The Demolition of What Was ‘The Lenox Lounge’ & a New Four-Story Building Begins to Rise

 

 

Image of Lenox Lounge taken in 2012

The historic Lenox Lounge, located at 288 Lenox Avenue, between 124/125th Streets, was actually founded in 1942 by Dominic Greco. The bar was purchased by Alvin Reid, Sr. in 1988, and with the help of low-interest government loans, it underwent a restoration between 1999 and 2000.

Rent, began for Reid at $3,000.00 per month and remained there until 1996, when it was increased to $9,925.00 per month.  But the historic bar never picked up the buzz and the traction that it had in the 1940’s, and with rent about to increase to $20,000 per month, it became impossible to sign a new lease.  The 2,500 square-foot, or 29-foot by 6-foot historic bar was stripped of its historic art deco interior, including banquettes, etched mirrors, and the Zebra Room, as well as exterior historic facade panels by Reid on the last day of December, 2012.  The historic Lenox Lounge carried piece by piece, out the front doors (which were also taken) filling two trucks ~ and signaling the end of the historic bar.  The Lenox Lounge was never Landmarked.

The gutted space that once was the Lenox Lounge sat empty until demolition in May, 2017.  Signage went up on the fence in front of the empty lot in August, 2017, with a rendering of a four-story building that will be going up.  Timeline of the demolition in images, below.

January 1, 2013
Original tile floor inside Lenox Lounge before the demolition
The gutted Lenox Lounge, 2013
Gutted space that once was the Lenox Lounge
rendering on fence 8-30-17

Rendering on the fence August 30, 2017 of what is to become of the now, empty lot, that once housed the historic Lenox Lounge.  Below, the demolition, which began on May 5, 2017.

May 3, 2017, First day of demolition

 

May 4, 2017

 

May 11, 2017

 

May 12, 2017
May 12, 2017

 

 

May 12, 2017

 

May 12, 2017

 

May 15, 2017

 

May 15, 2017

 

May 15, 2017

 

May 15, 2017

The lot was completely leveled by the end of 2017, but new construction began at the beginning of the new year. Steel beams rising…..

Construction on the old Lenox Lounge lot, Harlem. Photo taken February 12, 2018 ~ 288 Lenox Avenue
New building going up on the old Lenox Lounge lot. Photo taken February 12, 2018

Applications have been filed for the empty lot at 286 Lenox Avenue, to build a 4-story, 19,000 square-foot commercial building, between 124th and 125th Street, across the street from the new Whole Foods.  The new building is designed by Gambino + LaPorta Architecture and it appears that the French cosmetic company, Sephora will occupy the street level space.

Rendering of 288 Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Image via Gambino + LaPorta

Right around the corner, at 112 West 125th Street, new construction is being completed which will house Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works.