Thanks for posting the additional image.
From what I can find out, the Central Park Casino was a New York restaurant as from 1864:
IRREGULARITIES: CASINO RESTAURANT Central Park Casino Restaurant
This privilege was let in February, 1897, at the rate of $9,000 per annum. Some two years before the expiration of the term the rental was reduced to $6,000, and in February, 1901, about one year before expiration, a new lease was made by Commissioner George C. Clausen to run for ten years at an annual rental of $3,000. The reason stated in the lease for this last reduction is: “It is mutually understood that the amount named is fixed and agreed upon as a license fee or rental in lieu of a larger amount, in consideration of the work undertaken and to be performed by the said party of the second part.” The lease also stipulates that the lessee must at his own expense make all necessary repairs and enlarge and improve the building at an estimated cost of $30,000, all such improvements to become the property of the department.
It will be seen that the last lease at $3,000 per annum is a reduction of $6,000 per annum from the lease of 1897, which is equal to a total reduction of $60,000 during the full term of the lease. This reduction was made in consideration of $30,000 being expended for improvements, leaving an unexplained margin of $30,000. Although the lease further stipulates that all necessary repairs shall be made at the expense of the lessee, the latter has been allowed to deduct from his monthly payments of rental $580.31 for insurance and $3,445.03 for lunches, carriage hire, repair to pavement in front of building, and painting. Receipted bills for these deductions were submitted, with the exception of those for $465 allowed in August and September, 1904, for which no vouchers could be found. Some of the vouchers submitted were approved by the park architect, but none had the approval of the commissioner and some were entirely without approval. No evidence is possessed by the department that the $30,000 had been expended by the lessee as per contract. The lessee is now paying $2,400 per annum for a privilege worth far more than this sum. Some of the transactions of the department with this lessee demand explanation.
Source: The Park Question
- Bureau of municipal research - 1908
The building was demolished in 1936:Defendant Moses, Commissioner of Parks of the City of New York, does not have the power to destroy the Central Park Casino property.
The respondent contends that the only question involved is whether the defendant commissioner as a matter of law has the power to destroy the Central Park Casino. The same stand was taken by the commissioner in the Court below in his affidavit, which reads as follows: ' "- ‘
“Accordingly, as I am informed and believe, the present proceeding raises a pure question of law as to whether I have the legal power to order the demolition of the Casino” (fol. 71).
The Court below took judicial notice of the fact that the Central Park Casino is an old landmark, and that the reasons assigned for the proposed destruction thereof were obviously contrary to the facts as revealed by an inspection of the locus in quo. Since defendant’s affidavit in opposition to the original motion raised only a question of law, the Court below was privileged to do so.
(A) The New York City Charter, Section 613, as amended by Chapter 829 of the Laws of 1933, makes it mandatory that defendant Park Commissioner maintain present park buildings.
“It shall be the duty of the commissioner for the Borough of Manhattan to maintain the meteorological and astronomical observatory, the museum of natural history, the metropoli— tan museum of art in Central park, the aquarium in Battery place, and such other buildings as now are or may hereafter be erected in such parks or in any other park, square or public place under his jurisdiction by authority of the board of aldermen. * * *” New York City Charter Section 613 as Amended by Chapter 829 of the Laws of 1933.
The Court below interpreted Section 613 as imposing such a duty upon the defendant Park Commissioner (fol. 106).
(B) Even New York City Charter, Section 611, relied upon by defendants, requires that the beauty and utility of the park be maintained, and limits all measures for the improvement thereof, to those having ornamental purposes and beneficial uses.
“It shall be the duty of the said commissioner subject to such general rules and regulations and in conformity therewith, to mathtain the beauty and utility of all parks, squares and public places and to institute and execute all measures for the improvement thereof for ornamental purposes and for the beneficial uses of the people of the state.”
The facts as found below indicate a needless and unwarranted sacrifice of “ornamental purpose” and an unquestioned absence of “beneficial use.”
That this is so is manifest by the fact that there are 'several other adjacent and neighboring sites much more suitable for playground purposes. Further proof is found in the fact that the site in question is surrounded on two sides by heavily congested roadways which would make it necessary for children to cross the same to arrive at the playground where now contemplated. The affidavit of defendant commissioner (fol. 74) reads as follows:
“To remedy this unfortunate situation, my Department embarked on a program which envisioned the development of 18 playgrounds situated on the periphery of the Park, all located at or near entrances thereto.”
The choice of this site is not in accordance with this avowed purpose. The selection of one of the suggested sights, more suitable than the one chosen, would coincide with this “periphery” plan.
(C) The Park Commissioner does not have a proprietary interest in Park property but is only a custodian, a guardian and a trustee of same.
The destruction of the Central Park Casino would be an act in excess of authority granted to defendant, Park Commissioner. The attempted justification of the act determines that this is so. No claim has been made by either of the defendants that the property in question is in such condition as to necessitate its destruction for the benefit and welfare of the public. The sole justification seems to be that it is imperative that this one particular site be utilized for playground purposes.
Destruction of property is the ultimate exercise of a proprietary right or interest. The proprietary rights or interests in the Central Park Casino, belong to, and always have belonged to, the people of the City of New York. The power to regulate the Parks and to serve as custodian of the property therein, given to this defendant Park Commissioner, is an obligation as well as a privilege and is not to be construed and disabused as a grant of ownership.
This analysis is well stated in the case of People em rel. Speyer, et al. v. Mosier, et al. (1908), 112 N. Y. S. 307, at page 309 (not officially reported).
“* * * They had no proprietary right or interest in the park lands, nor the right or power to dispose of any such interest; * * * The rights. powers, and duties of the defendants relate only to laying out, governing, and controlling the parks, parkways, and approaches and incidentally the closing of public streets and consenting or refusing, as the case may be, that such streets may or may not be made by the city of Buffalo to connect with such parkways or approaches "' * *.
The defendants at all times had exclusive jurisdiction and control over the strip as a part and parcel of said parkway, and could regulate its use in their discretion.”
That there are limits to the discretionary power of regulation is well pointed out in the case of Nichols v. Enstis, et al., 146 A. D. 475 (1911), 131 N. Y. S. 265, where an attempt was made by municipal officials to terminate the lease of park property, the Court wrote as follows:
“Moreover, defendants could not terminate an agreement of this character unless the determination so to do was made in good faith and in furtherance of the public interests.”
It would appear to follow, a fortiori, from this case that if the park commissioner does not have the right to even terminate a lease without the proper showing of good faith, and in furtherance of public interest, that therefore, the same amount of proof is required where the commissioner seeks not only to terminate a lease, but to destroy a leasehold. Plaintiffs’ urge that defendant, Park Commissioner, must justify proposed actions of this nature. No justification for the proposed act was shown to the Court below; but the sole question raised was a question of whether or not this defendant had the right and power to destroy a leasehold as a matter of law without justification of the same.
Source: NEW YORK SUPREME COURT APPELLATE DIVISION-FIRST DEPARTMENT
The owners of the Central Park Casino Co. in 1919 were listed as Gustave Dorval, Ernest C. Dorval, and Ellen Dorval.
Source: R. L. Polk & Co.'s ... Trow New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory, Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx