Friday, August 28, 2015

The Palm

VANISHED

Back in June, thanks to a tipster, I first reported the intel that the original Palm restaurant was gone for good.



Earlier this week, The Real Deal confirmed that the owners have sold the building for $5.9 million. But will it be preserved? Will the historic, priceless murals be cherished and maintained for the next generations? Don't hold your breath.

Yesterday, Eater posted photos of the restaurant's interior, its wonderful murals painted over, destroyed. One of the buyers, Steven Kachanian (of the apparently not ironically named Klosed Properties), told The Real Deal, “We’re working with some high-end tenants looking to do some major work to the property."

What the fuck is wrong with people? This was the original Palm restaurant, 90 years old, gorgeous, storied, beloved, its walls covered in caricatures hand-drawn by some of America's most celebrated cartoonists. This was a one-of-a-kind treasure, never to be reproduced. You can't buy this kind of uniqueness, it has to grow organically and mature over time--over a century of time. But we're living in a fucked up city where fucked up people do fucked up things like destroy art, culture, and history--all in one fell swoop if they can manage it--just to replace it with something banal and miserable from the monoculture of the day.

If people can't see the value in preserving something so obviously exquisite and exceptional like the Palm, there is no hope. Just put in a cupcake shop already and call it a day.


Previously:
The Palm is Vanishing



Update: Zagat published a statement from the owners. In part, it reads: "The beloved hand painted caricatures were housed on walls made of plaster, which made it impossible to remove the caricatures for preservation purposes. Photos and videos have been taken of the famous walls prior to the sale for our internal preservation purposes."

16 comments:

Martin B said...

Gentrification. Development. Quality of Life. Improvement. Family Values. Political Correctness. Urban Renewal.
FASCISM.

Theodore said...

As awful as this is, I'm almost more appalled at the owners of the Palm that sold it. Developers do what developers do, so this shouldn't come as a surprise.

But when the owners knowingly sell off their landmark to a group that they know is just going to destroy it, that pisses me off. It's not like the Palm's owners didn't know what they had and didn't know that there are people in NYC that cherish their space. They sold it off anyway. They could've made sure it went to a group that wanted to respect its history and heritage, etc., but they didn't. This fact makes this situation different from so many that happen in the City. The Palm had control over its destiny and still destroyed it. They weren't forced out by greedy landlords, they brought this upon themselves. F-them.

Sidney said...

Philistines and Mammon

Barbara L. Hanson said...

A place that most of your readers (me included) wouldn't be able to see anyway..

James said...

Realtors will consume anything without remorse. The bottom line is the only thing they can see clearly. Therefore, preserving these murals in photographs was the only way to keep them. The building could have burned, years ago, and one might contend that in a crass and largely artless era, these works lived a borrowed life. As such, the images themselves needed to take on a lore of their own. Hopefully, someone bothered to catalog them. If not - live and sadly learn. Think of the cities of Western Europe being bombed to dust. So much lost, but so much rebuilt. Our problem is we don't even believe in the rebuilding.
We don't believe in memory or imagination.

truth in fashion said...

Barbarians aren't at the gate...they are deep in the city and destroying everything in their path. Think of Isis in Palmyra and I am not comparing The Palm to the glorious Roman temple as an architectural model just as a piece of this once unique city.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

It's all over the city. Complete disregard for who and what has gone before, whether it's residents, small businesses, buildings with real beauty and history. We all know neighbors who are being harassed by new landlords or bribed with cheap payouts. We've all lost favorite cafes, bars, bookstores. And the remaining affordable neighborhoods? Sunset Park now has one of the quickest property turnovers in the city, and prices are soaring. A recent commercial real estate company described the Bronx as "ripe for the picking." Sad beyond words.

Greg said...

This is a crime. It's just unthinkable that this could be allowed to happen.The mayor makes a big to-do over painted boobs but does nothing to stop things like this from happening over and over. It's sickening.

Jonah Falcon said...

"We're looking at some high end clients" - translation: a bank.

Jonah Falcon said...

@James: We don't learn. See: Penn Station. An act of God prevented Grand Central from the same fate.

Andrew Porter said...

I've forwarded the link to a group of writers and artists I'm in, as well as Calvin Reid, who does the Comics Week report for PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

This is another horrible example of how NYC is being reduced to lowest common denominator pap and sawdust.

David George said...

This kind of stuff makes me ashamed to be a lifelong New Yorker.

Sometimes I think I'd rather move far away and never return than see it destroyed one building or shop or restaurant at a time.

It's criminal.

In Lisbon, where I have spent some time over the past dozen years, when a building needs to be renovated or replaced it is usually restored to look exactly as it looked.

That concept is completely alien to the greedy MFers making the decsions in New York.

Tony Arko said...

REALTORS just facilitate a transaction. Saying they consume everything is like saying Ebay consumes everything that is sold on their site. Investors on the other hand will do what they will with what they purchase because it is theirs. If I buy a Van Gogh at auction and then burn, it was my Van Gogh to burn. But what is great about burning a Van Gogh is that it makes all the others more valuable.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Ain't nothing sacred in a robotic formulaically perfunctory society.
Things can only exist "by the book". What things transcending can be acknowledged and appreciated in a social climate like that?

Marie Mollica said...

My uncle, John pellegrinelli was a cousin of. The owners. He was their famed bartender for probably 40 yrs. he would take us. There after the thanksgiving day parade for snacks. As an adult my whole family ate there many times. I remember my first lobster there. It did not
Fit on the dish. Also he told us how they cure d their steaks, hung them up and then scraped off the mold. I miss my uncle and all the famous people he would bring home for an Italian sundayfamily dinner.good bye Palm, sad to see. You go.
Marie terrone Mollica

David Courtney said...

My heart is breaking...