Sidelined by Fire, Ludlow Street Funeral Home Begins Road to Resurrection

Posted on: May 25th, 2016 at 9:38 am by
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Two months after a fire sidelined the Boe Fook Funeral Home on lower Ludlow Street, the rebuilding process has begun.

Late in the evening of March 14 a fire sparked on the ground floor of the establishment. It’s believed that the cause of the blaze was a ceremonial fireplace used for burning paper inscribed with prayers and other “offerings.” The fire reportedly made its way upward through the vents and walls.

The next day – on March 15 – the FDNY requested that Department of Buildings inspect the premises. According to the the public database, the structure was “rendered non-compliant due to damages sustained by fire.” It’s been closed ever since. Meanwhile, Boe Fook is temporarily offering services at its sister location on Mulberry Street. (There are a total of four Fook family funeral homes across the Five Boroughs.)

However, DOB issued a permit last week to remove and replace some non-load-bearing partitions at cellar and first floor. Interior work on the $67,600 job began shortly thereafter.

The Canal Street entrance was open yesterday to reveal part of the damage.

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The building at 5 Ludlow Street is a classic, as it was once home to the Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association.  Founded in 1892, this L-shaped structure was one of many “landsmanschaftn” set up in the late nineteenth century to care for the hordes of Jewish immigrants flowing through Ellis Island.  Such organizations often provided medical care, unemployment insurance, burial plots, and social activities for its members.  Each one catered to émigrés from a specific town in the homeland; this particular society helped those from Kletzk, Poland.

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