The owner of a townhouse on West 73rd street that has drawn the ire of neighbors and elected officials for years has finally decided to put it up for sale. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, an official at the city’s Board of Elections, is selling the townhouse at 44 West 73rd street (between CPW and Columbus) for $5 million. The landmarked townhouse, designed by architect George Griebel and built in 1890-91, sat empty for decades and still has foreboding “No Trespassing” signs up on the doors. In fact, those signs are visible in a photo (below) used to advertise the sale.
Borough President Gale Brewer called out Haslett-Rudiano last year, asking her to fix or sell the building, and another one on 76th street, because they were eyesores and had become dangerous. Neighbors have complained about rat infestations at both buildings. Haslett-Rudiano had told the Daily News that she had been holding onto the buildings because she had a sentimental attachment to them; her late husband had purchased them in the 70’s with the intention of fixing them up.
“Not only are they in an unsightly state, a blemish to the otherwise beautiful landscaped historical setting of the neighborhood, but the failure to maintain the exterior building walls is dangerous for neighbors and pedestrians in the vicinity of the buildings,” Brewer said.
“It is obvious the building at 44 West 73rd Street is completely infested with rats and a building wide extermination procedure is needed immediately but we are unable to get the owner to respond to our request and the situation continues to get worse,” added Frances Apgar, President of the West 73 Street Block Association.
The facade itself was at risk of falling a couple of years ago, according to a complaint registered by the Buildings Department. “OLD VACANT TOWNHSE FRONT FACADE STARTED TO FALL-OWNERS INSTALLED SCAFFOLD & NETTING BUT DEBRIS IS STILL FALLING & SOME DEBRIS IS GOING THRU NETTING WHICH PUBLIC – PLZ INVESTIGATE.” The owner added safety measures including mesh and scaffolding.
So, have a look at the listing. With a little elbow grease, those 35-year-old stains will come right out!
Haslett-Rudiano’s other property at 118 West 76th Street does not appear to be on the market. There’s even a Facebook page for people who want to “save” it.