“It’s an unbelievable loss,” said community member Sarah Ferholt. “It’s a tragedy this could be demolished for profit.”
The venue was built in the early 1900s overlooking the Statue of Liberty, a place for early immigrants.
Then in the ’80s it was bought by Michael Halkias who so famously promised to make dreams come true in a commercial that put the venue on the map.
The owner died last year from COVID and the building and surrounding property was sold to a developer for nearly $30 million. That developer now plans to tear it down.
“If you’re from Brooklyn, particularly from my part of Brooklyn, you have Grand Prospect Hall memories. And, of course, the legendary ad about making all your dreams come true, who could forget that?,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It’s real sad. But if there’s a way to save the facade and some of the history, we should certainly try.”
In a statement, the Department of Buildings says plans have only approved for construction inside, saying quote “no permits for the full demolition have been issued.”
“We can save this facade, interior, or part of it as something for the community,” said community activist Jim Glaser.
While the demolition work has started, more than 8,000 neighborhood residents have started a petition hoping to stop it before it’s too late.
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