M.G. the O.G., posted this on the other. http://www.nypost.com/commentary/65693.htm BESPOKEN FOR: Custom tailor Raphael Schwartz won't give up his studio to a developer who plans to raze the building. Photo: N.Y. Post: Luiz C. Ribeiro Email Archives Print Reprint Feeds Newsletters March 21, 2006 -- MEET the bravest - or the most stubborn - custom tailor in New York. Raphael Schwartz, owner of Bespoke Tailors at 510 Madison Ave., is staying put in his fifth-floor studio, even as developer Harry Macklowe prepares to demolish the seven-story building for a new office/condo project. Buenos Aires-born Schwartz caters to a high-end clientele and has been ranked by Town & Country magazine as one of the best tailors in the country. Only one other tenant besides Schwartz and his wife, Rhoda, remains upstairs at the 53rd Street corner address, once home to the city's tailor trade. All the others have left, and a few street-level stores will move out next month. Macklowe plans to take down 510 Madison and four buildings around the corner for the project, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. He's been assembling the site for years and last month paid $27.5 million to buy the building, the last and largest piece in the puzzle. Schwartz says the builder offered him "a ridiculously low amount" to vamoose, even though he has three years left on a five-year lease. Schwartz says, "It cost me $155,000 just to set the place up." A spokesman for Macklowe had no comment. Much of the doomed building is a dusty, noisy mess of broken floor tile, loose wiring and holes punched in Sheetrock. With pre-demolition work accelerating and asbestos being removed, Schwartz and his wife can't believe Macklowe isn't up to something illegal. Macklowe is still living down a 1984 incident in which his men demolished two small buildings on West 43rd Street without permits. However, both the city Building and Environmental Protection departments say he's in full compliance at 510 Madison, where he has permits for the scaffold but not yet demolition. Schwartz scoffed: "They're ripping up floors and banging like crazy. They cut a hole between this building into 20 E. 53rd St." next door. Building Department spokeswoman Ilyse Fink explained, "You can strip Sheetrock, and it's not demolition." Last Friday, one flight above the Schwartzes, signs warned of "danger" in three languages. The signs read: "Asbestos - cancer and lung disease hazard. Authorized personnel only. Respirator sand protective clothing are required in this area." The signs disappeared over the weekend. The DEP yesterday found no evidence of asbestos removal anywhere but from the basement. Someone - not Schwartz, he says - filed a complaint with DEP on March 14 that workmen were removing basement asbestos without a permit. In fact, says DEP spokesman Ian Michaelson, Macklowe filed to do just that on March 6. "We inspected three hours after we received the complaint, and we found no violation of the asbestos code in the basement," Michaelson said. Follow-up inspections yesterday again found no violations.