Friday, January 02, 2009

An Unpaved and Vacant Lot

Town of Castleton's Village Hall

Built in 1871, this building was the center of municipal operations for the town of Castleton that once existed as a unique entity along the north shore of Staten Island. Until a few years ago it was one of three remaining village halls that once operated in Staten Island and Queens. Now only the one in Stapleton and another in Queens remain.

In the recent past this once beautiful building, then crumbling, was demolished for safety's sake. The firm that had purchased it to convert into residential units in 1985 had walked away from the expense and responsibility entailed in owning a landmarked property.

All through the earliest days of my childhood this red and slate building had marked the the last leg of the bus trip to my grandmother's house on Henderson Avenue. We'd take the #5 bus from the corner of Victory and Cebra, ride over the hill and get off at Jersey and Richmond Terrace. There'd we'd transfer to the #102 and ride west along the Terrace and turn left on Lafayette and then onto Henderson and my grandma's.

The Village Hall was visible as soon as you turned onto Lafayette and my eyes were usually drawn to it. It was imposing, decayed and had the look of adventure in it. That I, nor my friends, never tried to enter it may seem odd based on the few other adventures I've mentioned but it was far from home by foot and not really in a neighborhood we'd end up in by accident.

Today nothing but an overgrown fenced in lot remains of building.

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Castleton Village Hall from Mike Dominowski's site


Anonymous said...

I was a little disappointed when I saw this was torn down, it was a beautiful building. I remember going for shots there when it was a medical facility. I remember the narrowness of it and how the stairway seemed to rise up through the structure.

Anonymous said...

but I do appreciate the nod to the old structure with the use of a mansard roof in the facade. nice.

The Wasp said...

It was always out of commission in my lifetime. I'd ride the old 102 bus to my grandmother's and pass it and marvel at it and its sheet-metaled over windows. When it was torn down when I was in my late twenties I was more than a little disappointed.