Follow-up: Fire at the Ridley Building on Grand Street

315-319 Grand Street.

Here’s an update on the fire this past weekend at the 125-year-old “pink building,” otherwise know as the former Ridley & Sons Department Store.  The fire broke out Friday night on the third floor of 321 Grand Street (also known as 315-317 Grand).  Windows on three floors were boarded up Sunday and today Jodamo International, the building’s largest retail tenant remains closed. A sign on the door reads, “closed for alterations until next week.”

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has been weighing whether to protect the Ridley building. A hearing was held in June of 2009.  In news articles, the building’s owners, who have been trying to sell the property, have made it clear they’re not enthusiastic about the application before the LPC.

321 Grand Street Boarded Up After Weekend Fire

Photo by Linda Jones.

Owners of 321 Grand Street, where a fire broke out Friday night, moved quickly Sunday to protect the 125 year old building from the elements.  Windows on three floors of the former Ridley & Sons Department Store are now boarded up and plastic covers holes in the roof.

The “pink building” (as a lot of people call it) has been on the market the past several years and the Landmarks Preservation Commission is deciding whether to protect the historic facade.  Over the weekend, the fire department told us the blaze started at around 3:15 a.m. (Friday into Saturday) on the third floor. The fire was brought under control in about an hour.

Given the owner’s stated desire to redevelop the property, preservationists intend to pay very close attention to what happens next at 321 Grand.  This photo above was sent to us by Linda Jones, a Community Board 3 member. Joyce Mendelsohn, the Lower East Side historian, said she recalled the application for landmarking was brought before the city on two separate occasions. Apparently this was due to a mistake in the paperwork during the initial hearing.

We’ll be checking with the Landmarks Commission today about the status of the application.


Fire at 321 Grand Street; Historic Building Damaged

315-321 Grand Street.

A short time ago, a New York Fire Department spokesman told us no investigation is planned at 321 Grand Street, where a fire broke out overnight. According to the FDNY, the blaze started on the third floor of the cast-iron building, the former home of Ridley & Sons Department Store.  The Landmarks Preservation Commission has been weighing whether to protect the “pink building,” which dates back to 1886.  Investigators said last night’s fire is not considered suspicious.

The fire was first called in at 3:12 a.m. and was extinguished at 4:11 a.m. Although residents were inside at the time, no one was injured, the FDNY spokesman told us.  A fairly good sized crowd gathered at the corner of Grand and Orchard streets to watch as firefighters went to work. Orchard Street clothing designer Robert James, and his wife Michelle, were some of the first people to notice the fire.