NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Part of a popular park in Brooklyn was finally shut down Friday night, after deplorable conditions were found inside.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton was demanding answers Friday night and had an exclusive look inside.
It is supposed to be a community gathering place in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst Park, and it was open to the public as of earlier in the day.
“They call this a recreation center,” said New York City Parks Advocate Geoffrey Croft.
But visitors are greeted by rat droppings on the radiators, rusty and outdated air conditioners, and garbage stuffed in dirty windows.
“As you can see and smell, it’s actually deplorable here,” Croft said.
Croft said the dangerous filth in the building clearly did not build up overnight.
“I don’t know how many health code violations this is, but obviously, the public should not be anywhere near this,” he said.
And with dirt-covered floors and dangling wires, the part of the building that acts as a homebase for parks workers is just as bad. CBS2 asked one employee who did not want to be identified if he feels safe coming to work.
“Not in this building,” he said. “Not in this building.”
The Department of Parks and Recreation insisted that the building was closed earlier this week, and “New York City parks staff have been relocated while we take immediate measures to remediate the building issues.”
But the union that represents the workers said that is not true. Her members were there on Friday, and as CBS2 found, the building was not locked.
In fact, it wasn’t until CBS2 started asking the Parks Department questions about the mess inside that they sent someone over to change the locks to keep people out.
“Clearly, this is uninhabitable,” Croft said. “Someone needs to be held accountable.”
The city said it will also assess the scope of the work over the next several days and then plan repairs.