Days After $47.5M Building Sale, Historic Jewish Heritage Mural on East Broadway is Erased

Posted on: November 8th, 2016 at 5:11 am by
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No sooner did the Bialystoker Nursing Home and its adjacent buildings sell than the historic Jewish heritage mural get buffed into oblivion.

Last Thursday, Ascend Group, the development firm helmed by Rob Kaliner, bought the properties at 226, 228, and 232 East Broadway for a whopping $47.5 million. (The amount was more than double the trading price last year.) Four days later, the new owner whitewashed the faded, 43-year-old mural from the facade of 232 East Broadway.

Kaliner apparently plans to construct “towering apartment buildings” on either side of the former nursing home. He told the Post yesterday that the choice to paint over the mural was allegedly due to safety concerns, and that it came after “noticing pieces of the building and large chunks of paint falling off the side.” Moreover, the mural could not be preserved, as the building itself would soon be demolished anyway.

Regardless, the fly-by-daylight manner of erasure really pissed off the local community.

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Photo: NY Post

The Jewish Heritage Mural was painted in 1973 as part of the CITYarts program. It featured specific cultural themes — the Holocaust, Ellis Island immigration, the 1972 Summer Olympics Munich massacre, sweatshops, labor unions, and the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper.

The Bialystoker building itself is safe from redevelopment, since the property is a designated city landmark. The neighboring Dora Cohen Memorial Park office building (aka where Flight of the Concords had band meetings) isn’t so lucky, though. It’s slated for demolition, as Kaliner intimated.

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