CB1 Approves Renovation to Historic Seaport Building
Tribeca Pediatrics Founder Gets Blessing to Make Alterations
Above: The current appearance of 107 South Street, in the Seaport District. Below, Dr. Michel Cohen, founder of Tribeca Pediatrics.
Community Board 1 (CB1) is giving its approval to a proposal to alter a building within the South Street Seaport Historic District. The property is 107 South Street (between Beekman Street and Peck Slip), which dates from the 1900s, and has been vacant for decades. In 2019, the building was purchased for $6 million by Dr. Michel Cohen, who is familiar to many Lower Manhattan residents as the physician who founded Tribeca Pediatrics, and has helped care for generations of Downtown kids.
Dr. Cohen wants to rehabilitate the dilapidated structure, and expand it vertically by adding two additional floors. He plans to use the space as the new headquarters for his medical practice, while also adding residential units to the buildings new, upper floors.
At the May 24 meeting of CB1, Jason Friedman, chair of the Board’s Landmarks Preservation Committee, explained, “this is a modification to a proposal that we approved back in 2020, when the project was proposed as a commercial building, entirely.”
“Now they’re going to move forward with the building as a mixed use residential and commercial building,” Mr. Friedman continued. “So they have to make some changes, such as adding a fire escape, and adding a door to the storefront.” The revised plan also calls for solar cells on the new, sloping rooftop.
A rendering of how the historic building will appear after being renovated to serve as the new headquarters of Tribeca Pediatrics. Note new roof construction and signage on the facade.
Altering the building requires permission from the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which has jurisdiction over all structures within legally protected neighborhoods, such as the South Street Seaport Historic District. The LPC usually waits for a recommendation from local community boards before making such a determination.
In its resolution, CB1 noted that, “the modifications necessary to develop a mixed-use building such as an additional door and the ground floor storefront are acceptable,” and concluded that, “CB1 recommends the Landmarks Preservation Commission approve the modifications to 107 South Street proposal.”
The one reservation voiced by CB1 was to call for “a more modest building façade signage package,” because “exterior signage should only be used as accessory signage to the building tenant.”
In a 2020 resolution about the plan for 107 South Street, CB1 noted that “the proposed two-story enlargement echoes the shape of the recently developed 106 South Street creating a harmony within the block’s street wall out of an otherwise highly visible addition,” and that “the materials used for the addition are like the materials utilized for other twentieth century developments of nineteenth century buildings in the district.” Finally, CB1’s resolution acknowledged that the proposed “slope-shaped roof with dormer windows is an appropriate interpretation of the original roofscapes, which are still prevalent in the South Street Seaport Historic District.”
Dr. Cohen said, “we are excited to restore this unique property and to contribute to this vibrant and historic neighborhood just steps away from our flagship offices in Tribeca.”
Governors Island May Soon Host More Restaurants, a Conference Center, and a Hotel
The Trust for Governors Island has issued two requests for proposals (RFPs) to solicit ideas for how to turn five historic buildings into 45,000 square feet of restaurants, events venues, or a hotel.
New York’s annual food celebration, Restaurant Week, started yesterday and wraps up on Sunday, August 21. For those disinclined to venture above Canal Street, the good news is that of all the 659 establishments participating throughout the City this summer, almost four dozen are located in Lower Manhattan. Most restaurants are offering a selection of $30, $45, and $60 two-course lunches and $30, $45, and $60 three-course dinners. In many of these locations, the everyday prices are significantly higher than Restaurant Week offerings, which makes this value proposition a compelling opportunity to try places that might ordinarily be outside your budget. Because seats go fast, please call ahead to confirm availability and make a reservation.
For a list of participating Lower Manhattan restaurants, their addresses and phone number, click here.
Eyes to the Sky, July 2022
Cosmos of starry skies reflected in Earth’s fireflies
Images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope offer stunning views of the universe.
In dark sky locations on July nights, the cosmos of stars meets and seems to blend with brilliant, flashing firefly lights in the space between treetops and ground in a great, animated surround. At nightfall, blinking lightning bugs stream over wild meadows, fallow hay fields, parks and gardens where artificial light is minimized—leaving the awe-struck stargazer rapt in Earth’s near atmosphere that is alive with luminescent, courting beetles. But light pollution is destructive to fireflies and humans alike. Seek out dark areas within the city and head out to dark enclaves in the boroughs and beyond.
Observe and sketch the human figure. Each week a model will strike short and long poses for participants to draw. An artist/educator will offer constructive suggestions and critique. Drawing materials provided, and artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media. Free.
Conversation with New York City-based artists Tatiana Arocha and Sarah Cameron Sunde who will discuss their environmentally inspired projects presented at Brookfield Place. The discussion will be moderated by Kendal Henry, who has thirty years of experience curating exhibitions, specializing in public art projects across the globe, including Tatiana’s artwork at Brookfield Place. The panel will explore the ways each artist incorporate elements of earth and water in their practice to call attention to society’s complex relationship with and impact on the environment. Free.
Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street
JoJo Smith, the veteran Broadway dancer who helped define disco in Hollywood films as one of the go-to contemporary choreographers and coaches of the 1970s disco era. Jazz Roots Dance Company is dedicated to the preservation of the classic jazz dance form, and aims to entertain and educate all generations about the roots of classic jazz dance. $30.
Rhythm and grooves fill the air at this Friday evening program. Follow the lead of professional drummers as they guide you through the pulsating beats of traditional African drumming techniques and methods. Drums provided, dancing welcome!
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Today in History: July 20
This is the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, the world’s oldest ship afloat. On this day in 1997, she set sail for the first time in 116 years. Constitution is a wooden-hulled heavy frigate of the United States Navy, built in the North End of Boston and launched in 1797. Around the turn of the 18th century, she provided protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and fought against Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. In the War of 1812, she captured merchant ships and defeated smaller British warships. During the American Civil War, she served as a training ship for the U.S. Naval Academy. Today, she is open to the public and docked at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.
AD 70 – In the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, storms the Fortress of Antonia. The Roman army and the Zealots engage in street fights.
1225 – Treaty of San Germano is signed at San Germano between Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX.
1799 – Tekle Giyorgis I begins the first of six reigns as Emperor of Ethiopia.
1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.
1944 – Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
1951 – King Abdullah I of Jordan is assassinated while attending Friday prayers in Jerusalem.
1968 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held in Chicago.
1969 – Apollo 11 lands on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon.
1976 – The American Viking 1 lands on Mars.
1977 – The Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind-control experiments.
1992 – Vaclav Havel resigns as president of Czechoslovakia.
1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (aka Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
2005 – The Civil Marriage Act legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada.
2020 – Scientists find evidence of volcanoes on Venus, showing the planet is not as dormant as previously thought
356 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king (d. 323 BC)
1304 – Petrarch, Italian poet and scholar (d. 1374)
1822 – Gregor Mendel, Austro-German monk, geneticist and botanist (d. 1884)
1919 – Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer (d. 2008)
1933 – Cormac McCarthy, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter
1971 – Sandra Oh, Canadian actress
1999 – Pop Smoke [Bashar Barakah Jackson], rapper, singer-songwriter (d. 2020)
940 – Ibn Muqla, Iraqi calligrapher and court official (b. 885)