Artists Accuse Landlord of Stymieing Work, Sales


     BROOKLYN (CN) – Artists making heavy sculptures and large-scale paintings in a rent-controlled building can’t peddle their work because their landlord dismantled their freight elevator, they claim in court.
     Nade Haley, Wade Saunders and Steven Miller sued 315 Berry Street Corp, Menachem Halberstam and Tsiveh Rosenbaum on Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court.
     They live in lofts in the artists’ Mecca of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and want the landlord to restore their freight elevator that they say was disabled to cut costs in March 2015.
     Haley and Saunders are sculptors who do large-scale sculptures. Silver makes large paintings.
     The building fell under New York City’s “Loft Law” of 1982, and plaintiffs became protected occupants.
     Use of the freight elevator was a “critical, pre-existing service for each of the plaintiffs as each had either finished art works and/or materials for use in their work that could not be moved except by means of a freight elevator,” the 8-page complaint says.
     Haley’s and Saunders’ sculptures are too big and heavy for the building’s regular elevator; Silver’s paintings won’t fit, according to the complaint.
     But the landlords removed the machinery from the freight elevator’s shaftway and its roof because it was too expensive, and they wanted to convert the extra space to additional residences, the complaint says.
     The artists say their objections then fell on deaf ears, and want their freight elevator restored.
     They’re represented by Arlene F. Boop with Alterman & Boop LLP. She did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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