Neighbors Fight Hulk of Home in Homecrest

A group of neighbors won a lawsuit against a homeowner who built an outsize home over an existing bungalow in Homecrest because he filed the work as an alteration rather than a new building. Today the New York Daily News has a story on the home at 1882 E. 12th Street, which towers over its neighbors at 53 feet high. The architect on the job, Shlomo Wygoda, had “self-certification” rights with the Department of Buildings — the same rights that allowed architect Robert Scarano to build stuff like this. The judge has ordered the Board of Standards and Appeals to review the process, and it’s likely that the developer will be ordered to tear the structure down. In the meantime, the architect has lost his self-certification rights with the DOB. As the neighbor’s lawyer tells the NYDN, “if the plans had been properly reviewed by the Department of Buildings, would they have been approved? The answer is a resounding no.” The Board of Standards and Appeals will rule on the building by July 23.
Neighbors Win Battle Over Notorious Tower [NY Daily News]
Photo by Google Maps

12 Comment


  • is the owner a vampire? ONE tiny window??

  • I ride past that tower of ugly all the time, and it’s even more hideous in person! I always wondered how that was possible; good to know it wasn’t really. There’s another HUGE, HUGE house on East 18th not too far away that’s beautiful but so large it defies logic too.

  • I say “Good, tear it down” as well. Not just because it’s ugly as sin, but because that should be the price that is paid when you play around with the rules. I can think of other cases of owners filing for “alterations,” leaving a shell to build upwards and outwards from, and then removing the shell, in effect, having an entirely new building. That’s wrong, wrong, wrong, and shows a contempt for laws that everyone else is obliged to work under. It’s gonna cost you a bundle to tear down and do over? Shoulda thought of that in the first place. Kudos to the neighbors for suing, in this case.

  • Perhaps the city should tighten the rules about self-certification, or get rid of them altogether. Aside from having to tear down infractions, there should be a mandatory jail sentence with a felony conviction and a permanent loss of licensing; maybe that will be a better deterrent.

    • the DOB is already back-logged… if you take away all self-cert’s it will take FOREVER to get anything done. there are always going to be some people who try to pull shenanigans, but there are plenty of homeowners and honest practitioners who would suffer needlessly.

  • Yes, it looks hideous and I’m not defending it but if you look at the context of the whole street there are already much larger buildings, so the height is not as outrageous as it seems at first.

  • Anytime you see a self-certified ‘Shlomo’ that should be a red flag right there…

    • Self certification if for quick jobs like doing a kitchen or bathroom I am surprised they were able to self cert this because anything that goes through zoning can not get self certified. You will simply not pass a construction inspection to get signed off.

      andrewluke you’re an antisemitic bastard!

  • Shlomo Wygoda may be better known to some readers as S. Steve Wygoda, king of the sidewalk cafes.

  • Baba Yaga (Hut on Fowl’s Legs) from Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” comes to mind.

    What a monstrosity – with (but or course!) absolutely no regard whatsoever for their neighbors, whom they view with disdain & have no contact with anyway.

    In view of the sole small window, perhaps it was slated to be a counting house.

    And then they wonder why they’re so “loved”.