Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Everything New Is Old Again
Preservation Concerns about Design of New Residential Building in Tribeca
The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has approved a new residential structure in the Tribeca East Historic District that closely mimics the visual context of the surrounding neighborhood, but has nonetheless inspired concerns among some preservationists.
The site, at 36 Lispenard (on the corner with Church Street) is a one-story structure that has, for decades, housed a barber shop and coffee shop. In the language of preservation professionals, it is “non-contributing,” which means that it is deemed not to add to the legacy or design integrity that make the surrounding neighborhood historically and architecturally important. For this reason, the site is eligible for “in-fill,” or new development.
Nonetheless, the site falls within the legally protected Tribeca East Historic District, which means that any significant changes must be approved by the LPC. And that panel customarily does not make a decision until after reviewing an advisory opinion from the local Community Board.
The developers and their architects originally proposed an 85-foot building: a 75-foot facade facing the street, with a rooftop machinery room (known as a bulkhead) that raised the building’s overall height another ten feet. Last June, Community Board 1 (CB1) objected to the extra height, and urged the LPC to require that the developer minimize the bulkhead, to bring the building’s overall height into alignment with nearby structures.
This satisfied the LPC, which followed CB1’s recommendation, reviewing (and rejecting) the proposal in September, but then approving a revised version in December.
CB1 also voiced concerns that within even the scaled-down dimensions, the developers plan to squeeze seven stories, with ground-floor retail and six floors of residential space above. This contrasts sharply with nearby loft buildings, which typically rise only five stories within 75 feet of height. (This difference is accounted by taller ceiling heights in legacy loft buildings.)
The design for 36 Lispenard seeks to be “contextual” with surrounding, historic structures, through the use of similar visual themes, such as arched-top window bays. In other respects, however, the new building departs from the neighborhood’s look and feel.
While many of the buildings it seeks to imitate have cast-iron, brick, or masonry facades, the exterior skin of the new structure will consist of poured concrete. Lynn Ellsworth, the chairperson, of Tribeca Trust and president of Human-Scale NYC, says that, “I am in favor of very strong contextuality, and not schlock versions of contextuality. I’m pretty worried about the use of poured concrete. Nothing can help such a material fit into the neighborhood at all.”
“While there’s no problem with having in-fill on that site,” she continued, “it’s too bad that it won’t be affordable housing. And the building should be scaled to match the one across the street. With the bulkhead, it will end up looking too big at street level.” She adds that, the developer is, “clearly intent on squeezing every bit of floor-area ratio out of the site.”
‘This Is a Deal That Must Be Made’
Gateway Plaza Tenants Association Continues to Work on Affordability Protections
On February 6, the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association hosted more than 100 residents, along with a phalanx of elected officials and community leaders, who came together at the P.S./I.S. 276 auditorium to share concerns and offer updates about the status of affordability within Battery Park City’s largest rental complex. The meeting came at a critical time, because caps on rent increases at Gateway are set to expire on June 30.
GPTA president Rosalie Joseph began, “I want everybody here to know that the GPTA’s goal is long-term rent stabilization for all. Elected officials and BPCA have heard this from us. I wish I could stand here today and tell you that there is resolution, but I can’t. But the work continues, and we will work as hard as we can, closely with elected officials and BPCA to achieve the goal of rent stabilization for all.” To read more…
Church Street School for Music & Art
Celebrates 30 Years
Church Street School for Music and Art
has been the only non-profit music and art school
in Lower Manhattan for 30 years!
We will be celebrating at our annual gala:
Tuesday, March 10th
6:30pm to 10:30pm
Julia Stiles is this year’s Artist Chair
and the school will honor
The Kleiman Family:
Laurie, Norman, Daryl, Charlie & Gabe.
The Event will take place at the glamorous Tribeca Rooftop, located at Two Desbrosses Street and will include music, dancing, cocktails, fine dining, awards, and a silent & live auction.For tickets and information:
‘I’m Asking for the Chance to Continue Fighting for This Community’
Assembly Member Niou Launches Reelection Bid with Broad Backing
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou won two key endorsements in recent days, boosting her reelection bid, which officially kicked off on February 23. That day, the New Downtown Democrats (NDD), a political club founded to give voice to Lower Manhattan residents, gave Ms. Niou their backing.
“We have to make sure that we are continuing our fight,” Ms. Niou said at the NDD meeting. To read more…
Ars Gratia Communitas
Battery Park City’s Annual Art Exhibit
Battery Park City’s annual art exhibition opened on Sunday, January 26.
The art will be on view at
75 Battery Place, weekdays,
January 27 to March 27, 2PM to 4PM
People visiting should check in with our security desk on the ground floor, where they will be directed to the elevators to the 4th floor. The receptionist will direct them to the show.
The Fate of a Neighborhood
State Judge Rules Against City Hall on Two Bridges Developments
Opponents of four massive new towers proposed for the Two Bridges neighborhood on Lower Manhattan’s East River waterfront were handed a major victory this week, when the State Supreme Court tossed out the City’s 2018 approval for the buildings.To read more…
Jewish Survival And Rescue In Occupied France
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Conference. In Nazi-occupied France, nearly 75% of French Jews were able to survive the Holocaust despite the complicity of the Vichy government with the German authorities. This can be explained by the implementation of rescue networks by the Jews themselves, with the help of the population in certain “refuge” regions. This two-day conference is part of “France and Judaism: 2,000 Years of Intertwined History,” a series organized by the Consulate General of France in New York. 36 Battery Place.
6 River Terrace
Directed by Church Street School for Music and Art, the BPC Chorus is open to all adults who love to sing. Learn a mix of contemporary and classic songs, and perform at community events throughout the year.
Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee
Metropolitan College 40 Rector Street (Entrance on West Street)
When Fear Goes Viral
In the weeks since the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Wuhan, the situation has exploded into a global public health crisis that has claimed over 2,600 lives. As the number of infected individuals continues to grow, the world’s gaze has turned to China – and to the Chinese people.
Nearly two decades after the outbreak of SARS in 2003, what lessons have been learned? Did early communication lapses exacerbate the health crisis, or has China’s unique system allowed the government to take unprecedented control? How should international governments react now that the virus is spreading elsewhere? And where is the public sympathy for Wuhan – global citizens who stood with Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, with Paris after the 2015 shooting, and with Australia during the 2019 wildfires, but who have been all but absent in today’s growing crisis.
Join China Institute, when we convene China and global health experts – and a doctor from Wuhan via Skype – to explore what to do when a virus not only threatens our health, but also our humanity. $15 40 Rector Street.
Today in History
AD 51 – Nero, later to become Roman emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis(head of the youth).
1461 – Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his House of York cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV.
1493 – Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what are now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
1519 – Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth.
1675 – John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
1789 – In New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect.
1790 – France is divided into 83 départements, cutting across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.
1861 – The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the “Stars and Bars”) is adopted.
1890 – The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, is opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.
1957 – The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.
1986 – The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Halley’s Comet and the first images of its nucleus.
2018 – Former MI6 spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, England, causing a diplomatic uproar that results in mass-expulsions of diplomats from all countries involved.
1394 – Henry the Navigator, Portuguese explorer (d. 1460)
1678 – Antonio Vivaldi, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1741)
1745 – Casimir Pulaski, Polish-American general (d. 1779)
1856 – Alfred William Rich, English painter, author, and educator (d. 1921)
1906 – Avery Fisher, violinist and engineer, founded Fisher Electronics (d. 1994)
1932 – Ed Roth, American illustrator (d. 2001)
1936 – Jim Clark, Scottish race car driver (d. 1968)
1986 – Mike Krieger, computer programmer, co-founded Instagram
1172 – Stephen III, king of Hungary (b. 1147)
1853 – Christian Leopold von Buch, German geologist and paleontologist (b. 1774)
1963 – William Carlos Williams, American poet, short story writer, and essayist (b. 1883)
1974 – Adolph Gottlieb, American painter and sculptor (b. 1903)
2007 – Thomas Eagleton, American lawyer and politician, 38th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri (b. 1929)
2019 – Luke Perry, American actor (b. 1966)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Tots Take Priority Over Traffic
CB1’s Youth and Education Chair Announces Plaza for Front of New Fidi School
Tricia Joyce, the chair of the Youth and Education Committee of Community Board 1 announced at the Tuesday night meeting of the Board that local leaders and elected officials had won a long-sought victory for Downtown school kids.
Enoteca on the Hudson
City Winery Prepares to Open at Pier 56
As Lower Manhattan has morphed into a residential community and dining destination, another ongoing evolution has attracted less notice: Downtown is becoming a performing arts district. The highest-profile illustration of this shift is the Perelman, which (thanks to the largesse of its eponymous benefactor) has become the shorthand name for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center that is slowly rising out of the ground near the intersection of Vesey and Greenwich Streets. But the opening of this facility is still several years away. To read more…
Aversion to Immersion
CB1 Skeptical about New Performance Venue in FiDi
In a preliminary vote, the Licensing & Permits Committee of Community Board 1 has enacted a resolution calling upon the State Liquor Authority to reject an application by Ermusive, a production company that wants to open a new performance venue in the basement of 20 Exchange Place, in the Financial District.
Multiple New Bikes Lanes Coming to Lower Manhattan
A network of new bike lanes is planned for Lower Manhattan’s streetscape, with implementation for some of the project slated for later this year.
The first addition to Downtown’s bike grid will consist of dedicated cycling lanes on Broadway and Whitehall Street, extending from City Hall southward to Bowling Green and the Staten Island Ferry, where this route will link with the existing Waterfront Path, which connects the Battery to bike easements on the East River shoreline and in Battery Park City.
Higher, Wider, Handsomer
City Council Announces Design Competition to Improve Pedestrian Access to Brooklyn Bridge
The City Council has partnered with the Van Alen Institute (a New York nonprofit architectural organization, dedicated to improving design in the public realm) in sponsoring a contest to incubate fresh ideas for better pedestrian access to the Brooklyn Bridge. To read more…
City Plans to Raise Esplanade in the Battery to 11 Feet Above Waterline
Among the myriad of resiliency projects that are now in the planning stages for various parts of Lower Manhattan, the City is planning to raise the level of the waterfront Esplanade in the Battery to an elevation 11 feet above the current waterline. To read more…
Come Heck or High Water
Meeting Tonight Will Discuss Resiliency Plans for Northern Battery Park City
Tonight, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) and Community Board 1 (CB1) will co-host a public meeting focused on the North Battery Park Resiliency Project. This session will be held at the Richard C. Harris Terrace of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, at 199 Chambers Street (between West and Greenwich Streets), starting at 6:00 pm.To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT?
ORGANIZED, RELIABLE, KNOWLEDGEABLE.
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AVAILABLE
FOR BABYSITTING OR TUTORING
17 year old young man, lifetime resident of Tribeca and BPC.
Went to PS 234, Lab Middle School and currently attending Millennium HS. This summer was a Councilor at Pierce Country Day Camp. Excellent references.Very experienced with kids under 10.
Available for weeknight and weekend baby-sitting and tutoring middle-schoolers in Math or Science. Please contact Emmett at 917.733.3572
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 Keirstead email@example.com
347-933-1362 References available
CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDE SEEKING
Full-Time Live-In Elder Care
I am loving, caring and hardworking with 12 years experience. References available. Marcia 347-737-5037 firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature Text Paula at 917-836-8802
ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE
with 17 years experience seeks PT/FT work. Refs available Call or text 718 496 6232 Dian
Available starting September for PT/FT.
Wonderful person, who is a great worker. Reference Available
Available for PT/FT elder care. Experienced. References Angella
EXPERIENCED ELDER CARE
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 12yrs experienced 347-898-5804
Call Hope email@example.com
If you would like to place a listing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Eyes to the Sky
March 2 – 15, 2020
Spring stars rising, NEAF
Spring stars appear in our evening sky as rhythmically as pussy willow and snowdrop blossoms emerge here on Earth in the northeast. As March begins, the constellation Leo the Lion, in full figure, stretches above the eastern horizon at nightfall. The expression “March comes in like a Lion” likely had cosmic roots before its familiar reference to fierce winds.
All the Lion’s stars, from brightest Regulus at its front foot to bright Denebola at its tail, come into view during the course of about 60 to 90 minutes after sunset.
Sundown is at 5:49 Eastern Standard Time today and about a minute later everyday through the 7th. Eastern Daylight Time begins at 2am on March 8, when clocks are set one hour ahead. Sunset by the clock does not coincide with actual sunset from March 8 until November 1, when we return to Eastern Standard Time. On the 8th, sundown is at 6:56pm EDT. The Full Sap Moon occurs on the 9th.
The most outstanding spring star, orange-hued Arcturus, is the second brightest distant sun in northern skies. Arcturus rises above the east-northeast skyline at 8:16 tonight, about two hours after Leo’s tail star, Denebola. Brilliant Arcturus appears 4 minutes earlier every evening. When I observe the golden star close above the east-northeast skyline, I stand tall as witness to nighttime’s quintessential harbinger of spring. I am swept into the rising of the new season.
Refer to the diagram to see, on the left, the Big Dipper’s handle ‘arc to Arcturus’. Notice hallmark stars and constellations of the winter season on the right. Brilliant Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the heavens, is descending toward the west as Arcturus ascends in the east.
Opportunity to Participate
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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