Broken Angel

Broken Angel Photo from

Arthur Wood, 75, and his wife Cynthia, 69, have lived in the Brooklyn building known as the Broken Angel for 27 years. When they bought it, it was a broken-down building, and they’ve spent the last 27 years converting it into a home and art installation. They’re our favorite kind of eccentrics who have created an environment mirroring their inner selves.

After buying and moving in to the building, formerly the headquarters of the Brooklyn Trolley, in 1979, Arthur Wood and his wife gradually transformed it into a quirky piece of sculpture in and of itself, with an elaborate structure on top, partly exposed sides and intricate masonry.

Broken Angel

The home has had its moments of fame. It was the backdrop for Dave Chappelle’s recent concert film, “Block Party,” and in 1991 a short documentary about Mr. Wood’s rooftop sculpture was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

Now, there’s been a fire and the building department went in and found a “50-foot vertical extension” and a “15-foot vertical extension” at the top of the building. A spokesman from the department said, “That means no permits, that means no plans; that is illegal.”

Now, the owners and their son have made appeals to architects and engineers to come and help and save their fabulous creation.

Broken Angel by Benjamin Kilgust
Photos from “Broken Angel photo set” by Benjamin Kilgust on flickr.

Wood’s son set of photos on Flickr, plus details of their plight.
An appeal from the owners of Broken Angel from The Brownstoner

Angel owner won’t quit
, from the NY Daily News

Brooklyn Art House rules hazardous, from the NY Times

Broken Angel Flickr sets

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