A bit of housecleaning at Soho’s local hellhole?


After years of inaction at 43 MacDougal St., Soho’s number one eyesore, something finally actually happened on Monday. Workers were removing junk from inside — pieces of plywood and sheetrock, old wine, vodka and rum boxes, plastic buckets — and tossing it all into a dumpster. Asked if something was going on with the building, one of the workers just shook his head and, through his particle mask, said no. For unknown reasons, the owners have let the vacant, three-story structure, at the corner of MacDougal and King Sts., deteriorate over the years, to the point where it has become a quality-of-life nightmare. Homeless squatters sporadically take up residence. Rats scurry in and out. The place emits a moldy smell, and flooding caused by water pouring into the old building has, at times, affected neighboring buildings’ walls. Earlier this year, someone smeared feces on the place’s front. Upon seeing the workers, one man who said he lives “two doors down,” angrily remarked, “It’s about f—ing time. That building’s worth a s—load of money. They say people keep offering to buy it, but the owners won’t sell — do you know why?” The sorely neglected building — where an ancient, 19th-century ad for porter has been revealed due to the facade’s peeling paint — sits in the landmarked Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District. Perhaps Monday’s action was in response to the latest complaint, lodged Dec. 29, about 43 MacDougal St. on the Department of Buildings Web site: “Re: BUILDING VACANT. LARGE AMOUNT OF RUBBISH THROUGHOUT.”