Planning Moves Ahead for Elevating Battery Waterfront
Intermittent flooding along the Battery Wharf is becoming more frequent, and appears likely to increase in the years ahead.
With the ongoing design process for the Battery Wharf resiliency project now 50 percent complete (and construction slated to begin in late 2022), Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing in with concerns and ideas about how to refine the vision for raising the level of the waterfront esplanade in the Battery to protect the historic park against future sea-level rise and extreme-weather events.
The project to safeguard the one-third mile stretch of shoreline between Pier A (to the north) and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal (in the south) has three primary aims: to raise the waterfront walkway five feet above its present elevation; to link up with other, similar projects nearby (as part of the broader Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency plan); and to improve drainage. The overall budget is $129 million, and the initiative is being managed by the City’s Economic Development Corporation, along with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The stakes are considerable. If left at their present-day elevation, the boat slips that service ferries and water taxis at the Battery would be inundated daily by 2050. The entire esplanade would be under one foot of water at each high tide by 2080. And this daily flooding would rise to 30 inches by 2100.
This schematic illustrates the various design strategies being employed to raise the elevation of the Battery waterfront.
Also at issue is how to preserve highly regarded features of the current park, such as the Gardens of Remembrance, a contemplative glade that commemorates losses from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the granite-backed benches along the wharf frontage, as well as the elegant railing that lines the waterfront, and the stone steps leading to the East Coast Memorial, which honors the 4,000-plus missing American servicemen who lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean while engaged in combat during World War Two.
The preliminary version of the Battery Wharf plan calls for the Gardens of Remembrance to be expanded and elevated, while the stone benches would be moved farther back from the water and raised to a higher point.
Above: The Battery Wharf redesign will stretch for one-third of a mile along the Lower Manhattan waterfront, from Pier A to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Below: Battery Conservancy founder and president Warrie Price
Warrie Price, president and founder of the Battery Conservancy (the non-profit that oversees the park) commented that, “we are pleased that the Conservancy has been consulted during the design of the Wharf and that the assets we funded and have always cared for—such as the Gardens of Remembrance, the stone bench, steps, and public art railings—are being reused in the new plan.”
At its September 30 meeting, CB1 enacted a resolution endorsing the need for the Battery Wharf to be rebuilt, while also emphasizing several related priorities. Among them is the concern that the north-west corner of the Battery (where the park joins Pier A Plaza), “is a well-traveled and used route, and access should be maintained there.”
In reiterating another longstanding community concern, CB1 also urges that the security fencing erected by the National Park Service near the site of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island ferry (installed after September 11, 2001), “should be removed, or at the very least rethought.” The resolution additionally proposes that the National Park Service’s “security tent should be removed and relocated, and the community should actively be involved in assessing other possible locations (including potentially the parking lot in the back of the nearby Coast Guard building).”
Another possible location for this facility would be the now-vacant Pier A, where the restaurant and bar that operated for several years shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. About this point, Ms. Price observed, “sadly the temporary security tents retain their inappropriate presence on this most historic of New York City waterfronts, obstructing the grand harbor view and community engagement. A solution is just steps away at Pier A. What is lacking is bold civic leadership. But as an optimist, I believe it will happen, because it must.”
Finally, CB1 calls upon the Economic Development Corporation and the Parks Department to provide, “a clearer understanding of the various elevations of protections on the peninsula of Lower Manhattan, how/why they were chosen and how they work together,” and urges that, “all Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency projects should be part of a larger, consistent regional plan.”
Propping Up Mom and Pop Shops
Alliance Aims to Encourage Storefront Startups in Lower Manhattan
The Downtown Alliance is offering a package of free incentives and support services, valued at $10,000, to help new retailers and restaurants seeking to open in Lower Manhattan. The Jump Start program is designed to give small businesses a better chance at success in both the physical and online marketplace, by offering up to 20 eligible applicants a customized strategic launch plan, along with four interactive consultation sessions. Services will include advice on everything from driving foot traffic to creating a successful e-commerce platform.
Exhibit at Museum of Jewish Heritage Showcases Work of Holocaust Survivor Inspired by Trauma
“I would have liked to make pretty pictures, but something always stopped me,” artist Boris Lurie once reflected on his work, a searing collection of which is now on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Battery Place. The exhibit, “Nothing to Do But Try,” brings together Lurie’s “War Series,” which recalls his experiences in a succession of Nazi ghettoes and concentration camps. His self portrait is at right.
The “Nothing to Do But Try” exhibit is now open at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place, near First Place) and will run through April 29. Tickets are priced at $18 for adults; $12 for seniors, students, veterans, and handicapped visitors; and admission is free to children under 12 years of age and New York City public school students. For more information, please call 646-437-4202, or browse mjhnyc.org/. To read more…
The annual Dine Around Downtown festival, presented by the Downtown Alliance and hosted by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, continues its “Cooking At Home Edition,” broadcast via Zoom, which presents Lower Manhattan chefs as they demonstrate easy-to-replicate dishes from their restaurants, while also raising money for food-security charities. Upcoming episodes will feature Hegel Hei (founder Chinah), on October 28; and executive chef Amy Sur-Trevino (of Malibu Farm (on November 18). Participants can register to participate in free upcoming episodes at: downtownny.com/dinearound
Lower Manhattan residents have a new reason to gaze westward, after the Thursday opening and dedication of a new monumental public art piece in Jersey City. “Water’s Soul” is an 80-foot-tall white simulacrum of a woman’s head, with a hand raised to her face, and a single finger poised in front of her lips, as if beckoning the tableau before her to be silent. To read more…
To the Editor:
Good grief! That bizarre head of a woman looking out over our Hudson River is certainly the most grotesque example of a waste of money to be installed recently. It seems any space needed to plop down the latest turkey ends up on the river banks here. Thankfully I am well-enough downstream to not have it visible to me.
Recalling Five Points
Epicenter of a Notorious Slum Memorialized
The City has decided to dignify a district that was once a source of shame and that it later sought to erase, both from memory and the Lower Manhattan streetscape. In 1831, the City government considered a petition that warned, “that the place known as ‘Five Points’ has long been notorious… as being the nursery where every species of vice is conceived and matured; that it is infested by a class of the most abandoned and desperate character.”
With its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River, Wagner Park is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. Masks required. Free.
The chief endowment officers at foundations, family offices, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds are the leaders in the world of finance. They marshal trillions of dollars on behalf of their institutions and influence how capital flows throughout the world.How do they make investment decisions on everything from hiring managers to portfolio construction? Join us for an afternoon webinar with author Ted Seides as he discusses his new book, Capital Allocators, with Jonathan Brolin, founder and managing partner of Edenbrook Capital LLC, on this opaque corner of the investment landscape. Free.
A. Approval of Budget for Fiscal Year Ending October 31, 2022.
B. Authorization to Amend Contract with Thornton Tomasseti (Physical Site Security Consulting Services)
C. Approval for Increase in Fiscal Year 2022 Spending Authority for On-Call General Contractors, Construction Managers and Engineers.
D. Authorization to Amend Contract with AKRF, Inc. (Historic Cultural Resources Preservation Consulting Services for South BPC Resiliency Project).
E. Approval to Enter into an Agreement with Iron Mountain (Off-site Records Storage).
F. Authorization to Amend Contract with PFM Financial Advisors, LLC (Financial Advisory Services and Independent Registered Municipal Advisor).
G. Authorization to Amend Contracts with Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. (Managed Security and Local Area Network Services).
VIII. MOTION TO CONDUCT EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS NEGOTIATIONS RELATED TO THE LEASE OF REAL PROPERTY, THE PUBLICITY OF WHICH COULD SUBSTANTIALLY AFFECT THE VALUE OF THE RELEVANT PROPERTIES, AND MATTERS LEADING TO THE APPOINTMENT, EMPLOYMENT, PROMOTION, DEMOTION, DISCIPLINE, SUSPENSION, DISMISSAL OR REMOVAL OF A PARTICULAR PERSON OR CORPORATION.
China Institute,”Join top architects and urban thinkers for a wide-ranging discussion on China’s cities of the future. For decades, China’s planners focused on tearing down the old, and building the new in order to fuel the nation’s rapid development. Glistening cities rose, while psychological and social costs took a back seat. Today, as China struts more confidently on the world stage, its architects are reaching back to Chinese tradition to reinvent urban planning—and redefine what it means to be modern. Free.
In recorded presentations by two renowned Mexican families, the museum showcases two traditions central to Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): the art of making figures from sugar and papier-mâché. These two presentations will take place in Spanish. “The Sweet Story of Alfeñique” follows matriarch Margarita Mondragón as she creates skulls and animals, artworks made of sugar (alfeñique). “The Story of Cartonería Tradicional” (The Story of Papier-mâché) follows artisans Ana Miriam Castañeda Montes de Oca and Martín Ramírez as they make compelling figures known as calaveras (laughing skeletons), figures that humorously and poetically continue with their work in the afterlife. The art form dates to at least to the 17th century and were used to adorn religious spaces and represent various historical figures in processions. Evelyn Orantes and Joaquin Newman will demonstrate how to create paper marigolds. Free.
The Food for Thought series continues its pursuit of three goals – to restart, revive, and reconnect. October’s topic is romantic relationships: How do I find love (safely) in a post COVID-19 world? Join the discussion to learn more about online dating etiquette, long distance tips, and keeping romance steady within marriages. Free.
In American Hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria and the Making of a Century, historian David Freeland recounts the history of not just an American hotel, but, arguably, the American hotel. From the opening as the Waldorf at its first location at Fifth Avenue at 33rd Street in 1893, then more than doubling in size in 1897 into the Waldorf-Astoria, the hostelry rose to prominence on the local, national, and international stage. Opening for business on October 1, 1931, the new uptown Waldorf-Astoria struggled through the Depression, but rose to unparalleled prominence in the postwar years. Functioning like an American palace, the Waldorf served as a favored venue for United Nations diplomats and the hotel of choice for American Presidents until its shuttering in 2017. The Waldorf-Astoria’s story, Freeland writes, “is that of America in the twentieth century, and it would be difficult to imagine any hotel bearing the same degree of influence again. Free.
In this lecture, Jinny Berten will consider the relationship between George Washington and William Lee, the last three days of Washington’s life, Washington’s changing views on slavery and the concerns the Mount Vernon enslaved had with Washington’s last will and testament. Free.
The annual Dine Around Downtown festival, presented by the Downtown Alliance and hosted by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, continues its “Cooking At Home Edition,” broadcast via Zoom, which presents Lower Manhattan chefs as they demonstrate easy-to-replicate dishes from their restaurants, while also raising money for food-security charities. Today’s episode will feature Hegel Hei (founder Chinah); Participants can register to participate in free upcoming episodes at: downtownny.com/dinearound
The tall ship Wavertree, the lightship Ambrose, and the tug W.O. Decker are open to the public. Explore Wavertree and Ambrose while they are docked; cruise New York Harbor on W.O. Decker. Wavertree and Ambrose visits are free; Decker prices vary. Check website for times, prices and other details.
Wigwam for Wee Ones
The Battery Park City Authority will present “Campfire Stories & Songs” on Saturday, October 30 (from 2:00pm to 4:00pm) in Teardrop Park. Kids and parents are invited to cozy up beside a campfire for stories and sing-alongs, while enjoying snacks and art projects.
This event is free to attend. No reservation required.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Providing Companion and Home Health Aide Care to clients with dementia.Help with grooming, dressing and wheelchair assistance. Able to escort client to parks and engage in conversations of desired topics and interests of client. Reliable & Honest
Reliable, trustworthy and caring Nanny looking for full time position preferably with newborns, infants and toddlers. I have experience in the Battery Park City area for 8 years. I will provide a loving, safe and nurturing environment for your child. Refs available upon request. Beverly 347 882 6612
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC. Call Tenzin
SEEKING LIVE-IN ELDER CARE
12 years experience, refs avail. I am a loving caring hardworking certified home health aide
World Trade Center Health Program Faces Funding Shortfall
The World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical treatment to people affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is facing an impending budget shortfall that, if left unaddressed, could cause it to scale back services starting in 2025. Activists, local leaders, and elected officials are working to head off this possibility with new legislation.
More than 58,000 people are currently grappling with health problems arising from exposure to environmental toxins on September 11, 2001, and its aftermath. More have died from these illnesses in the years since 2001 than perished on the day of the attacks. There are now 21,000 people suffering from cancers related to September 11.
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Samascott Orchard Orchard fruit, strawberries from Columbia County, New York
Francesa’s Bakery Breads and baked goods from Middlesex County, New Jersey
Meredith’s Bakery Baked goods from Ulster County, New York
Riverine Ranch Water Buffalo meat and cheeses from Warren County, New Jersey
1857 Spirits Handcrafted potato vodka from Schoharie County, New York
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted
TODAY IN HISTORY
1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens, almost 36 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City,
1275 – Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.
1524 – Italian Wars: The French troops lay siege to Pavia.
1553 – Michael Servetus was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer and was the first to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation.He participated in the Protestant Reformation and was condemned by Catholics and Protestants and arrested in Geneva and burnt at the stake as a heretic by order of the city’s Protestant governing council.
1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order,which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated. Claiming that Latter-day Saints had committed open and avowed defiance of the law after the Battle of Crooked River, a clash between Latter-day Saints and the Missouri State Guard, Governor Boggs directed that “the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description”.
1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens, almost 36 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, The fare was five cents and on the first day the trains carried over 150,000 passengers. City Hall subway station, was designed to be the showpiece of the new subway system with its elegant platform and mezzanine featured Guastavino tile, skylights, colored glass tilework and brass chandeliers.
1914 – The British lose their first battleship of World War I: The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons) is sunk off Tory Island, north-west of Ireland, by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin. The loss was kept an official secret in Britain until 14 November 1918 (three days after the end of the war). The sinking was witnessed and photographed by passengers on RMS Olympic sister ship of RMS Titanic.
1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson files for divorce which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
1961 – NASA tests the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.
1962 – Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force becomes the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane is shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.
1988 – Ronald Reagan suspends construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.
1782 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1840)
1811 – Isaac Singer, American actor and businessman, founded the Singer Corporation (d. 1875)
1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, colonel and politician, 26th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1919)
1908 – Lee Krasner, American painter (d. 1984)
1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and playwright (d. 1953)
1923 – Roy Lichtenstein, American painter and sculptor (d. 1997)
1926 – H. R. Haldeman, businessman and diplomat, 4th White House Chief of Staff (d. 1993)
1932 – Sylvia Plath, American poet, novelist, and short story writer (d. 1963)
1939 – John Cleese, English actor, comedian, screenwriter and producer
1940 – John Gotti, American mob boss (d. 2002)
1505 – Ivan III of Russia (b. 1440)
1927 – Squizzy Taylor, Australian gangster (b. 1888)
2013 – Lou Reed, singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1942)