City Previews Plans for Augmented East River Shoreline as Bulwark Against Flooding
An aerial view of the City’s most recent plan for resiliency measures in the Financial District and the Seaport
In online meetings hosted last Wednesday and Thursday by the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio shared preliminary ideas for its Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan, covering the mile-long stretch between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
The concepts reviewed at last week’s meetings include extending the shoreline of Manhattan between 60 and 200 feet into the East River, with a series of interlocking berms, platforms, and floodgates, all designed to hold back waters from climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme-weather events.
Looking south from Pier 17, at the interlocking network of berms, platforms, and floodgates, all designed to hold back waters from climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme-weather events.
At its farthest extension into the River, this network of barriers would be roughly five feet higher than the current waterfront promenade along South Street. But the interior sections of the complex (closest to the contemporary shoreline) would be up to 18 feet above the present-day streetscape.
This plan will require rebuilding several pieces of infrastructure currently located on the riverbank, including the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the Wall Street Heliport, and several piers. EDC’s vision also calls for preserving in place the historic (and landmarked) Battery Maritime Building, but discontinuing its use as a ferry terminal, which currently serves Governors Island.
Looking north from the current site of the Wall Street Heliport, at the space mostly given over the new parks, with the only significant buildings consisting of restaurants, or similar amenities.
In a sharp contrast with initial versions of this plan, dating from 2019, EDC does not plan any large-scale development for the new land that will be created by these resiliency measures. Apart from a handful of one- or two-story buildings (likely to house restaurants, or similar amenities), the space will be largely given over to parks.
The EDC’s new vision for the Financial District and Seaport (which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year, and is projected to cost some $5 billion), also contains provisions for (but no commitment to) demolishing the FDR Drive viaduct, and converting that stretch of highway to a street-level boulevard.
A view which contemplates demolishing the FDR Drive viaduct, and converting that stretch of highway to a street-level boulevard.
A similar view, which envisions leaving the FDR Viaduct in place, but surrounds it with new open space.
When first proposed in 2013 by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the project was dubbed Seaport City. Mr. Bloomberg said at the time, “it would be expensive to build. But over time it could prove to be a great investment, just as Battery Park City has been. We can achieve the same thing on the East Side of Lower Manhattan. We can build it out, raise it above the flood level, and develop it.”
In 2014, the incoming de Blasio administration expressed a willingness to consider the proposal for Seaport City that it had inherited, but six years of successive budgets allocated no additional funds for further study or planning on the project. That intransigence changed in 2019, likely because the staggering cost of creating resiliency infrastructure for this exposed section of Downtown, estimated to run into many billions of dollars, appeared unlikely to be underwritten by any project that would not fund itself by generating revenue through development.
The irony in this dynamic is that Mayor de Blasio now finds himself in a situation starkly similar to that of Mr. Bloomberg almost a decade ago. As he faces the final weeks of his last term in City Hall, the Mayor’s best hope for making progress and securing a legacy on the issue of Lower Manhattan resiliency may consist of a formulating a grand plan that is left to his successor to implement.
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HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
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I’m one of the 11 thousand who left. Why?? I didn”t feel it was safe to live there any longer! DeBlasio letting addicts, homeless, EDP’s roam the streets untethered was the last straw for me!
The Boy From Brooklyn
Has Anybody Seen 11,000 Neighbors?
According to a new statistical analysis released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Lower Manhattan’s population declined during the COVID-19 pandemic by more than that of any other community in the five boroughs, due to residents moving away.
The report, titled “The Pandemic’s Impact on NYC Migration Patterns,” quantifies this outflow by focusing on the “public use microdata area” (PUMA) demographic model used by the U.S. Census, which defines the community as “Battery Park City/Greenwich Village/Soho”—the combined catchments of Community Boards 1 and 2, or roughly the area below the Brooklyn Bridge on the East Side and south of 14th Street on the West Side, with those two boundaries connected by a north-south line that traces Fourth Avenue, Bowery, and Pearl Streets.
Using change of address filings submitted to the U.S. Postal Service, Mr. Stringer documents that out of every 1,000 residents, 130.9 people moved out of the Lower Manhattan PUMA during the pandemic. This translates into slightly less than a 14 percent reduction in the local population.
These results are especially stark when broken out by the eight residential zip codes within Community Board 1:
City Moves Forward with Plan to Make Sidewalk Dining Permanent, Despite Objections from Downtown Leaders
On Monday, the City Planning Commission moved toward making permanent the temporary measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed restaurants to take over sidewalk and street space for outdoor dining. The agency voted to enact a zoning text amendment (a change to the wording of the New York City Zoning Resolution) that will enable the Mayor and the City Council to formulate a program to perpetuate the expansion of restaurants into public space that was started, as a emergency stopgap, last year. This plan would have a particularly significant impact in Lower Manhattan (where narrow sidewalks and winding streets are the norm), which has sparked opposition among local elected officials. To read more…
Battery Park City Hotel Operator Implodes Amid Allegations of Fraud
Even by the standards of the distressed hotel industry, the spiraling adversity faced by the owners of the Wagner Hotel in Battery Park City is remarkable.
In October, lenders and investors filed suit against Los Angeles-based Urban Commons, the firm that bought the hotel in 2018 for $147 million, some $100 million of which was in the form of a loan from the seller, Westbrook Partners. The suit alleges that executives of the company accepted $1 million from an investor, which was intended to finance hotel acquisitions that never took place, and then refused to return the original funds. To read more…
Statue of Limitations
Local Leaders Want ‘Fearless Girl’ to Go Through Channels Before Becoming Permanent
An array of Lower Manhattan community leaders are mobilizing to lobby the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to comply with legally required procedures before authorizing the continued presence on Broad Street of the “Fearless Girl” statue, a bronze likeness of a young female striking a jaunty, audacious pose.
A resolution enacted at October 26 monthly meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) notes that the sculpture, “was originally placed at a nearby public site without authority in 2017.” To read more…
Prodigious Pilot Lands in the Battery
Lower Manhattan’s inventory of monumental public art pieces has increased by one, with the debut of The Great Debate, a 16-foot-tall statue by Afro-Futurist sculptor Hebru Brantley, who has created a painted fiberglass figure depicting a recurring character of his: Flyboy, an African-American teenage superhero, who doubles as both a pilot and a crimefighter.
Schedule Changes: Market closed 12/25 for Christmas Day and 1/1 for New Year’s Day.
The loyal community of neighborhood residents who shop at the Tribeca Greenmarket show up each Wednesday and Saturday year-round to get their fix of locally grown produce, sustainably raised meat, seafood, sheep’s milk cheese and yogurt, orchard fruit and berries, herbs, live plants and cut flowers. Cooking demonstrations, raffles, and educational activities make the market a hands-on experience for shoppers of all ages.
American Pride Seafood Wild-caught fish and shellfish from Suffolk County, NY
Dipaola Turkeys Turkey and turkey products from Mercer County, NJ
Francesca’s Bakery Breads and baked goods from Passaic County, NJ
Hudson Valley Duck Farm Heritage breed ducks and duck products from Sullivan County, NY
Jersey Farm Produce Vegetables, herbs, orchard and small fruit from Hunterdon County, NJ
Lani’s Farm Vegetables, eggs and prepared foods from Burlington County, NJ
Millport Dairy Eggs, cheddar cheese, beef, pork, pickles and baked goods from Lancaster County, PA
Prospect Hill Orchards Fruit, some certified organic, granola, and baked goods from Ulster County, NY
Tucker Farms Cut Flowers from Burlington & Monmouth County, NJ
Westmeadow Farm cow and goat milk cheeses and cows butter from Montgomery County, NY
Yellow Bell Farm Chicken and eggs from Dutchess County, NY
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
INDOOR FARMERS MARKET STORE:
91 South St., bet. Fulton & John Sts. Open Monday – Saturdays 11:30 AM – 5 PM
Indoor Market Hours: Monday – Saturday
11:30 AM to 5:00 PM, year round
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
TODAY IN HISTORY
The Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963. This is frame 371 of the Zapruder film.
Secret Service Agent Clint Hill climbs onto the back of the presidential limousine, after the fatal head shot to President Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy, wife of President Kennedy, is on the limousine’s trunk. (wikipedia)
1635 – Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island.
1718 – Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as “Blackbeard”) is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.
1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched and is one of the last clippers ever built, and the only one still surviving today.
1873 – The French steamer SS Ville du Havre sinks in 12 minutes after colliding with the Scottish iron clipper Loch Earn in the Atlantic, with a loss of 226 lives.
1935 – The China Clipper inaugurates the first commercial transpacific air service, connecting Alameda, California with Manila.
1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated and Texas Governor John Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, who also killed Dallas Police officer J. D. Tippit after fleeing the scene. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States afterwards.
1963 – The Beatles release With the Beatles.
1975 – Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco.
1995 – Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
2005 – Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany.
1602 – Elisabeth of France (d. 1644)
1635 – Francis Willughby, English ornithologist and ichthyologist (d. 1672)
1744 – Abigail Adams, second First Lady of the United States (d. 1818)
1890 – Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician, 18th President of France (d. 1970)
1912 – Doris Duke, American art collector and philanthropist (d. 1993)
1913 – Benjamin Britten, English pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1976)
1921 – Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian (d. 2004)
1967 – Boris Becker, German-Swiss tennis player
365 – Antipope Felix II
1896 – George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., American engineer, invented the Ferris wheel (b. 1859)
1902 – Walter Reed, American physician and entomologist (b. 1851)
1916 – Jack London, American novelist and journalist (b. 1876)
1955 – Shemp Howard, American actor and comedian (b. 1895)
1963 – Aldous Huxley, English novelist and philosopher (b. 1894)
1963 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (b. 1917)
1963 – C. S. Lewis, British writer, critic and Christian apologist (b. 1898)
1963 – J. D. Tippit, American police officer (Dallas Police Department) (b. 1924)
1980 – Mae West, American actress, singer, and screenwriter (b. 1893)
Credit to Wikipedia and other internet and non-internet sources