NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn residents rallied Monday to keep a historic event space from a bulldozer.
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported, the Grand Prospect Hall was built more than 120 year ago and now a group is fighting for its future.READ MORE: Jury Begins Deliberations In R. Kelly Trial After 6 Weeks Of Testimony
If the walls of the Grand Prospect Hall could talk…
“You dreamed about it. It’s been carefully planned, and here is the most important day of your life,” says the narrator in a commercial for the venue.
For generations, this family-owned banquet hall in Park Slope has been host to many of life’s milestones.
But residents are now fighting to save the iconic building that was sold to a developer after owner Michael Halkias died from COVID-19 complications last year.
“We need to have a space where we can learn, where we can educate, where we can have music, where we can have dancing,” said 16-year-old community activist Solya Spiegel.
Speigel started a petition that’s approaching 8,500 signatures to preserve the building’s facade or its function as a gathering place for the community.READ MORE: NYC Teacher, Principal Unions Warn Of School Staffing Shortages When Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect; De Blasio Says Substitutes Standing By
But the new owners have already gutted the inside and filed an application for a full demolition, which the New York City Department of Buildings has yet to approve.
“We need help now and we need to take action now and we need to do that as soon as possible,” Speigel said.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed support for the grassroots effort.
“I think it’s a great question whether the facade can be saved. I certainly would love to see that happen. I’m going to see what the city can do to make that happen,” de Blasio said.
Brooklyn politicians are trying to get the ballroom designated as a local historic landmark, which would shield the property from further demolition.
Otherwise, a place that promised to be where dreams come true might become a distant memory.MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Says He Will Visit Rikers Island Next Week Amid Growing Pressure
CBS2 reached out to the developers for comment, but did not hear back.