Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Ghostbusters Headquarters To Be Demolished

In New York Magazine, friend-of-the-blog and former Yale oarsman Chris Rovzar reported that the City of New York is planning to close a number of old firehouses around the city, including the old-fashioned single-bay firehouse at the corner of N. Moore and Varick Streets in Manhattan, most famously known for being the building where the Ghostbusters made their headquarters.

Ghostbusters is the first film I remember seeing in the theater. Though I don't remember much from the theater, I've watched it, conservatively, thirty times since then. When the Ghostbusters buy the building (taking out third mortgages in the process), Egon Spengler said of the firehouse: "Actually, I think this building should be condemned. There's serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, the wiring is sub-standard, it's completely inadequate for our power needs, and the neighborhood is a demilitarized zone." Twenty-seven years later, the Lower West Side isn't even the Lower West Side any more, it is TriBeCa, and, far from being a demilitarized zone, it is the most expensive zip code in New York City. That building was going to outlive its utility eventually, but it will be sad to see it go. Hopefully, whoever buys it will renovate it and keep the original exterior, which is an irreplaceable part of the neighborhood's history. If it gets torn down and replaced with a new high-rise building of luxury condos, then Gozer has won.

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