Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Whose Historic District Is It, Anyway?
Local Leaders Want to Expand Protected Zone in South Street Seaport
Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing to expand the legally protected Historic District that covers much of the South Street Seaport neighborhood, in order to put the brakes on development in areas currently not regulated by the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
While the Seaport neighborhood is recognized as an historic treasure by City, State, and national authorities, it is only the local designation that carries with it legally enforceable limits on demolition and development.
This is crucial, because while the State and federal maps of the South Street Seaport Historic District are identical, the City’s is smaller. In particular, the City’s less expansive boundary saw-tooths around the New Market Building, which left it vulnerable to the demolition that is now slated to commence within weeks.
The site has been a focus of controversy in recent years. In 2013, the Howard Hughes Corporation, which has been designated by the City to redevelop the South Street Seaport, announced plans to demolish the structure and erect a 60-story residential tower there. This plan inspired bitter opposition among preservationists, community leaders, and elected officials, which eventually scuttled to proposal. Even with the planned skyscraper’s cancellation, however, the New Market building faced an uncertain future. Decades of neglect compromised the structure, raising the prospect that it may collapse.
Although the demolition of the New Market Building now appears to be a fait accompli, community leaders still want a voice in whatever kind of development make take place at the site in the future. These concerns have become especially acute in recent weeks, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to use landfill to extend the East River shoreline, between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery, as a resiliency measure.
If this project moves forward, the site of the New Market Building may end up being two blocks inland from the new waterfront. These dozens of acres of new land could accommodate millions of square feet of development. This prospect gives new urgency to the proposal to expand the border’s of the Seaport Historic District, even if it is now too late to protect the New Market Building.
At an April 26 meeting, Roger Byrom, who chairs CB1’s Landmarks & Preservation Committee, explained, “the Mayor has come out with this resiliency plan for this area, and we can see these crazy real estate plans popping up left and right, such as detention centers or marinas. And we agree that we should keep a very close eye on this.”
CB1 then voted unanimously to enact a resolution calling upon the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to, “urgently expand the South Street Seaport Historic District to match the Federal Historic District Boundary.”
The same measure also urged City government officials to work with Save Our Seaport, a local advocacy group, to consider a separate, broader proposal, to include within the protected zone a swath of the East River, extending north to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Tragedy Compounded by Delay
Renewed Concerns about Emergency Response Time in Lower Manhattan
“When I got the 911 operator on the phone, she transferred me to another operator, who asked for the location of the accident. I explained that we were in front of 325 South End Avenue, in Manhattan. But this operator kept repeating that help was on the way to 32 South Street in Brooklyn. I kept telling her this was incorrect, but she kept repeating ‘South Street in Brooklyn.’ Then she said they would call me back.”
A new study documents that response times for 911 calls are slower in the First Precinct, which covers Lower Manhattan, than in any other district south of Midtown (an area that comprises seven NYPD commands) and the third-slowest overall in Manhattan.
To the editor:
RE: Time Runs Out for Landmarked Clock Tower
(BroadsheetDAILY APRIL 9, 2019 by Matthew Fenton)
The single most devastating decision to the cause of preservation in the history of the New York City Landmarks Law and, without a doubt, the most disappointing in my 27+ year career as an attorney.
My heart breaks at the notion that a last-of-its-kind, 120-year old tower clock and its surrounding suite — both designated by the Landmark Preservation Commission as an historic interior landmark — will, absent reversal through reargument (the motion for which is still pending), soon be converted into a luxury condo, all so that a developer will be able to receive an additional $20+ Million of profit.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission, prior to this instance, had never approved conversion of an interior landmark into a private apartment.
Absent reversal, it won’t be the last.
Michael S. Hiller,
Attorney for Save America’s Clocks
BPCA Taps Engineering Firm to Design Resiliency Measure for Neighborhood’s Northern Section
The Battery Park City Authority has hired an engineering firm to begin designing resiliency measures for the community’s northern border, and extending into Tribeca.
At the Authority’s March 26 board meeting, Gwen Dawson, the BPCA’s vice president for real property, explained, “this project will address the area that runs essentially from the North Promenade, just west of Stuyvesant High School, eastward across Route 9A and eastward from there to about West Broadway.”
This is one of four separate (but related) resiliency plans the BPCA is in various stages of implementing. The others cover the community’s southern border(around Wagner Park and Pier A), its western waterfront (the length of the Esplanade, from Wagner Park, to Rockefeller Park), and the ballfields (along with the adjacent Asphalt Green community center).
Hither the Hippodrome
Concert Venue Big Enough to Host 3,000 People Planned for Financial District
Plans are under way to develop an 80,000-square-foot concert and performance venue on the former trading floor of the American Stock Exchange building, in the Financial District.
Representatives of Live Nation Entertainment, a firm that owns or operates more than 200 venues throughout North America and Europe, including the outdoor concert space on the roof of Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, came before Community Board 1 (CB1) on Wednesday evening to explain their plans.
Run Silent, Run Deep
BPCA Awards Underwater Contract to Firm That Promises Peace and Quiet
The Battery Park City Authority is continuing a decade-long project to shore up the underwater columns that support the Esplanade, but has found a way to do it without keeping residents up at night.
At the April 23 meeting of the BPCA’s board, Gwen Dawson, the Authority’s vice president of real property, explained, “the esplanade of Battery Park City rests on a relieving platform which is supported by 3100 total concrete piles. We initiated a program in 2007 to perform certain remediation steps on these piles, to wrap them in fiberglass, to make sure that their lives could be extended — we are told up to an additional 30 to 50 years.”
A Quarter of a Century of Great Taste
Saturday (May 18) will mark the 25th anniversary of Taste of Tribeca, the street food fair that raises money for two beloved local public schools: P.S. 234 and P.S. 150.
Come to Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Streets), from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, for gastronomic wonders from 60 of Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants — including seven that have been participating since 1994: Bouley, Bubby’s Tribeca, Duane Park Patisserie, Gigino Trattoria, The Odeon, Tribeca Grill, and Walker’s.
Tickets, priced at $45 in advance and $55 on the day of the event, get you six tastes and two pours on the Beer & Cider Tour, and are on sale now at www.tasteoftribeca.com.
ARLENE ROSE KALFUS MEMORIAL
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22ND, 2019
2:00 PM TO 4:30 PM
On May 22, the Battery Park City Seniors group will host a memorial service for Arlene Kalfus, who died tragically on April 4, when she was struck by a bus on South End Avenue.
Ms. Kalfus, a long-time resident of Gateway Plaza, was a longtime contributor to Battery Park City Seniors, whose loss is acutely felt, both because of her many volunteer activities and her dry sense of humor.
The service will be held in the Battery Park City Authority’s community room, located within 200 Rector Place.
(Please use the entrance on the west side of the building, facing West Thames Park.)
Anyone planning to attend is asked to R.S.V.P. to Philomena Pinto at JPinto8925@aol.com.
The Wheel Deal
Manhattan Youth is partnering with Tribeca Clayworks to offer summer ceramics sessions from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, four nights each week (plus weekend afternoons), starting May 23 and running through August 5.
Classes will cover Hand-Building and Surface (for all levels) on Mondays, plus Pottery Wheel and HandBuilding (intermediate level) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Additionally, registered students may work on their own during open studio times offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays evenings, plus Saturday and Sunday after- noons (from noon through 4:00 pm).
The program is priced at $320, plus a $45 fee to cover the cost of firing.
For more info or to register, email Susan Kay: Susan@manhattanyouth.org
Do Not Pass Go
Amazon Opens High-Tech Retail Outlet in Brookfield Place, But Will Accept Low-Tech Form of Payment
New York politicians still smarting over Amazon’s decision to cancel plans for a corporate headquarters in Long Island City can console themselves that the online retail giant has at least opened a 1,300-square-foot bricks-and-mortar store in Lower Manhattan.
On Tuesday, Amazon debuted the first East Coast location of its Go chain, on the upper level of Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place. The experimental retail brand amounts to a revolutionary reimagining of the traditional storefront, by eliminating cash, cashiers, and even automated checkout kiosks.
The Price of Affordability
BPCA Hires Consultants to Advise on Measures to Control Housing Costs
The Battery Park City Authority is allocating more than half a million dollars to pay a team of consultants to advise it on measures designed to preserve affordability within the community.
At the March 26 meeting of the Authority’s board, BPCA president Benjamin Jones explained, “I’m requesting an increase of $589,000 to our fiscal year operating budget to enable us to continue our efforts with regards to analyzing and addressing lease term and lease reset concerns and to also help us in taking advantage of opportunities related to preserving, and increasing affordability, and also enhancing sustainability and resiliency in this neighborhood.”
Lower Manhattan Experiences Chain Reaction as Two Esteemed (and Non-Corporate) Booksellers Plan Local Outposts
Local connoisseurs of independent bookstores have reason to celebrate: Two highly regarded operators will be coming to Lower Manhattan soon. The first is McNally Jackson, which has confirmed that its much-delayed plan to open in the South Street Seaport will finally be realized this year.
Also coming to Downtown is the much-admired Shakespeare & Companyindependent bookstore, which already has locations on the Upper East and Upper West sides.
New York Public Library
Make your own Name Train Craft. All materials will be provided. First come, first served. For children ages 3 and older. New York Public Library 175 North End Avenue.
Community Board 1’s Executive Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
1) 7 Hanover Square proposed infill – Presentation by Brian Steinwurtzel, GFP Real Estate and John Clifford, S9 Architecture
2) Special election – Discussion
3) Committee reports
‘Water, Water Everywhere…’
BPCA Plans to Spend $7 Million
Fixing Roof Leaks at Asphalt Green
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has hired a contractor to fix leaks in the roof of the Asphalt Green community center, at a cost of $6.9 million. This price is in addition to the $600,000 that the Authority allocated to hire a construction manager for this project, last October. The BPCA hopes to recover some of this outlay from the developer that originally constructed the community center, along with the two residential buildings above it.
EYES TO THE SKY
May 13 – 26, 2019
Corvus the Crow eyes Virgo’s jewel star, Spica
At nightfall, Corvus the Crow, wings outstretched, glides in the sky above the cityscape to the south.
Latin for crow, or raven, Corvus’ four main stars form a diamond that is easily seen as a soaring bird, kite or sail.
In Greek mythology, the Crow, Apollo’s sacred bird, got into trouble that resulted in the god catapulting the offender and his companions into the sky.
Last evening, the waxing gibbous moon appeared above and to the right of Corvus.
Tonight, Corvus is directly below the moon.
Red Light, Green Light…
City Moves Ahead with Traffic Signal for Rector Place and South End Avenue, Ten Months After Approval
At the April 23 meeting of Community Board 1(CB1), Tammy Meltzer, chair of that panel’s Battery Park City Committee, announced that, “the City Department of Transportation [DOT] let us know this week that a traffic light will be installed at Rector Place and South End Avenue,” adding that, “it is due to be installed by the end of June.” She also noted, “we’ve worked long and hard with BPCA and City DOT to get a plan done and in place.”
She continued, “we had a death on South End Avenue this month.”
Today in History
1004 – Henry II the Saint crowned King of Italy
1252 – Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition. Ad extirpanda
authorized in limited and defined circumstances the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.
1602 – Cape Cod discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold
1672 – First copyright law enacted by Massachusetts
1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents world’s first machine gun
1793 – Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.
1800 – King George III survives a 2nd assassination attempt
1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1862 – The Confederate ship Alabama was launched as the Enrica at Birkenhead, England, where she had been built in secret. Tasked with helping the South in the American Civil War her mission was to disrupt and attack Union merchant and naval vessels. She was sunk in battle by the USS Kearsarge in June 1864 at the Battle of Cherbourg outside the port of Cherbourg, France.
1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada founded
1918 – First airmail postal service between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington. DC
1934 – Department of Justice offers $25,000 reward for Dillinger, dead or alive
1935 – The Moscow Metro is opened to public
1940 – McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California
1942 – Gasoline first rationed in US (17 Eastern States)
1944 – Eisenhower, Montgomery, Churchill and King George VI discuss D-Day plan
1958 – USSR launches Sputnik III
1960 – Taxes took 25% of earnings in US
1963 – Last Project Mercury flight, Gordon Cooper in Faith 7, launched
1963 – Peter, Paul and Mary win their first Grammy (If I Had a Hammer)
1972 – Assassination attempt on Governor George Wallace of Alabama by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland
1980 – First trans-US balloon crossing
1991 – President Bush takes Queen Elizabeth to Oakland A’s-Baltimore Oriole game
2010 – Jessica Watson becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo
1565 – Henrick de Keyser, architect/master builder of Amsterdam
1856 – Lyman Frank Baum, NY, children’s book author (Wizard of Oz)
1910 – Robert F Wagner, (NYC Mayor, 1949-65)
1915 – Gus Viseur, French button accordionist (d. 1974)
1923 – Richard Avedon, photographer (1957 ASMP award)
1930 – Jasper Johns, Augusta, Ga, painter/sculptor
392 – Valentinianus II, emperor of Rome (375-392), murdered at 21
1591 – Dmitry Ivanovitch, youngest son of Russian Tsar Ivan IV, murdered at 8
1621 – Henrick de Keyser, Amsterdam’s master builder, dies at 56
1760 – Alaungpaya, King of Burma (b. 1711)
1886 – Emily Dickinson, US poet, dies at 55
1926 – Mohammed VI Vahideddin, last sultan of Turkey (1918-22), dies
1935 – Kazimir Malevich, Polish/Ukrainian artist (b. 1878)
1967 – Edward Hopper, US painter (House by Railroad), dies at 84
2007 – Jerry Falwell, American evangelist (b. 1933)
This information was culled from various internet sources, including Wikipedia, the New York Times and other special interest sites.
Community Board 1 Meeting Agendas May 2019
Authority Takes Second Swing at Ballfields Resiliency Plan
After input from residents and consultation with Community Board 1 (CB1), the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has revised its plan to bring resiliency features to the ballfields. The agency now intends to prioritize less expensive, temporary measures that can be implemented faster, and later removed when more comprehensive and more permanent devices designed to prevent flooding have been installed nearby.
Call It ‘Decongestion Pricing’
Chin, Nadler Announce Push to Ease Lower Manhattan Traffic By Reconfiguring Verrazzano Toll
A gaggle of elected and appointed officials gathered on Staten Island to announce their support for changing a decades-old tolling policy on the Verrazzano Bridge, which may have a significant benefit for traffic congestion in Lower Manhattan.
U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler and City Council member Margaret Chin (both of whom represent Lower Manhattan) were joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, and Patrick Foye, chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency that oversees the bridge, to trumpet the virtues of restoring two-way tolls on the span, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.
From Prison Shoal to Mussel Beach
Long Overlooked Pier Becomes ‘Porch’ Overlooking East River Waterfront
Downtown’s list of great public spaces has increased by one, with the opening on April 19 of a new “Eco-Park” at Pier 35, on the East River shoreline, in the Two Bridges neighborhood. The 28,000-square-foot facility includes lawns, dunes, and a sloped concrete “urban beach,” designed to replicate the natural breeding habitat of mussels. To read more...
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
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PART TIME SALES POSITION
High commission. B to B sales
We sell donor signage to non-profits,
extremely nice clientele.
Our office is located in FIDI.
Call me at 646-729-7142. Barry Silverberg, Principal
Experienced Elder Care (12 years)
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 347 898 5804 Hope
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature
Text Paula at 917-836-8802
Dishes, windows, floors, laundry, bathrooms.
You name it – I will clean it.
Call Elle at 929-600-4520
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting.
Knowledgeable in all software programs. James Kierstead firstname.lastname@example.org 347-933-1362. Refs available
Experienced with BPC residents. Available nights, days, and weekends. Will cook, clean and administer medicine on time. Speaks French and English. Can start immediately. Please call or text 929-600-4520.
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
The Gold Standard
Setback in Tenant Lawsuit for Damages Arising from Hurricane Sandy
A lawsuit filed by a group of tenants in two adjoining Financial District apartment buildings, arising from harm they suffered in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, has been dismissed by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.
Two Gold Street and 201 Pearl Street, share a common basement, lobby and third floor. The lower levels of both structures were flooded when Hurricane Sandy sent an eight-foot wall of water smashing through the South Street Seaport neighborhood, and parts of the Financial District.
Within the buildings, both of which front Maiden Lane (between Pearl and Gold Streets), the basement levels were submerged beneath 26 feet of water, which caused a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel tank to detach from the footings, break apart, and disgorge its contents.
New Renderings for Planned Tower at 80 South Street Show Building Taller Than One World Trade Center
The on-again/off-again skyscraper proposed for 80 South Street, in the Seaport District may be on again.
Parking or Parks?
Vast Expanse of Waterfront Acreage Now Used for Cars Could Be Given Over to Community
Community Board 1 (CB1) is lobbying to recover for public use multiple acres of taxpayer-owned land that the City has monetized for decades as parking facilities. The space at issue is located beneath the FDR Drive viaduct, along the East River waterfront, in the South Street Seaport neighborhood.
The Leaning Tower of Seaport
Contract Alleges That Developer Cut Corners on Foundation, Resulting in Dangerous Tilt
A 670-foot residential building now under construction in the South Street Seaport neighborhood is leaning precipitously north and east, according to a lawsuit filed against the developer by one of its former contractors. The tower, known as One Seaport, is located at 161 Maiden Lane (on the corner of South Street) and is 58 stories tall.
In a story first reported by the Commercial Observer, a suit filed in March with the New York State Supreme Court by building contractor Pizzarottialleges that the 161 Maiden Lane, “is leaning, as a rigid body, outside of its vertical control,” and, “is now exhibiting a bowing or curve in its verticality that is due entirely to said leaning.” The suit also claims that, “the building… has settled and moved to such a degree that the structure is encroaching on a neighboring property line.”
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Curating an Artifact of the Unthinkable
Local Resident Oversaw Move of Holocaust Freight Car to Lower Manhattan
In nearly 40 years of involvement in logistics, almost all of it in the field of fine art transportation, participating in this move was professionally the most significant, and personally the most emotional, project I have ever undertaken.
The rail car is on loan from the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, to an exhibition services company in Spain, which is co-sponsoring the new exhibition, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away,” with the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
All of these would be evocative and moving enough without a direct connection to the history recalled by this exhibition. But for me, this subject is not academic or theoretical. It is personal. My grandfather, born Yusel Kaganovich (which was anglicized to Joseph Cohen), set out from Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1914, coming ashore at Ellis Island as a boy of 15. To read more…
Not So Alone
in Trinity Churchyard
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