David Stone
Old Dayspring Church sports new windows and brightly repainted frames.
Old Dayspring Church sports new windows and brightly repainted frames.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Alerted by Judith Berdy, the historian who rarely misses anything, that rehab work was going on at the abandoned Dayspring Church, I went over for a look. Work's in progress. Without a Department of Buildings Permit.

Rumors are that the building, from which Dayspring Church was evicted in January by master leaseholder Hudson-Related for nonpayment of rent, will reopen as a restaurant.

Hudson president David Kramer hinted at the possibility in RIOC committee in May. Hudson, however, is well-known for puffery in its promises about Main Street Retail. 

What looks like a pulpit has been pulled out of the church and discarded on the sidewalk.
What looks like a pulpit has been pulled out of the church and discarded on the sidewalk.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

But this time, there may be something to it.

Windows have been replaced and interior work, however barred largely from view, is underway. Looking through a window into dark space, you can clearly see a carpenter's level as well as taped markings on wooden furnishings.

Construction shed behind Dayspring Church carelessly spray-painted white, including the grass around it.
Construction shed behind Dayspring Church carelessly spray-painted white, including the grass around it.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

If construction crews obtained Department of Buildings permits for the work, they are not posted as required. Concerns are exacerbated by the likelihood of asbestos being part of a building of that age.

Octagon residents and visitors to the popular park adjacent to the restaurant may soon have to deal with what once were busy parking lots and walk through areas being converted to active roads, which as we've seen lately, will largely go without enforcement on Anything Goes Roosevelt Island.

The Octagon's active parking lot will soon be required to host two-way traffic, if restaurant rumors are true.
The Octagon's active parking lot will soon be required to host two-way traffic, if restaurant rumors are true.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

We drew a blank when we asked Kramer to comment on or even acknowledge resident concerns.