Friday, June 13, 2014

Kentile Reprieve

Anyone reading this has probably already heard the good news on a deal brokered to help ensure some kind of a future for the big Kentile sign.  Late yesterday (6/12/2014), the New York Times reported that the sign will be dismantled, not scrapped, and its components stored until a new home can be found where it can be re-erected.  This comes thanks to a deal brokered in large part by local city Council Member Brad Lander, who has been outspoken in his support of preserving the sign; a grassroots movement to save the sign led by Steven Savage and others that engendered an overwhelming media response; and the good graces of Elyahu Cohen, the building owner, who has agreed to donate the sign rather than collect the proceeds of its scrap value.


But the game ain't over yet:  storing the sign, finding a new perch that suits it and then putting it back together again won't come cheap.  And let's not forget the sad story of old Laing Stores, New York's first cast iron building, similarly dismantled for a rebirth that never came.  Or the long saga of Portland, Oregon's White Stag sign, successfully preserved (and re-lit) only after a hard-fought battle.  It may be a little too soon to take it for granted that we'll ever seen this sign again, but for now, those of us for whom Kentile has been a favorite New York landmark can breathe a momentary sigh of relief, and the impending spectacle of its downfall will be a little less painful knowing that there's a decent shot at a Kentile resurrection.

SPECIAL THANKS to Jarrett Brilliant for continued updates on the Kentile saga.

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