December 20

Thomas Edison

69 – General Vespasian’s troops occupy Rome after defeating the Emperor Vitellius 1046 – Synod of Sutri: German King Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI 1192 – Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna 1606 – Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, Virginia 1669 – First jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for […]

How often does the Seaport District have to be screwed?

The plaza and arcades at 200 Water Street as they appear today, with the scaffolding that once held the canopies stripped bare, the erstwhile fountain (visible at lower right, behind black railing) long since turned off and filled with concrete, and much of the onetime lobby (at lower left) converted into a Duane Reade. Under a proposal approved by the City Planning Commission, the open colonnade shown in the foreground will be absorbed into new retail space, while several hundred square feet of the outdoor plaza will be turned over to seating for an outdoor cafe, and the three open-air rectangular spaces (center, on the second level above the street) will become new, market-rate apartments.

To the editor: Your article on the CPC vote (BroadsheetDAILY December 19)for the landowners handout of open spaces gave me deja vu and revulsion. How often does the Seaport District have to be screwed by the developers, our electeds and now by our own Community Board before we rise up in protest?  Whatever happened to […]

Two Seats at the Table


A decade-long campaign by elected officials, community leaders, and grassroots activists to bring democratic governance to Battery Park City took a giant step forward on Monday, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that will require two seats on the board of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to be set aside for people […]

December 19

Early film of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge with the mayor Seth Low in NYC on Dec. 19, 1903. Note the photographers bulky cameras there to record the event

324 – Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor. 1795 – First state appropriation of money for road building, Kentucky 1843 – Charles Dickens publishes “A Christmas Carol,” in England 1903 – Williamsburg bridge opens between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Click here to watch the opening of the bridge 1918 – Robert Ripley began his “Believe […]

There Goes the Portico…

The public space at 200 Water Street as it appeared in the 1980s, with billowing canopies, fountains and other artistic elements designed to enhance the public's enjoyment of the outdoor plaza and arcade spaces. In exchange for these amenities, the builder was allowed to construct a taller, bulkier (and thus more valuable) tower than otherwise would have been legally permissible.

The City Planning Commission (CPC) has overruled Community Board 1 (CB1) and ignored a phalanx of local elected officials by approving a controversial proposal to fill in arcades at 200 Water Street, to create new retail space and market-rate apartments. On December 13, the CPC voted to authorize the project, with eight commissioners on the […]

Toy Story


Karen Barwick remembers as if it were the most recent Black Friday her inspiration for starting Boomerang Toys, Lower Manhattan’s go-to destination for eclectic playthings, 15 years ago. “My oldest son was a toddler in 2002,” she recalls, “and was invited to a birthday party. So we had to buy a gift, and I realized […]

Onward and Upward with the Arts


Church Street School for Music and Art, which has operated highly regarded creative enrichment programs for Lower Manhattan kids for the last 27 years has found a new home. This represents a reprieve for the school, which has been buffeted by series of rent increases over the last decade, as its Tribeca neighborhood gentrified, that […]

Pressing for Home Rule

State Assembly member Deborah Glick, who sponsored the bill to set aside for residents two Battery Park City Authority board seats in her house of the legislature.

Three Lower Manhattan elected officials have co-signed a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling upon him to sign a bill now on his desk, that would set aside two seats on the board of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to people who live in the community. The letter was sent on December 8, two […]

Arcades or Their ‘Cades?

The former office tower (now a residential building) at 200 Water Street, where the owner is proposing to convert the open-air arcades -- along with part of the plaza -- at the street level into new, private retail space.

Today, the City Planning Commission (CPC) will vote on whether to approve a controversial plan to privatize almost 5,000 square feet of public space at 200 Water Street, where the building owner wants to enclose arcades — the columned porticos that adorn the ground-floor facades of more than a dozen Water Street buildings — to […]

December 12

Jerry Lee Lewis weds his cousin Myra Gale Brown, 13,
while still married to his first wife Jane Mitchamr.

627 – Battle at Nineveh: Byzantine emperor Heraclius beats Perzen 1098 – First Crusaders capture and plunder Mara Syria 1791 – Bank of US opens 1792 – In Vienna, Ludwig Von Beethoven at the age of 22 receives first lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn 1915 – First all-metal aircraft (Junkers J-1) test […]