-- Inside the long abandoned tenement at Court Square (23-01 44th drive) | LTV Squad

Inside the long abandoned tenement at Court Square (23-01 44th drive)

Published on: February 23rd, 2016 | Last updated: January 5, 2017 Written by:

A few days ago, the ‘green boards of death’ went up around the long abandoned apartment building under the 7 train at Court Square.

This building has been abandoned for quite awhile. My memory is a little fuzzy on when exactly it was abandoned, though my guess would be at least 10 years now.

City records show a ‘new building’ constructed here in both 1900 and 1937. It is possible an earlier building on this land was destroyed in those early years, though I can’t say for sure.

For much of its life, this small building was home to 6 small apartments. One of the ground floor apartments was converted to a small business office – the layout of which may have been suited for a doctor’s office. At some point Citibank bought the property, and recently resold it (along with several conjoined lots) for a cool $143 Million dollars.

Just a few weeks ago, it was announced at the new owners plan to build a huge 78 floor apartment building here.

Rendering of proposed new building


This building was on my radar for quite awhile, though it never struck me as being worth the effort to find a way into.

That, of course, changed in the aftermath of the record breaking January 22-24 (2016) snowstorm that dropped 26.8 inches of snow. Sometime during the storm, someone or something smashed open the front door.

Smashed front door.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I went back and took a look inside.

What I found was so underwhelming I didn’t even bother putting my camera on a tripod.

The apartments were small. Melting snow water was flowing down the walls and dripping from the ceilings. The floors didn’t look all that stable, and the air was thick with the smell of peeling lead paint and waterlogged wooden floorboards and supports.




The ground floor apartment on the west side of the building was clearly converted to an office space.

The one thing that really struck me was the small size of everything: the steps were small. The rooms were small, and the hallways were even smaller. It was as if the whole building was designed for leprechauns.





I must have spent 5-10 minutes in here, tops. It just plain wasn’t as interesting as everything else going on around the city that weekend – which due to the snowstorm was practically shut down.

I could have popped off a few better long exposure photos, but it just didn’t feel worth the effort. So far as I could tell, nothing all that interesting happened in this building. I was content just to have my curiosity fulfilled.

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  • About The Author

    Joseph Anastasio

    Design & History nerd, open space & infrastructure advocate. 
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