Arthur Wood Writes a Letter to Broken Angel’s New Developer

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Last night we received a copy of this letter from Broken Angel creator Arthur Wood to developer Alex Barrett. The rather ominous letter says the foreclosure at 4-6 Downing Street isn’t final. “I am sure Madison did not tell you that,” the letter continues. “I advise you to get your money back from Madison good luck with that!” Wood concludes: “Be further advised that if you ignore this and go ahead with your renovation, you are taking the risk of the lose [sic] of this property and whatever money you put into it.”

The return address on the letter also revealed that Wood is now residing in Beacon, N.Y. (or at least is receiving mail there). We reached out to Barrett for comment but have not yet heard anything.

Update: Barrett told us he has not received the letter. Otherwise, he had no comment.

14 Comment

  • Sad really. I hope Mr. Wood can get some help.

    As for this ‘article’ – its a building (a neglected and rundown one at that) It doesn’t have a “creator”

    • brklynmind: I’m hoping when you say you hope Mr. Wood can get some help, you mean legal help. Whether or not you view the building as a neglected, run-down building or something that is an artistic creation should have no bearing on what has been happening with the legalities of the foreclosure process on the building. I would never question Mr. Wood’s view on this matter. He has done extensive legal research on his own and from what I have heard has even been successful in the past when defending his own case in front of a judge. From what I understand he was way ahead of the curve in understanding what banks were doing when they were robo-signing documents. If I were the developer I would certainly take Mr. Wood’s claim seriously.
      If I am wrong in my understanding, I hope someone will point me in the right direction.

      • No I mean mental help. I acknowledge their is often a thin line between genius and madness but I think it is clear now he has past it.
        Its a building (not an artistic creation), nor is the DOB or anyone else out to get him. If he truly has a title claim, the closing at sale wont go forward because the purchaser wont get title insurance (or financing). But sending incoherent letters to people is pathetic; and given his years of futile efforts including fundraising, lawsuits, etc….its clear its time for Mr. Wood to let it go…since he can’t, I suggest he get some assistance.

  • For those of us who have not followed this closely, would someone clarify what the specifics are of the ongoing legal matter is that he is talking about here?

    • Wood took out a huge mortgage to renovate for his own conversion of the house. He was totally incompetent at converting the building in a place someone other than himself would want to live and squandered all of the money, then stopped making payments on the mortgage. Then he was foreclosed on and continues to represent himself pro se and drag out the litigation with various frivolous legal arguments.

      There’s really no sympathy to be had. He wasn’t the victim of predatory loaning. He’s just trying to game the system.

  • An open note to Brownstoner: If you are looking for a serious issue to write about, I would love to see you interview Mr. Wood to get the history of what he’s gone through with his building and dealings with the Buildings Department and the banks. Mr. Wood is a talented artist who helped shape this neighborhood, and even if he’s not presently living here, I still consider him a part of this community. I would applaud anyone who were to take on his story and write a serious piece on it. Foreclosure is a huge problem, but it seems like there are very few stories these days which deal with it from the perspective of what banks did in terms of messing with paperwork. We hear about the next bubble coming, families being displaced, foreign investors, etc. Let’s take a step back and really look at what happened to all of those documents that were robo-signed, back-dated, etc. Did I miss the follow-up stories about what happened to families who were harmed this way, or have they yet to be written? Mr. Wood’s story might be a huge lesson to us all.

    • Banks are not interested in pursuing a foreclosure unless mortgage payments are in arrears, so there have to be two sides to this great inequality. If the mortgage was issued to someone who really couldn’t afford it then yes, both parties bear some of the responsibility but that is a separate issue and certainly less clear cut.

  • When the Brownstoner reported last week that the Broken Angel had been purchased for $4.1 million a couple of questions came to mind. First, who did Alex Barrett buy the building from? Are we to assume it’s foreclosed upon and bank owned? Second, isn’t four million about the amount Shahn Anderson (and Arthur) borrowed to develop this property? The big unanswered question: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MONEY? And Where is Shahn Anderson?

  • It was purchased from the bank through the referee appointed by the court as such the the money would have been paid to the foreclosing lender. Unless something highly unusual occurred the foreclosure is over and the property belongs to the purchasing entity. Whatever issues the borrower claims still exist should have been raised in the foreclosure action and are likely cut-off (if they in fact exist) by the completion of the foreclosure sale.

  • From ACRIS docs, it looks like the bank took possession through a public foreclosure auction in May 2012. They then sold it in January 2013 to an LLC called “4-8 Downing Purchaser” which appears to be David Schwartz of DJS Real Estate Development who then sold it to the new developer. I’m no title company but it all looks pretty legit to me.

  • I think Arthur needs to adjust his foil hat and and tune into a different frequency.

  • The thing about getting help is that you have to be able to accept help. And you have to be able to determine who can be trusted to help you. Arthur seems like someone who trusts the wrong people. I’m sure people have tried to help him through the years. I hope he finds peace in Beacon.

  • I heard Arthur is staying at Shahn Andersen’s summer home in Beacon for the time being. Glad the two of them have remained friends.