to your comments that “there are issues of OCD and other APA pathologies at work in the construction of this ‘project,’” when he termed it “glib.” Just what makes you an armchcair expert in psychology?

  • Yes Montrose I am going to tell Shahn – I told you so – but no I do not take “glee” in his failing. But I DO take glee that Shahn’s arrogance and his obnoxious rants are being appropriately punished. Go back and look at Shahn’s posts on this and other topics – they essentially say that everyone (but him and a few others) are dumb and that “everyone else is just a greedy pig – and I am the benevolent developer who will prove how beautiful and affordable developments are easy”

  • daveinbedstuy

    I think its fairly obvious tiptoe. Besides I have more than just a passing interest in psychology; it being a double major. But that was many years ago and some things change.

  • daveinbedstuy

    The bottom line here is that it was all a clear and massive violation of the building codes.

  • Montrose – you say that you don’t understand why anyone would take glee in Shahn failure. Let me try to explain. Let’s say you’ve spent most of your professional career becoming an expert in a field. If memory serves I think you work in interior design, so let’s use that as an example. Let’s say a potential clinet interviews you for a project and given all of your experience and experties you tell him what you think could be accomplished with a space and how much it will cost. And then some one comes up to the potential client and tells him that you don’t know what your talking about and based on his completely irrelevent and miniscule experience he promises your client a fantastical design for a fraction of the cost. He saysa that you don’t know what you’re talking about and are only limiting your options because of greed. THe client takes the bait anfd hires this guy and he fails miserably. Are you telling me you wouldn’t have a pretty acute case of the “I Told you so”s? If so then you’re a better man than I.

  • We all knew that DIBS. Still- Arthur and his wife lived there and it was a glorious artistic work. (I think some of the Gehry designs for AY certainly seem to have been inspired by broken angel, which certainly sounds better than he took a piece of paper and crumpled it up). wish I had a dollar for every building that has massive building code violations in this city. At least broken Angel was art. The City didn’t do the right thing, to my way of thinking.

    Still, would love to read your psyche analysis of artists ;-)

  • HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    Oh BTW

    Brokenassangel=Fail
    Shahn Anderson=Fail

  • To respond to Dave, I think the bottom line is that the sad reality of NYC and the greater economy, as well as the general attitude towards the city and how it should be used has evolved into one that does not have room for creative expression on a large scale anymore. Shahn had vision and enough courage to take on the risk to translate Broken Angel into something that could fly in today’s version of Brooklyn, while retaining the character that made it compelling in the first place. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I truly wish we had more people operating on the building level who were interested in this kind of creative, adaptive re-use in New York and Brooklyn, or that we had had them in what seems to be the now finished building-boom.

  • That POS had fail written all over it!! This was Brownstoner’s first wet dream (Remember when?) it went Ka-boom. Just another victim of the collapsing Mutant Asset Bubble!

    Hey Shahn where are you? The What was to see you right now boy! Remember all that smack you was popping?! Well you got PWNED! I will hang your head on my wall..

    The What (More Asshats to PWNED, Dave you’re next!)

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • The trailer looks good filmmer, let us know when it’ll be screening.

  • daveinbedstuy

    You’re not up to it anymore What. I’ve PWNED you so many times over the last few weeks that you’ve got brown PWN coming out all your orifices!!!!

    You’ve lost it.

    Someday the loons will be extinct.

  • “If it weren’t for mental illness, there’s a lot of art that wouldn’t be around”

    - slopefarm

    So The What is an artist now?

  • Shahn,

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work out.

    What happened?

  • Hey Miss Chiff you smell like a yeast infection is coming on. Call MM maybe she can help you…

    Shahn where are you??? Your old pal The What wants to chat with you..

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • MMHTPH, I’m sure you are a better man than I am, as I am not a man, but I get your point, and take issue, anyway. I can’t speak for Shahn, I’ve never even met the man, but in answer to both you and fsrq, I don’t remember him saying anything of the kind. He positively asserted that it was possible to develop the site for a reasonable amount of money. He was immediately jumped on for even trying, and if he came off as arrogant, perhaps it was just because he was judged insufficient before even allowing him the chance to try.

    We don’t know why they weren’t able to succeed. More than likely, the legal fees, endless harassment by DOB, and perhaps unforeseen problems with the buildings and their structural integrity took their toll. Maybe it was bigger than he thought, maybe he had family or other business concerns that were more important. Maybe he lost his funding, maybe other backers pulled out, maybe, maybe, maybe. If he feels like it, maybe Shahn will elaborate.

    You guys may not have liked the guy, perhaps because he was getting all of this press, perhaps because he challenged you on the Navy Yard, I don’t know, and don’t care. I still admire him for trying, and I still will mourn the probable loss of a free spririt, and a cocky local entrepeneur’s dream.

  • P – you over drastically over state it –

    1st of all this isnt about “Creative Expression” – what Shahn was trying to do was PROFITABLE creative expression and frankly that was never viable in most cases – throughout history – for a profit – creativity must be constrained by cost reality.

    As it applies to the building itself as an expression of creativity – sure it was great – but it was UNSAFE and that is no ones fault but the owners.

    We can all bemoan the difficulty that DOB gave the owners (and ignored plenty of other situations) but for once think about it from the DOBs perspective – they had a homemade 25-30′ GLASS structure teetering 50′ in the air. Do you know how loud the outrage would have been toward DOB if that thing had fallen and killed someone (let alone a group of people or children). People would have gone to jail and the headline of the Post would have been something like “Death trap of glass ignored by city officials” along with a parade of DOB officials (and your buddy Arthur being hauled before Grand Juries and potentially to jail).

    Facts have certainly proven that the “art” wasnt so easily or cheapily made safe and therefore the DOBs choice to pick safety over art was proven to be the intelligent one.

    All this as a long way of saying this was not a referendum on creative expression but on building saftey.

  • East New York

    How is this different from any Frank Gehry design? Except, you know, for the safety part (“homemade 25-30′ GLASS structure teetering 50′ in the air”)?

  • Did they close down the methadone clinic, What? Take your meds. Then talk to your therapist about why you hate / are afraid of women.

  • loved this beautiful structure – my children called it the pirate ship in the sky and when arthur woods walked by our house, they would always whisper excitedly, “there’s the captain pirate, mommy!” thank god for that kind of whimsy and creativity in our world and I can only hope and pray that some philanthropist who didn’t invest with madoff will swoop in and rescue the project!

  • My whole point is that Shahn was a developer who was trying to unite creative expression and profit, something that isn’t done much unfortunately and something I would love to see more of. I think it could be, or could have been possible to have both. It’s sad that it didn’t work and I think it has to do with too much scrutiny by the DOB, yes, but also the current economic realities and probably difficulties with financing.

    (ps – the DOB permits giant cranes teetering in the air that actually HAVE killed people. The Broken Angel never physically harmed anyone, but it did inspire many.)

  • Broken angel stood for over 30 years (I first saw it in the 80′s and it had been around long before that. So they must have done something right.

    All the people taking potshots at Shahn are saying more about themselves than him. It’s so easy to say I told you so, and even easier to sit back and not do a damn thing. Shahn really tried to do the right thing by Arthur- maybe it was quixotic, certainly it was courageous. and help save the artistic work of a lifetime. We don’t know all the circumstances, but the fact that he couldn’t ultimately salvage Broken Angel is no cause for celebration.

  • MM – you may not recall Shahn’s arrogant and critical (of DOB, all other developers, etc…) but search (Google – site:brownstoner.com) is your friend – its all there for the reading

  • “Did they close down the methadone clinic, What? Take your meds. Then talk to your therapist about why you hate / are afraid of women.”

    No Baby. You see Miss Chaf you come out of no where attacking me so, I returned fire.. BTW Have you seen Shahn? He’s one of the Asshats I just PWNED. About a year ago this clown was talking smack to your boy The What and now he’s no where to be found. I think he’s on the run. ROTFLMMFAO!

    “Then talk to your therapist about why you hate / are afraid of women.”

    Wow you are into Psychoanalysis huh? No sweetie love women but unfortunately you’re not one of them…

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

  • “MM – you may not recall Shahn’s arrogant and critical (of DOB, all other developers, etc…) but search (Google – site:brownstoner.com) is your friend – its all there for the reading”

    fsrg we don’t agree on much but you are so right. I remember this Asshat was so smug!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    Oh I forgot

    Shahn=Fail..

  • “All the people taking potshots at Shahn are saying more about themselves than him. It’s so easy to say I told you so, and even easier to sit back and not do a damn thing. Shahn really tried to do the right thing by Arthur- maybe it was quixotic, certainly it was courageous. and help save the artistic work of a lifetime. We don’t know all the circumstances, but the fact that he couldn’t ultimately salvage Broken Angel is no cause for celebration.”

    All Shahn had to do is BUY the Broken Angel and do the work himself but, he dragged Arthur into that mess! Arthur could’ve brought another house and be done with it..

    Shahn is a Asshat and I hope he gets financially punished!

    Shahn where are you!

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • P – yes we all know about the cranes but ultimatley that failure is irrelevant to the determination whether this structure was dangerous to the community (and the fact that it was well over 30yrs old actually makes the point even better – things do not get stronger with age)
    and let me say to your comment:

    “Shahn was a developer who was trying to unite creative expression and profit, something that isn’t done much unfortunately and something I would love to see more of”

    respectfully F you! – how many developers do you know, how many architects and engineers do you speak with? Because just like Shahn, most of these people that I know are trying to do the same thing. Just because you are ignorant of the true costs of such projects (like Shahn), or are so arrogant to believe that only expression that you approve are “creative” is your failing.

    Believe it or not most dev/arch/engin/investors arent the greedy, slimy evil people you need to think in order for your view of the world to hold. Just like in any field some are greedy, some are incompetent but most would like to do the right thing and make a profit as well. So until you can actually speak from knowledge instead of some cartoon characterization that makes you feel good – please STFU

  • “All the people taking potshots at Shahn are saying more about themselves than him. It’s so easy to say I told you so, and even easier to sit back and not do a damn thing. Shahn really tried to do the right thing by Arthur- maybe it was quixotic, certainly it was courageous. and help save the artistic work of a lifetime. We don’t know all the circumstances, but the fact that he couldn’t ultimately salvage Broken Angel is no cause for celebration.”

    All Shahn had to do is BUY the Broken Angel and do the work himself but, he dragged Arthur into that mess! Arthur could’ve brought another house and be done with it..

    Shahn is a Asshat and I hope he gets financially punished!

    Shahn where are you!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • It’s really kind of sad to me that even after Shahn’s been shown to not really know what he’s talking about, both bxgirl and P are still drinking his kool aid. If i jumped off a 110′ tall building attempting to fly would you “admire my courage” for attmepting to try something that noone else would bother trying? Or would you call me a fool who just didn’t know enough about what he was attempting to do?

    Is it possible for developers to accept slightly lower levels of return in order to achieve buildings that are more aesthetically interesting and socially relevent? Abosultely. But it’s extremely difficult – all the decks (city regulations, bank requirements, laws of gravity) are stacked against you. You are totally swimming upstream and I find it hard to fault people who don’t have the energy to take that much more difficult path.

    MM – sorry for the gender confusion. Don’t know why I always assumed you were a gay man. I hope I didn’t offend. Anyway, more to your point – I have met the guy. And he has always very much had the “I’ve figured out something that noone else has” smarminess. If you want to see some of it for yourself, go back to some old posts on this and admirals row – it’s in full effect. Most of your “maybe”s don’t change my mind as a competent developer would have done his (or her) research to properly evaluate the risk involved in the building’s condition and/or realistic expectations of DOB. I’ll give you the “maybe he pulled out for personal reasons” caveat. And if that’s the case, my sympathies go out to the guy. Like I said, I would have loved to have seen this happen – but anyone who undertakes this kind of project has to do it with the expectation that it’s very risky, will yield little or no profit, and even then it will be an exceptionally hard project to pull off. Shahn did none of those things.

  • What- I don’t know that Arthur wanted to sell. Broken Angel was his art, not just his property. If it were me, I would desperately be trying to hold on and salvage my work. So maybe Shahn’s hands were tied to some extent?

  • Was it Arthur who many say had this weird look?
    Was it Shahn who always had that suspicious smile?
    Was it Victor Plum that self-made video-game design billionaire ?
    Was it Eleanor Peacock, Coming from a wealthy family of politicians ?
    Was it Jack Mustard, Once the most sought after celebrity football player ?
    Was it Kasandra Scarlet, at the center of every social event?
    What was the weapon that murdered this house ?

  • MMHPH- at least I am not chewing the bitter herbs of envy. whether or not I personally like Shahn, I appreciated what he tried to do. It’s not my place to decide how much he does or does not know- there are plenty of truly spectacular failures in this world. Most by people who really did have a clue. and plenty of victories by people who had none. so your personal thing with Shahn is your problem, not mine. i still say the guy had a lot of heart to try and help. What did you do? Sit back and critique.

  • “All Shahn had to do is BUY the Broken Angel and do the work himself but, he dragged Arthur into that mess! Arthur could’ve brought another house and be done with it..”

    What, if you actually knew what you were talking about, that’s the whole point. Shahn was trying to help Arthur keep and rebuild his 30 plus year creation, and develop what wasn’t actually a part of that artwork into viable living spaces that would generate income for Arthur, and Shahn as well. Sounds win/win to me. Having money so he could buy a new space is almost irrelevant. He couldn’t buy another 30 years to create another life’s work. That’s like glibly telling someone who just lost a spouse of 30 plus years, to get over it and get married again.

    fsrq, you certainly are taking this personally. You may have been put off by Shahn’s attitude or some of his assertions, but sheesh! Did he rip you off? The man is entitled to make large pronouncements that I’m sure he had every expectation of filling. I’m very sorry some people, and I don’t even include you in this, feel the need to kick him while he’s lying on the floor.

  • fsrq – I am an architect and I work with developers. That is why I feel strongly about this. There is not enough creative adaptive re-use in New York on the whole.

  • “hat- I don’t know that Arthur wanted to sell. Broken Angel was his art, not just his property. If it were me, I would desperately be trying to hold on and salvage my work. So maybe Shahn’s hands were tied to some extent?”

    Check this out! That crap on top of the Broken Angel has been there over 32 years. Remember I grew up in this neighborhood and frankly the neighbor thought this was hideous. Arthur and the “art lovers” are and still is delusional. in 2003 Arthur was/is to ole to maintain that house and he wanted to see. Here comes along Shahn the wonder Asshat and “gases” up Arthur to be a “business partner” with him. That building at the time was worth around 950k and the was tons of people lining up to buy it (all cash close in 10 day deals) but that Asshat Shahn got the best of that old man and his son. Now it’s all FUBAR and Arthur my lose his house and you see why I got off, unbelievable!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • “What, if you actually knew what you were talking about, that’s the whole point. Shahn was trying to help Arthur keep and rebuild his 30 plus year creation, and develop what wasn’t actually a part of that artwork into viable living spaces that would generate income for Arthur, and Shahn as well. Sounds win/win to me. ”

    BBBZZZZZZZZ Fail Nope MM. The motive was greed and delusion. When does some Asshat out of nowhere helps a elderly back man??? MM you are not that stupid (or maybe..)

    This is why I get real heatted at the Asshats you have no idea about the neighborhood you are trying to conquer.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

  • “Arthur was/is to ole to maintain that house and he wanted to see. ”

    Arthur was/is to old to maintain that house and he wanted to sell.

    I have that coffee now

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • MM – I do not take this personally – my only stake is that it makes me feel better when the world works the way it is supposed to (i.e. there are no shortcuts, knowledge and experience matter and arrogance is bad) – lets not forget that you immediately posted how you could not understand how people could take “glee” in some one elses misfortune – my (and other peoples) responses were directly related to that provocative and ill informed statement.

    P – maybe there isnt enough adaptive reuse but it isnt because developers/investors are (generally) greedy, and evil. Or that Arch/Engineers are generally dumb or uninterested in “art” Its because the financial realities of developing in NYC generally make such projects unprofitable or not profitable enough to justify the risk. If you have such a project in mind, that based on realistic models, can be profitable enough to justify the risk (whatever the risk is on the particular project) then let us know.

  • MMHTRH, my gay friends are rolling on the floor over that one. No offense taken, of course. I guess I’m with bxgrl and P, chugging the koolaid, too, because I also admire people with the chutzpah and self confidence to declare they can do something that seems way too big or too difficult for most of us. I won’t cue in the swelling inspirational music while regaling you with tales of the Bill Gates’s and Richard Branson’s of the world who have done just that. If Shahn failed, it wasn’t for lack of trying, and like most of my fellow posters, we are glad he tried.

    As I said, I never met Shahn, so if he can be an arrogant sod, perhaps it’s a part of that mindset that refuses to go the safe way. No one has ever accused the great successes of this world of being sweethearts, most of them aren’t. It’s too bad we know where he lives, what property he has, and so much of his business is literally out in the street, where we can sit back and fault him. I think I’d raise a large flag with an upraised finger as my standard in front of my house. None of us knows his financial or personal standing or circumstances, how easy to judge.

  • What- we already know I’m delusional :-)

    I just always loved the place- it was so different. Art isn’t always about being beautiful- maybe on some level it was Arthur’s finger to the City as it were. It was certainly an act of defiance.(I thought you especially would appreciate that, What!)I really hope he doesn’t lose the house. That would be criminal.

  • bxgirl – There are certainly people in this world whom I am guilty of envying. Shahn Anderson is not one of them.

    I don’t have a “personal thing” with him. I have a general thing with people who don’t know what they’re talking about telling me that I’m a greedy slimeball because i tell the truth about what is realistically possible to accomplish in real estate development given the incredible constraints of regulation, finance, physics, and the marketplace.

    I didn’t just “sit back and critique”. I avoided getting everyone’s hopes up, wasting a ton of money and time, and leaving behind me the blightinh impacts of a partially completed project. Like doctors, developers should have to take an oath to “First, do no harm”. Shahn did harm here. I didn’t. I totally win.

  • And what exactly do you think you’ve won? The person really suffering is Arthur. But go celebrate- I wouldn’t have the heart.

  • ” It was certainly an act of defiance.(I thought you especially would appreciate that, What!)”

    It was a hunk of junk on top to a building, nothing more, nothing less.

    “I really hope he doesn’t lose the house. That would be criminal.”

    It would be justice because Arthur and Shahn was two delusional Asshats and should be punished like everyone else who make a bad financial decision.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • fsrq -

    I never said I thought developers or investors were greedy or evil, or that architects and engineers are dumb or not interested in art. I said that the sad current economic reality and the way people view what are viable options for development in this city generally are disappointing. And this news regarding Broken Angel is especially sad and does not bode well for the future of building in New York, and especially Brooklyn, since this was one of those few stand-out projects that dared to try something different. We need more people who attempt to lead by example.

  • daveinbedstuy

    P…You don’t “dare to try something different” and “attempt to lead by example” with the construction of a dangerous structure that’s in violation of every building code imaginable. The majority of the building code is there for people’s safety.

    Go back and look at the original photos…

    http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2007/04/broken_angel_re.php

  • And like FSRQ and I have been saying all along (if I can speak for you on this one FSRQ) – we join together in admiring the gumption that Shahn displayed in taking on a project that most would’ve thought was destined to fail. If Shahn had gone into this with the attitude of ” You know what, this is going to be really difficult and goes against all existing understainding of how real estate works, but it’s ab beautiful unique building and I really think someone should at least take a shot at making this work” then I would have no issue with him. But that was not his attitude. Seriously – go back and read his arrogant condescending comments on this and other posts. Maybe you’ll understand why fsrq and I feel so vindicated.

  • Once again, why did the project fail?

    Financing should have been locked in two years ago — well before the crash.

    Selling a vacant shell in this market is gonna be tough.

    If somebody offers two million, I’d take it.

    A year ago, they might have gotten four million.

    It would be a perfect spot for a funky modern art museum . . .

  • wow, What. Here I almost thought you had a heart when you said: “but that Asshat Shahn got the best of that old man and his son. Now it’s all FUBAR and Arthur my lose his house and you see why I got off, unbelievable!”

    well, I did say I was delusional. If we were all always deserving severe punishment for every financial mistake we ever made, we’d all be in jails, and no one on the outside.

    Arthur went with his art- I always appreciate people who live their art. It’s isn’t always convenient, it isn’t always safe. Sometimes it isn’t pretty- but we need more people like Arthur. They inspire, they anger, they make us think or rant, they add interest, they make art. There’s a long list of truly great artists who lived destitute- the result of bad financial decisions, probably. But they left behind great art. I’m not saying Broken Angel was the Sistine Chapel by any means, but it had character, and if you can appreciate it, magic.

  • bxgirl- I win the contest of who hurt arthur less. Agreed, this is bad news for him, but really his fate was sealed quite a while ago on this. As I’ve said in previous posts – it’s easy to make art with no retrictions. The true artists are people who can work within the confines of completely reasonable public safety regulations and still come up with a unique and artistic outcome. Like DIBS – given the choice between and unique building that could one day topple and fall on innocent bystanders and boring fedders building that is structurally sound, I’ll take the fedder building every time. Hopefully though, we all have a third option – buildings that adhere to public safety regulations but still have artistic merit.

  • daveinbedstuy

    MMHTPH….couldn’t agree with you more on that last point. Why is it so difficult to achieve that???

  • Shahn,

    If you’re reading this, I would set a reasonable price and sell ASAP.

    Not publicly listing a price is also a bad idea because lots of folks, myself included, just assume it’s too high and won’t even bother to call you to find it out.

  • Or sell the place at auction, like art is sold at Sothebys.

    An auction might be your best bet in this market.

  • Oh I basically agree with that- I wish there had been another option. taking a unique and wonderful building and retrofitting it to be code. I don’t know all the details but I was under the impression Arthur was not given that chance. It just seems odd to me that broken angel, despite its looks, never fell down, and other buildings and construction have. Surely he must have been doing something right- so does anyone know what happens now?

  • No Dave, you’re right. But Shahn didn’t build the building in the first place. Shahn was leading by example in attmepting to renovate and bring to code a building that had inspired many, and which most people had written off. Had it been successful, it would have continued to inspire, and hopefully would have been a source of inspiration for future creative developments. Which is why I am lamenting that it failed! I can point to any number of recent developments in Brooklyn that worked purely by the numbers, but are essentially uninspiring projects. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of new developments that really do inspire in some way, or engage the city, or give something back, or instill a sense of wonder. This is a missed opportunity.

  • I’ve met shahn and all your descriptions of him are ridiculous – he is always around walking in the neighborhood with his kid and is INCREDIBLY friendly. people who call him smug are the types of people who are afraid of a cogent argument that is at odds with their own view of something. can’t you all grow up? can’t you enjoy a dialogue with someone who may be as smart or smarter than you are? you remind me of the people who voted for george bush because they thought they could have a beer with him. Also, the What, I guarantee you that you probably have the worst taste around – I can just picture the proudly purchased black leather couch from jennifer convertibles or worse…ugh.

  • What, what in the hell does race have to do with this? It’s totally irrelevent to the discussion. Your obsession with race has more than once made any good point you’ve had, get lost.

    Further more, since when does someone’s financial misfortune, especially in this case, deserve some kind of cosmic punishment? We’re not talking about a Bernie Madoff, who ripped off thousands of people, and deserves an ocean liner of bad karma. We’re not even talking about a Bruce Ratner here. This is about an elderly artist and his family and a developer and presumably, his family as well, who invested talent, time and money to try to preserve something that meant a lot to them, and to other people as well. They are the main recipients of loss here. Our loss, as a community, is nothing compared to that, but we still care. Who cares if he could have sold the building 20 years ago, or last year? Why should he, if he had a chance to keep alive something he created with his own two hands for the last 30 odd years?

    I don’t think most of the critics here understand what it would be like to have that taken away. Its beauty or ugliness is irrelevent, as well. It was his artistic vision, and the fact that we all have an opinion of it’s aesthetic value is a testiment to its artistry – it is provocative, and invites comment. That’s a tried and true function of art.

    PHeights and fsrq, I hear you, regarding feasibility, funding, etc. You are the people who we need to start and finish projects, and I applaud your expertise and competence. However, we need the Arthur’s and the Shahn’s, and people who buck conventional wisdom and the odds. They fail sometimes, but sometimes they rise and conquer. And when they do, we are all better off for it. Let’s not quell that spirit. There is so little of it left, especially now.

  • I’m not particularly concerned about the people that always wanted the project to fail calling it a failure. If we do end up selling the building, I intend to build Broken Angel somewhere else. To me, Broken Angel is a concept that Arthur dreamed up, and while he chose to build that concept on this building, I don’t think that only this building can embody it.

    Basically, our bank called our loan before its due date, and I have to do what I can to protect Arthur. I’ve been working on obtaining new financing for a while, but as you may have heard, there is a bit of instability in the financial markets right now, and banks aren’t lending to projects like this. It is possible we’ll be able to find another partner, and it’s possible we’ll be able to find new financing and complete the project. With all of the interest we’ve gotten from potential buyers, it looks likely that the building will be sold.

    I’ve gone to great lengths to keep this project moving along, and while we face some daunting odds, I’m willing to do what I have to do to make it succeed. To that end, I’ve offered to cross collateralize my house with the building to secure financing or to sell the house outright. No bullshit. It’s listed online here:

    http://www.56cambridge.com

    At the end of the day, this project isn’t about me or what I’ve been trying to do, but about Arthur and his vision. Working with him has changed the way I look at art and design.

  • miss priss – unfortunately – I’ve met several people who, at times, can come off as incredibly friendly and nice (especially in front of their kids) and at other times can come off as condescneding jerks. I do not for a minute doubt that you’ve had pleasant interactions with the guy. Please don’t doubt me when I say that my experiences have not been the same. And, like I said before, I have written proof of my experiences, just go read Shahn old comments. No need for ad hominem attacks. No need to call me a bush-voter (the worst insult one can sling in Brooklyn). I think that if you take a look at my historical comments, you’ll see that I’m more than capable of having a polite disagreement with other intelligent people who don’t share my views. You don’t even have to go back that far – look at the interactions between and my new best buddy MM on this very thread.

  • MM-”However, we need t….people who buck conventional wisdom and the odds. They fail sometimes, but sometimes they rise and conquer. And when they do, we are all better off for it. Let’s not quell that spirit. There is so little of it left, especially now.”

    I agree – however would it be ok to add? – just while bucking conventional wisdom, please refrain from telling everyone else how smart and visionary you are and how dumb and short-sided everyone else is.

  • Naw is this Shahn Andersen??? Hiya doing retard! I told ya Brokenassanngel was a big FAIL!

    If we do end up selling the building, I intend to build Broken Angel somewhere else.

    WHHAATT??? Hey Shahn you don’t own anything!! WTF ROTFLMMFAOPOMS!!!

    “Basically, our bank called our loan before its due date, and I have to do what I can to protect Arthur. I’ve been working on obtaining new financing for a while, but as you may have heard, there is a bit of instability in the financial markets right now, and banks aren’t lending to projects like this. ”

    OOOHHHHH LMMFAOPONMFL!! Oh man Shahn you did not head the Advice of The What and now you want someone to feel sorry for you. OH man this is too rich. Hey Shahn GTFOOH!

    I think that if you take a look at my hysterical comments, you’ll see that I’m more than capable of having a polite disagreement with other intelligent people who smarter than me. You don’t even have to go back that far – look at the interactions between and my new best retard MM on this very thread.

    “What, what in the hell does race have to do with this? It’s totally irrelevent to the discussion. Your obsession with race has more than once made any good point you’ve had, get lost.”

    Hey MM lookie at you “new friend” Shahn! He’s ready to cut bait and throw Arthur under the bus. Read the payoff quote “Basically, our bank called our loan before its due date, ”

    That means in retard that they are in DEFAULT of that loan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The What (Shahn=Fail)

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • Shahn I am truly sorry for being so rough on you – you have clearly lost your mind, please seek treatment before you end up homeless – seriously.

  • “It is possible we’ll be able to find another partner, and it’s possible we’ll be able to find new financing and complete the project. With all of the interest we’ve gotten from potential Dumbasses, it looks likely that the building will be sold.”

    RRIIIGGGGGGHHHHHHTTTTTT!!!!! Hey pass that joint Shahn!

    “I’ve gone to great lengths to keep this project moving along, and while we face some daunting odds, I’m willing to do what I have to do to make it succeed. To that end, I’ve offered to cross collateralize my house with the building to secure financing or to sell the house outright. It’s listed online here:”

    Second thought pass the pipe. A little html to bail me out of this mess..

    “At the end of the day, this project isn’t about me or what I’ve been trying to do, but about Arthur and his vision. Working with him has changed the way I look at art and design.”

    AAAAAWWWWWW Anit that cute, real nice and sweet Shahn.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    Oh Shahn=Fail..

  • Shahn I am truly sorry for being so rough on you – you have clearly lost your mind, please seek treatment before you end up homeless – seriously.

    I’m not! I want to smash you in the head with this 4 iron. Hey Shahn where are you?? Come back… Shahn Come Back ROTMFFLMMFAO!!!! You just made my day!!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    Shahn come back,not!

  • http://www.56cambridge.com

    Where does it say you are going to help Arthur Shahn???????? All I see is a bunch of pictures.

    A complete OWNING of a Asshat and Dave is next.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

  • DIBS – that was basically the question that got me into real estate in the first place. Looking at all the crap out there and saying to myself – why can’t it be better? What I’ve basically learned is that it’s incredibly difficult to navigate the building code, fire code, zoning code, sound code, ADA, multiple dwelling law and the millions of other regulations that exist for our own safety and still come up with a unique product. GIven how tough it is to understand, let allone follow all those regulations, most architects just look for the plain rectangular box that they know will work because it’s worked tons of times in the past. There are only a handfull of architects out there who have the talent and energy to do something unique.

    Of course, even if you get one, you’ll have other issues:

    The other big one of course is that construction today is extremely expensive – which means that developers need to get the money (whether it’s debt or equity) from large financial institutions who are the only ones who really have that kind of money to invest. Large financial institutions tend to be extremely conservative entities who will not invest in something new and unusual that involves risk when they can just as easily invest in something they’ve done a million times before.

    The last factor I’ll bring up is the construction business. Building construction has basically become a business of mass-production. The off the shelf pella window is waaay cheaper than an interesting custom designed unique window that your architect may propose. Most projects I’ve worked on have had one or two details that we’ve been able to offord to custom design, but due to budget constraints you have to pick and choose those details carefully. You’d always like to do more, but never can because of cost.

    My new theory is to only take on smaller projects. That at least gets the conservative financial instutions off your back since there’s less of their money at stake. Also, sometimes public entities and non-profit cultural entities are less profit dirven and more concerned with making good public spaces – sometimes.

    Just my $0.02

  • Shahn,

    Please let us know what exactly is for sale and for how much?

    How much more needs to be completed?

    From the photos it looks like a lot.

    What are the numbers?

    If I invest, how much will I make?

  • Shahn,

    Are you trying to sell the Broken Angel Madoff style — a wink and a handshake, but no hard facts?

    Why not provide a set up sheet to the general public?

    The worst that can happen is that the What has another panic attack and perhaps foams at the mouth.

  • MMHPH- thanks for the clarifying post. I believe we can always do a better job designwise, but its helpful to have it put in perspective for us non industry folk.

  • Shahn – looks like a nice place (56 cambridge. Don’t be a fool and put yourself at risk of losing it.

  • I don’t mean to brag, but if I’d been you, Shahn, I would have filled that places with an ant farm of low wage workers and had it finished a year ago.

    What on earth held you up?

    Each apartment should have run you about $25,000 each, from scratch, and considering the size of the job, you should have been able to drive a hard bargain with your subs.

    Get the Bangladeshi’s scrambling around the exterior, flood the inside with Chinese, and presto, finished condos in one year!

    Come clean, dude. What the hell happened?

  • daveinbedstuy

    If I invest, how much will I make?

    Posted by: IronBalls at January 7, 2009 2:55 PM

    A question like this is certainly indicative of an ill-informed investor.

  • What investor wouldn’t ask for potential profit estimates?

    You’re sounding more and more like Maydoff every day, Dave.

  • It’s easy to criticize but I respect that they were trying to do something special. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that it fell apart under current market conditions.

    If he had done a quick shoddy job, everyone would have complained about that. Considering how many bad developers there are/were, it seems like the good ones should get a bit of a break.

  • Cheap labor does not necessarily mean shoddy job. Good job management is far more important.

    I have no idea what happended, but lack of funds or poor manangement, or both, must have been the primary issues.

    Shahn has ignored all my requests for information, so what else are we to think?

  • Today was real nice and BTW Shahn will not answer any more question. Why? Because Arthur’s Lawyer is going to a field day with him on “Breach of Contract”. Arthur’s Lawyer pounding Shahn in court.

    “Come clean, dude. What the hell happened?”

    Ironballs — Shahn sold Arthur a GOD damn dream! That’s all…

    Now I want to PWN Dave! Folks believe me this Asshat is next! In 2009 the dead bodies are rising to the surface and I know Dave is in the Bull crap as everyone else…

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    Oh yeah Shahn=fail…

  • Sahn,

    You arrogant POS. I guess not going to the right people to do the job caught up with your sorry band of idiots trying to put this failure together.

    And going to the DOB yourself….jerkoff move.

    Now you should go out and get a job sweeping the streets so you will earn some humility since it looks like ….maybe….more people hate your scruny little guts then you thought and seeing you fall gets them off……welcome to the club…assh-le.

  • donatella

    Wow, what a nasty thread. This is what I think. I think that all of us who bought crazy crappy old houses have a lot in common with Shaun – guts, high tolerance for pain, love for a place, a sense of adventure, bravado, and heart. Only Shaun has a lot more of it. A lot more. I sincerely hope that Shaun is able to salvage the project – it is ambitious and a real tightrope walk in this current environment. Good luck to him and Arthur. Really good luck.

  • with you on that, donatella.

  • Naw Shahn is a little smug jerkoff and did you notice no one stop from putting him on blast. The Asshats are going to eat alot of crow in 2009. So Ferk him and that project..

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

  • Return of the What…..He is worse than those things people said about him because he said and did worse to people around him over the past three years.

    Seeing him scurry around the Department of Buildings like a little lost lamb was far more consilation than the asswwipes on this thread could ever say.

    Let him put up his rag tag house so he can loose that as well with his HIGH FINANCE techniques.

    The prince is dead!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Donatella,

    That still doesn’t explain why it looks as if barely any work was completed since the project began over two years ago.

    The secret to making money on a project like this one is getting in and getting out quickly.

    Something must have brought the project to a halt long ago and I for one am very curious what happened.

  • “He is worse than those things people said about him because he said and did worse to people around him over the past three years.”

    Shahn was/is a real jerkoff!

    “eeing him scurry around the Department of Buildings like a little lost lamb was far more consilation than the asswwipes on this thread could ever say.”

    The funny thing is he could’ve paid a expediter to push the paper work. Trying to go thru the process with DOB is a nightmare. I guess he was smoking too much of his own product.

    “Let him put up his rag tag house so he can loose that as well with his HIGH FINANCE techniques.”

    Funny thing about that Cambridge piece, That thing has been empty for a long time and I know he was having problems with LPC.. That thing was eating up about 7000k a month and my be in **gasp** foreclosure.

    Yep Shahn go ferk off and DIBS is next! Oh 2009 is going to be so much fun!!!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • What,

    You’re completely nuts, but you’re quiet entertaining.

    You should work out a licensing deal with Brownstoner and start a talk radio show linked to this website.

    I could see you going national.

  • I can see how someone who may, and I emphasize MAY, have had bad dealings with him for one thing or another, would gloat over his failure. I think it’s pretty low to do it in public, but civility seems to have died. It’s a whole other thing to chortle over, and celebrate possible financial ruin, personal disaster, and loss, when you have had no dealings with the man whatsoever, and are armchair quarterbacking his business, his life, and his choices. I just don’t get it, other than to conclude that jealousy really is the green eyed monster.

    I don’t blame Shahn for only coming here once to state his case, and then sitting back. Why should he have to explain anything to anyone other than those immediately involved? I have no reason to think that his motives are anything other than what he said, and I know, had it been me, the last thing I’d want to do is to over explain to a bunch of people who are more than happy to see me fail, why things didn’t go as planned.

    I’m with Donatella, bxgrl, and others who understand what it’s like to put heart, soul, and mind, as well as cold, hard cash into a dream. I wish Shahn good luck, and I hope everything turns out well.

  • MM,

    It doesn’t look he put any of those things you talk about into the building.

    It looks like an empty shell three years after the project supposedly started.

    You’re right though that Shahn doesn’t “owe us anything.”

    I personally am just curious what the hell happened.

    I don’t have an personal feelings about it either way since I have nothing to do with it.

  • The Broken Angel building could have been saved but Shahn had other priorities and they had nothing to do with art or Arthur Woods vision. There was a huge loan taken out. Arthur was treated like a little pet and really had nothing to do with the administrative part of the proceedings. The collateral for the loan was Arthurs home and land, not Shahns. The only one who really loses are the artists. Meantime they will have no place to live and they have lost their home of 27 years. Shahn is supposed to be an expediter so how could the Buildings dept stop work on the project or was there a game of bad cop good cop? Who is selling the building??? Shahn. He’s like a tick.