Couples Remember Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

The Grand Prospect Corridor in Park Slope, Brooklyn, has hosted many weddings due to the fact 1903, when it was rebuilt pursuing a hearth in 1900 that ruined the original framework erected in 1892. But for some of the partners who celebrated marriages at the Victorian-type banquet corridor, which grew its reputation with lengthy-operating Television set advertisements, their reminiscences are now bittersweet.

The hall shut in March 2020 mainly because of the pandemic. It was later marketed following its then co-owner Michael Halkias, who ran the venue with his spouse Alice Halkias, died that May well from troubles of Covid.

The building’s new operator, Angelo Rigas, a contractor, intends to demolish it. The city’s Structures Department issued demolition permits for the site on Nov. 3, general public documents show, months immediately after a official request for evaluation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission was denied in September.

Monthly bill Farrell, a representative for Rigas, stated there is at present no timeline in position for the demolition, but verified that the building will be demolished. The allow to knock down the structure expires in May 2022, but could be renewed to lengthen the expiration date, a consultant for the Structures Section reported.

Talking to 5 partners who were being married or held receptions at Grand Prospect Corridor, some lamented about the thought of in no way becoming able to see it once more or show it to their young children. But all explained the venue and its quite a few ornate facts will stay intact in their memories.

The pair weren’t certain in which to have their marriage ceremony reception in Brooklyn, planned for April 24, 1954. Mr. Drobnicki’s father, Ignatius, made available what proved to be an apt recommendation: “Why not Grand Prospect Hall? It’s superb,” Ms. Drobnicki, 92, recalled her father-in-law expressing. (Her husband died in 2010.)

Ignatius, a Polish immigrant, was common with the corridor: His two more mature sons, Bruno and Stanley, had their marriage ceremony receptions there in 1945, according to Ms. Drobnicki and her son, John.

And as the owner of Emerson Bakery, which stood at Emerson Area and DeKalb Avenue in Clinton Hill for extra than two decades, Ignatius frequently manufactured cakes for other neighborhood Polish partners who got married at Grand Prospect Hall, included Ms. Drobnicki, who lives in Queens.

When she and her partner-to-be made their 1st pay a visit to to the corridor, “it just felt like residence,” she explained.

The pair married in a Catholic ceremony at St. John the Baptist church in Bedford-Stuyvesant in advance of heading to Grand Prospect Corridor with 159 friends, according to Ms. Drobnicki.

Dessert, created by Ignatius, was amongst the evening’s highlights: “The cake, of study course, was mouth watering, simply because Pop built it,” Ms. Drobnicki stated.

Of the venue, she additional, “I did not believe it was ornate at all. I just assumed it was homey.”

Its very likely destruction, Ms. Drobnicki stated, is “just very unfortunate mainly because it was constantly this sort of a wonderful put for folks to try to remember their wedding day day.”

The pitch that the Fraggettas been given from Mr. Halkias was various from the ones they obtained at the other venues they experienced frequented.

He regaled the pair with tales of the storied building’s record as an opera property and a speakeasy whose Prohibition-era patrons provided Al Capone.

As Ms. Fraggetta, 41, put it: “It wasn’t the cookie-cutter wedding ceremony corridor like we had been used to going to.”

When they ascended the staircase that guide to the grand ballroom, which boasted balconies and 45-foot-superior ceilings, “there was a huge ‘wow component,’” Mr. Fraggetta, 44, mentioned. “It looked like a thing out of a background ebook.”

A lot of of the 250 attendees at their Nov. 7, 2008, wedding day reception experienced similar reactions, he added. “A ton of persons commented that when you see the Grand Prospect Corridor from the road, it does not look like significantly,” he explained. But stepping inside of “made that wow factor that considerably additional intensive.”

The Fraggettas now stay in Rockville, Md., but return to New York often to visit loved ones. They were hoping their a few kids would 1 working day have the similar working experience when they last but not least visited.

“From the outside the house, it’s a dim cement setting up — so they’re like, ‘Oh, you guys acquired married there?’” Ms. Fraggetta claimed.

The Collados grew up in two different states — she in Pennsylvania, he in New York — but the two claimed they recall the well-known commercials for Grand Prospect Corridor playing on their televisions.

Initial filmed in 1986, the commercials highlighted Mr. Halkias and Ms. Halkias speaking over orchestral music from the hall’s staircase and, in some, giving a assure to “make your dreams arrive correct.” In the yrs they aired, the ads had been spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” and showcased in a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” skit.

Mr. Collado, 31, and Ms. Collado, 34, in no way thought they would have their marriage ceremony there she named the commercials “cheesy.”

But when she visited the corridor — the previous position on her list — she observed it “stunning.”

“As quickly as you wander in, you’re greeted with this gold and white staircase,” Ms. Collado mentioned.

The pair had 200 friends at their wedding reception on April 11, 2015, which adopted a ceremony at St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, Queens, in which they now dwell. The food stuff served at the corridor, pierogi with paella and empanadas, glad the two family members, they stated. (She is Polish, he is Latino.)

“It should not be demolished provided the historical past,” Mr. Collado said.

“The architecture is over and above they have a complete backyard with a little waterfall, it was gorgeous,” Ms. Collado additional. “The working day I browse that it was heading to maybe be demolished, I named Rafael. I claimed, ‘It’s unhappy.’”

Expanding up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Mr. Melidoneas knew from a younger age that his household experienced a unique relationship to, as he put it, the guy who appeared on Television marketing his banquet hall in Park Slope.

Mr. Halkias had served his grandparents get hold of their American citizenship following they to start with arrived in Brooklyn from Greece in the 1960s, said Mr. Melidoneas, 37.

When the time came for him and Ms. Melidoneas to strategy their marriage, they had been each surprised to learn that, compared with the administration of other venues they frequented, the Halkiases would make it possible for them to light-weight a small, contained fireplace inside the hall as a section of their Hindu ceremony. (Ms. Melidoneas is Hindu and Mr. Melidoneas is Greek Orthodox.)

The tradition, regarded as saat phere, needs the bride and groom to encircle a fireplace seven times, sharing vows with each lap. “Other venues had been not a admirer,” said Ms. Melidoneas, 33. “It was type of like, ‘Do it outside or really don’t do it at all.’”

The few were being married at Grand Prospect Corridor Oct. 20, 2012, with some 150 to 200 visitors in attendance.

They now reside in Miami, but on a September trip to pay a visit to Mr. Melidoneas’s spouse and children in Brooklyn, they drove by the setting up, as they typically do when they’re in the location.

“It was all boarded up,” Mr. Melidoneas said. “It was unhappy to see that.”

When Ms. Morgan, 37, bought engaged to the Rev. Morgan in 2008, she required to have “the best marriage people today ever attended.”

Element of her prepare was to evoke the opulence of the 1920s at the reception, with a “The Wonderful Gatsby” theme.

The Rev. Morgan, 39, recommended they consider Grand Prospect Hall. Ms. Morgan had “never read of it,” she claimed, inspite of living only a number of blocks away at the time, on Third Avenue and 15th Road, and rising up in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

But when she noticed the grand ballroom on a pay a visit to, she cried tears of pleasure, she reported. “This is just what I required,” Ms. Morgan recalled contemplating.

Reserving the ballroom — which could accommodate up to 1,700 folks — commonly required a lot more than the 175 guests the few experienced on their listing. But the Halkiases permit them use it for their July 17, 2009, wedding reception anyway, the few reported.

The Morgans, who reside in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, now like to place out the constructing to their 3-yr-outdated son when they push by.

“The reminiscences are there, and I’m grateful we have the memories,” the Rev. Morgan reported.

But he was disappointed that the recollections are in all probability all they have left. “It’s like a piece of us is going with it,” he claimed.