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Brooklyn’s Broken Angel

The Broken Angel House, 4/6 Downing Street, Brooklyn

The Broken Angel House, 4/6 Downing Street, Brooklyn

Our chat with Miles Marshall Lewis got us in a New York state of mind. So let’s visit one of our favorite NYC landmarks, the Broken Angel in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The site was built over 30 years by self-tought architect Arthur Wood, but it came to fame as the site of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, a 2006 documentary film directed by Michel Gondry.

The film follows Chappelle through the summer of 2004 as he prepares for a block party featuring some of the biggest names in neo-soul and alternative hip-hop — a veritable who’s who that included Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lauryn Hill and the Fugees, Kanye West, Mos Def, Common, Kool G Rap, The Roots and Dead Prez. The all-star celebration was dedicated to J Dilla, who died shortly before the film was released.
Last time we checked, you can still visit (most of) the Broken Angel. You’ll find what’s left of it at the corner of Quincy and Downing streets in Brooklyn, but you won’t find that much there — city officials made Wood tear down the building’s homemade, found-object spire, and a condo conversion was stopped mid-way. After a long battle between would-be developers and the city government, Woods put the home on the market, and it still sands unused. As of January, it was on the market for $4 million. To get there take the G train to Classon Avenue.
image: Douglas LeMoine/Flickr

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