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‘Eternal Sunshine’ house may not be torn down after all

The Brooklyn Paper
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The final credits haven’t rolled for a cinematic Williamsburg home that was once slated for demolition.

The owners of 59 Orient Ave. — a dilapidated mansion that starred in director Michel Gondry’s arthouse gem “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” before becoming a haven for squatters and drug dealers — told The Brooklyn Paper that they might sell the run-down manor instead of tearing it down to develop condos.

“Right now, because of the economy, I have no plans — the banks aren’t giving anyone any money,” said co-owner Carlos Mery, whose decision to put the house on the market rather than seek a demolition permit was first reported by the Web site Flavorwire.

“It could be restored,” added Mery, who is asking $1.5 million for the property.

Last summer, squatters took over the building, which is between Metropolitan Avenue and Olive Street, frightening neighbors who spotted vagrants scaling the rickety plywood fence, smoking from tinfoil pipes and tying off their arms in the overgrown front yard.

In September, Mery and his brother secured the property, booted the trespassers, and revealed their plans to erect a 20-unit condo building with a community facility on the site, which was Kate Winslet’s character’s home in the 2004 film.

At the time, neighbors celebrated the squatters’ eviction, but they told The Brooklyn Paper they were disappointed that the once-grand home would be torn down.

It remains to be seen whether 59 Orient Ave. can follow the proverbial Mickey Rourke route from Hollywood stardom to drugs and back to prominence — but fans of the decaying mansion rejoiced when they learned it might not be demolished.

“If they could save it, that would be great,” said former neighbor Maria Fechtmuller-Read. “I always loved that old building.”

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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