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`Broken Angel' has its wings clipped

THE NATION

A fire and building code violations may spell the end of a Brooklyn man's art house project.

December 03, 2006|Ellen Barry | Times Staff Writer

He was still furious about the arrest, and said that his Jack Russell terrier had been included in his mug shot. ("My dog did not commit any crime," he said. "My dog is legally licensed.") Banned from the premises of Broken Angel, he said that he and his wife have been sleeping in a Volkswagen camper, and that they were suffering terribly from the cold.

A New York architecture firm, Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture, has offered help, saying Broken Angel should be preserved as folk art just as the Watts Towers were in Los Angeles. Fundraisers are planned. Still, Wood has been facing the possibility that the building may be torn down -- and with it 27 years of his labor.

With property values in the neighborhood rising, he is getting handsome offers for the building from developers interested in building condominiums.

Wood keeps his spirits up by planning to move to another city, file plans for the identical building, and start over. This is not crazy, he says; his great-grandmother lived to the age of 108.

"So I've got plenty of time," he said.

ellen.barry@latimes.com

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