Lower Manhattan’s Local News
A Shore Thing
HRPT Plans Beach and Historic Sculpture for Gansevoort Peninsula
The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) has unveiled plans to create Manhattan’s first-ever public beach on the Gansevoort Peninsula, a five-acre-plus chersonese that juts out from the West Side waterfront, between Horatio and West 13th Streets.
The beach will be more for viewing the water than public bathing, owing to concerns about hygiene and safety — although a kayak launch is also planned for the site, for parks users who want to come into contact with the Hudson. But the sandy riverfront portion of the park will feature a playground and an area for sunbathing.
Other features will include a dog run, public restrooms, an outdoor “river gym” (consisting of rust-proof calisthenics equipment), and a 56,000-square-foot ballfield for use by local youth leagues. Guests in search of quiet enjoyment will be drawn to a pair of groves — one set aside for picnicking and the other featuring pine trees and winding foot paths.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the new Gansevoort park will be a large-scale public art work: a sculpture by David Hammons, consisting of a stainless steel frame that will exactly duplicate the position and dimensions of the dock shed on the now-vanished Pier 52, which once traced the southern edge of the peninsula.
From the years following the Civil War to the 1950s, this structure was used as a freight-transfer station by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. By the 1970s, however, it had been abandoned. In 1975, artist Gordon Matta-Clark broke into the building and cut five large holes in its corrugated tin wall, providing a unique vantage point for viewing the sunset over the Hudson River. The artist, who quickly left New York when the police issued a warrant for his arrest, called his creation, “Day’s End.” In homage, Mr. Hammons’s is also giving his new piece (created in partnership with the nearby Whitney Museum) the same title.
All of these plans are made possible by the City’s decision (spurred by a lawsuit filed in the early 2000s by environmental groups) to remove a Department of Sanitation facility that for decades occupied the bulk of Gansevoort Peninsula. Originally used an incinerator, the hulking building later served as a parking garage for garbage trucks. One other municipal use remains on a sliver of the lot (with no plans to vacate): It serves as the headquarters for the Fire Department’s marine unit.
The preliminary timeline for building out these plans calls for construction to begin late next year, and be completed sometime before the end of 2022.
Dear Mayor de Blasio:
This year on the Fourth of July, New Yorkers were denied access to view the annual Macy’s 4th of July fireworks from Howard Hughes Corporation’s Pier 17. Although obligated by agreement with the City of New York to provide 10,000 sf (25% of the rooftop) open to the public at all times, HHC excluded the public from Pier 17, reserving it for its VIP invites, the NBC media crews, and those who could afford the gilt-edged cost of the party offered elsewhere on the pier.
When local activist (and Save Our Seaport member) Stacy Shub took this complaint to elected officials and the news media, the developer offered space for 300 aboard the near-by vessel Wavertree, rented for the evening from the South Street Seaport Museum. In our view this offer was not made as a gesture to public access but as a cynical means to mollify local political criticism.
In terms of numbers and in terms of access, this cannot be considered a substitute for the space on Pier 17. Save Our Seaport calls upon the City to enforce its lease terms. -The City must require a financial penalty to be paid by the developer for this egregious violation of its lease. -The City must specify additional steps to prevent further violations in the future. Howard Hughes Corporation is not above the law.
Back in 2016, this developer received valuable concessions from the City to waive zoning requirements, relocate the land marked Tin Building and create a service road east of the FDR drive. They must respect the protections in effect to preserve the South Street Seaport Historic District or there must be consequences for their business.
Respectfully, Save Our Seaport David Sheldon, Steering Committee
cc: Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, Comptroller Scott M. Stringe,r Congressman Jerrold Nadle,r Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, State Senator Brian Kavanagh
We requested and received a response from Howard Hughes Corporation:
To the editor:
We were pleased to support and host the famed Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration, bringing the fireworks back to Lower Manhattan, and are thrilled that so many in our community as well as visitors enjoyed the spectacular evening along the cobblestone streets of the historic Seaport. With regard to Pier 17, it is New York City agencies that determined the closure of South Street to ensure public safety as they have done in past years when the fireworks have been produced at the Seaport. Prior to July 4, the City issued its list of viewing areas from which the public could safely enjoy the fireworks and no public access points east of South Street were included, similar to previous years. Given this circumstance and our commitment to providing the public with year-round access to Pier 17, we invited our neighbors to view the fireworks aboard the historic Wavertree, rented for the evening from the South Street Seaport Museum prior to any press on the matter to make it available to the community.
We are also pleased to continue to provide space for local nonprofits such as Black Gotham Experience, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Kubemas tutoring program, and host over 100 ongoing complimentary community events at the Seaport throughout the year, including the recent Waterfront Alliance City of Water Day, as well as concerts, cinema nights, and fitness classes and many other community and cultural events. These efforts, along with our Seaport Cares program to support and financially contribute to various Lower Manhattan organizations and participate in many community celebrations, are a result of our unwavering dedication to the Seaport’s continued success.
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Justice Delayed, But Not Denied
Ten Years Later, It Turns Out That FiDi Tenants Were Entitled to Rent Stabilization
Tenants at two FiDi rental buildings scored a major victory on June 25 when New York State’s highest court ruled that they had been illegally deprived of rent stabilization benefits.
The suit, which has been winding its way through the courts for a decade, focused on residents of 90 West Street and 50 Murray Street, but has implications for more than 5,000 apartments spread across more than a dozen buildings throughout Lower Manhattan.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Free Flicks Under the Stars
The Hudson River Park Trust is offering free summer films.
This Wednesday evening, Do the Right Thing is scheduled. Films are shown on Pier 63 (near 24th Street)
Tuesday July 30
Preparing for Retirement Workshop
New York Public Library
Learn the answers to your questions: How do I want to retire? How much money will I need to retire? When is the right time to retire? Who do I share my retirement income with? What are the greatest risks to my retirement plans? How do I invest for retirement? Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library. 175 North End Avenue.
Battery Park City Book Club
New York Public Library
Join the Battery Park Book Club for a lively discussion of a great book. This month’s book is The Masters Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich. Summary: Returning to his quiet German village home after World War I, trained killer Fidelis Waldvogel, accompanied boy his wife, leaves to start a new life in America and finds his life irrevocably changed by a new relationship. Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library. North End Avenue. https://www.nypl.org/events/calendar?location=2787
Community Board 1 Monthly Meeting
Municipal Building 1 Centre Street, Mezzanine Northside
Rounds of trivia games at Hudson Eats
The Rector Street Bridge
To the editor:
I couldn’t agree more with the idea that we need to do everything we can as a community to keep this extremely important passage intact.
Unless there is a compelling reason presented by the appropriate authorities (safety issue with existing structure), I can’t fathom why we would consider removing such a useful and potentially lifesaving element of our community.
If all is okay with the existing structure, what a potential waste we are facing! Look at how long it took to build the West Thames Bridge and look at the astronomical amount of money it cost.
It would be mind-boggling to remove the Rector passage only to later realize how useful it was to the community. I venture to say we will never get another above-highway passage completed in our lifetimes and perhaps our children’s. We should be looking for more safe passages across the highway and not less.
Can Bob or the Broadsheet present suggestions on how we can create a common voice to communicate with the appropriate officials/powers that be?
John A. Zaro
The email for the Community Board is:
The email for the Battery Park City Authority is:
To the editor,
Re: Preservation of the Rector Street Bridge
More than a decade and a half ago with many fewer residents, workers and tourists in Battery Park City, there was no World Trade Center 1, 3, 4, or 7, no 911 Memorial, no Fulton Center, or Oculus, no World Financial ferry, Goldman Sachs headquarters, no Westfield, no bike-way, e-bikes or e-scooters, and no PS 276. At that time, it was decided to build two bridges across the West Street highway: a permanent bridge at West Thames and a temporary one at Rector Street. For whatever reasons, it was decided that the temporary bridge would be removed upon the completion of the new bridge. This was a potentially fateful decision.
Eighteen years of delays and $45+ million for the West Thames Bridge, the Rector Bridge is facing demolition. Over those years, the Rector Bridge has proven its usefulness to many.
Since there are no official surveys to record the use and users of the bridge, I have undertaken one.
Thus far I have counted 535 persons crossing the bridge and received 76 survey responses. 73.7% of the persons crossing the bridge are residents, 64.5% of whom had no knowledge that the bridge was scheduled for destruction. 74 out of 76 responders believed that crossing West Street at grade is more dangerous, but only 14.9% would use the West Thames Bridge. 85.1% would be crossing at Albany Street and exposing themselves and their children to increased danger.
The Rector Street Bridge is a vital commute path and time-saver for so many… there is no need to remove it on the basis of a much-dated understanding. Even one injury at on the bike-way or the highway would be a grave loss to our city and our community. With few bridges, underpasses and no sidewalk barriers, we need as many safety measures and bridges across the West Side Highway for the safety of the public as possible.
For health reasons, I have been slow and delayed in conducting this survey. I hope and intend to continue to record the interests of the bridge-crossers and to respond to their requests to prepare a petition for them to sign. I plan to be sitting on the bridge in a chair with a sign: “If you want to keep crossing this bridge // You’ll have to help save it.”
BPCA and CB1 to Host Discussion of Ball Fields Resiliency Plans Tonight
Tonight (Thursday, July 25), the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) and Community Board 1 (CB1) will co-host a public meeting to review resiliency plans for the ball fields in Battery Park City’s northern section. To read more…
Dulce et Decorum Est…
City Council Overrules CB1 on Naming Tribeca Intersection for NYPD Officer Killed in Iraq
The City Council on Tuesday overturned a preliminary determination made by Community Board 1 last October, by deciding to approve a proposal to co-name the Tribeca intersection of West Broadway and Lispenard Street in honor of James D. McNaughton, who, on August 2, 2005, at age 27, became the first New York City Police officer to be killed in action while serving in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
In a vigorous debate, CB1 members voiced competing priorities.
Bumptious Bumpkins Make for Bus Bumpy Ride for Locals
Lower Manhattan community leaders are grappling with concerns about crowding, safety, and possible criminal activity surrounding the Connection shuttle bus, operated by the Downtown Alliance, which ferries riders around Lower Manhattan, free of charge.
For several years, apprehension about spurious ticket sellers hawking fake boarding passes to boats that purport to bring tourists to the State of Liberty have overlapped with concerns about the Connection bus.
A Super-Tall Laid Low
Stalled Tower at 125 Greenwich Street May Be Headed to Foreclosure
The troubled residential tower at 125 Greenwich Street may be facing foreclosure by lenders who say the development team has defaulted on the terms of several mortgages.
In May, work stopped on the building when multiple construction contractors filed liens against the developers for some $40 million in unpaid fees. This prompted several creditors — most prominently, the United Overseas Bank — to file notice with New York courts that they are owed $199 million in mortgage payments. The bank’s overall loan to the developers of 125 Greenwich is more than $450 million, and it is only one of half a dozen creditors.
Upward with the Arts
New Artist Work Space in World Trade Center Part of Creative Surge in Lower Manhattan
Silver Art Projects, a public service project supported by Silverstein Properties(operator of the World Trade Center complex) is kicking off a new artist residency program at Three World Trade Center.
Under this initiative, dozens of artists (working across a broad range of media and disciplines) will be invited to share more than 40,000 square feet of free studio space on the tower’s 50th floor, which will be given over in its entirety to this program.
EYES TO THE SKY
July 22 – August 4, 2019
The Eagle has landed
It was a three-day journey from Earth to the Moon for the three Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the spaceship, or command module, Columbia, headed for the first landing of humans on the moon. Columbia – named for the historical epithet for the Americas – lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the morning of July 16, 1969. Soon after launch, Columbia docked with the lunar module, the Eagle, a vehicle designed to land two of the astronauts on the Moon while the third stayed with Columbia until the moonwalk was completed.
Leader of the PAC
Former Governors Island Overseer Takes Helm at World Trade Center Performance Venue
The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, now under construction at the World Trade Center, has a new president — Leslie Koch. Ms. Koch will be most familiar to Lower Manhattan residents as the guiding hand behind the Trust for Governors Island.
Her decade-long tenure there, which saw seasonal visitation rise from 8,000 per season to more than 600,000, ended in 2016. To read more…
A short film about the National Lighthouse Museum
For more info, www.LighthouseMuseum.org
The BPCA Gets a Credit Limit Increase
Albany Legislature Okays Half a Billion in New Bond Debt for BPCA
The State legislature has enacted a measure that will allow the Battery Park City Authority to take on up to half a billion dollars in new bond debt, in order to fund resiliency measures throughout the community, as well as to underwrite other capital projects.
The bill, sponsored in the Assembly by Yuh-Line Niou (who represents Battery Park City south of Vesey Street) and in the Senate by Brian Kavanagh (who represents all of Battery Park City), grants permission to the Authority…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
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PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL
OR SMALL PR FIRM
Work with well-reviewed author of five E-books, developing and implementing outreach strategies. Includes writing, placement, research, new outlets and on-line advertising.
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Available for PT/FT elder care. Experienced. ReferencesAngella 347-423-5169
Call Janine Today. Limited time offer! 917-830-6127
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
Come Hell and High Water
Federal Report Foresees More Frequent Flooding for Lower Manhattan
A new report from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal scientific agency responsible for study of oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere, predicts that Lower Manhattan will, in the next 12 months, experience between double and triple the number of flooding days that it did in 2000.
Upward with the Arts
Silver Art Projects, a public service project supported by Silverstein Properties is kicking off a new artist residency program at 3 WTC.
Under this initiative, dozens of artists will be invited to share more than 40,000 square feet of free studio space on the tower’s 50th floor.
Occupancy will begin in September, but artists who wish to participate must apply by July 31, www.silverart.com/home
Today in History
762 – Baghdad is founded.
1609 – Beaver Wars: At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs on behalf of his native allies.
1626 – An earthquake in Naples, Italy, kills about 10,000 people.
1729 – Baltimore is founded.
1863 – American Indian Wars: Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.
1865 – The steamboat Brother Jonathan sinks off the coast of Crescent City, California, killing 225 passengers, the deadliest shipwreck on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. at the time.
1871 – The Staten Island FerryWestfield’s boiler explodes, killing over 85 people.
1945 – World War II: Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen. Most die during the following four days, until an aircraft notices the survivors.
1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.
1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 15 Mission: David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.
1974 – Watergate scandal: President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.
2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
1511 – Giorgio Vasari, Italian painter, historian, and architect (d. 1574)
1549 – Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1609)
1863 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (d. 1947)
1890 – Casey Stengel, American baseball player and manager (d. 1975)
1898 – Henry Moore, English sculptor and illustrator (d. 1986)
1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California
579 – Pope Benedict I
1566 – Guillaume Rondelet, French doctor (b. 1507)
1718 – William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644)
1898 – Otto von Bismarck, First Chancellor of Germany (b. 1815)
2007 – Ingmar Bergman, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1918)
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Tuesday, July 30
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos/San Juan, PR/Dominican Republic
Wednesday, July 31
Inbound 6:30 am (Brooklyn); outbound 7:00 pm; New England/Canadian Maritimes/Quebec City
Thursday, August 1
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm; Bermuda/Eastern Caribbean
Saturday, August 3
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm; Bar Harbor, ME/Canadian Maritimes
Sunday, August 4
Inbound 7:30 am Bayonne; 4:00 pm; Bermuda
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Bermuda
Many ships pass Lower Manhattan on their way to and from the Midtown Passenger Ship Terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from piers in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate clock in Jersey City, New Jersey, and are based on sighting histories, published schedules and intuition. They are also subject to tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
The Tale of the Ticker Tape,
or How Adversity and Spontaneity
Hatched a New York Tradition
What was Planned as a Grand Affair became a Comedy of Errors
While the festivities in New York Harbor didn’t go as scripted that afternoon, the spontaneous gesture it generated from the brokerage houses lining Broadway famously lives on more than a century later.
On October 28, 1886, Liberty Enlightening the World was to be unveiled to New York City and the world as it stood atop its tall base on Bedloe’s Island. But the morning mist had turned to afternoon fog, blurring the view of the statue from revelers on the Manhattan shore and the long parade of three hundred ships on the Hudson River.
Albany Wants to Keelhaul Ad Barges
State Lawmakers Bark ‘Belay That’ to Water-Borne Marketing Messages
The ubiquitous advertising barges that have become anathema for Lower Manhattan residents over the past year have attracted hostile attention from members of the State Senate and Assembly.
Bills were enacted in the closing days of the legislative session that would ban the 60-foot catamaran — bearing an electronic sign capable of rendering high-definition, full-motion video, similar to the “jumbo-tron” panels that adorn multiple buildings in Times Square — from continuing to conduct its business in New York’s waters.
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
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