Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Asking for the Millennium
City Announces Agreement to Expand FiDi’s Millennium High School
On January 15, jubilant elected officials, community leaders, and education officials toured the new space into which the Financial District’s Millennium High School (MHS) will expand over the next two years. This was the culmination of a multi-year campaign to win approval and funding for the school’s growth.
Founded as part of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Millennium (which opened in 2003) occupies three floors (the 11th, 12th, and 13th stories) within 75 Broad Street, a 1928 skyscraper originally built as the headquarters of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT). But the school quickly became a victim of its own success, attracting high-performing students along with top-flight faculty and staff, which led to a flood of applications and severe overcrowding.
In the years since, various plans were floated to expand MHS. In 2010, the City tried to lease the 34th floor within 75 Broad Street, but fire safety officials could not devise a plan that would reliably evacuate hundreds of students quickly in an emergency. In 2011, the City, leased a much larger space nearby, at 26 Broadway, and Millennium lobbied to move into that facility. But the Department of Education (DOE) decided instead to give the space to the Richard R. Green High School of Teaching, which was transplanted from the Upper East Side.
The most recent plan contained an element of serendipity: The owner of 75 Broad Street, JEMB Realty, announced two years ago that the floor directly above MHS had become available, and asked whether the school would be interested in expanding.
This triggered a massive lobbying effort by City Council member Margaret Chin, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Community Board 1 (CB1) member Tricia Joyce, who chairs that panel’s Youth and Education Committee, among others.
In the face of this campaign, officials at the DOE and the City’s School Construction Authority scrambled to come up with funding for both the annual rent and the cost of retrofitting the former office space as a school. In mid-2019, they provisionally agreed to try to negotiate a lease. These discussions were successfully concluded before the close of the year, and construction work to convert the space into classrooms recently began. But even with a signed lease, more than two years will be needed before the space is ready for students. The new facility is expected to open in the fall of 2022.
At the January 15 walk-through, Ms. Chin said, “when we heard that this beautiful space was available, we were all excited. It took a long time, but this shows what we can do by working together: the principal, the Community Board, the Parents Association.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, “it’s marvelous to see this wonderful space coming to fruition, because we have been working on it for a while. This is a great school, a school that students want to attend. This is an example of the kind of institution we want: one that is desired and has great faculty and great families.”
The City’s Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza said, “Margaret Chin has been an incredible advocate. And our incredible principal, Colin McEvoy, has utilized every square inch of space he had available. But we’re going to give him another 25,000 square feet to play with. So get out of his way.”
Mr. Carranza noted with pride that, “this is a school that has a 100 percent graduation rate. This is what we want for all of our students.” He was referring to the fact that one-quarter of New York City public high school students are unable to graduate within four years (a significant subset of these never earn a diploma), while 40 percent of those who do graduate do not enroll in college. MHS not only graduates all of its students, but sends all of them to college — with many of these being accepted at highly selective universities.
“What Council member Chin and I saw as we toured an environmental classroom was students interpreting data, actively engaged with data,” Mr. Carranza continued. “When we asked questions about their sources, they were able to authenticate them. They knew what they were talking about. This is what’s happening right here, at Millennium.”
“But we also saw that these students need more space,” he added. “So we’re proud to announce that MHS will grow by an additional 25,000 square feet. And that doesn’t count the additional square feet that Principal McEvoy will now be able to repurpose.”
Mr. McEvoy said, “the new space will be transformative, not only in terms of what we can do on the 14th floor, but on the new uses we can bring to the existing three floors.” He added words of thanks for the co-presidents of the MHS Parents Association, Lisa Wong and Marilyn Francescon. Then, his voice catching, he continued, “if I’m emotional, it’s because I’m thinking about all the work that has gone into this, and what it will mean for out students.”
Joseph L. Jerome, president of JEMB Realty, said with pride, “this school was ground-breaking when we did this 18 years ago — it was one of the first times that the City put a school within an office building.” About the expansion, he added, “thanks go to Margaret Chin, who has championed this effort.”
Ms. Joyce observed, “this is a gem of a school that arose from the ashes of September 11. It was funded, in part, by CB1, which helped raise $14 million to open Millennium. And in part by Bill and Melinda Gates, and funds from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.”
“So many people came together to make this school happen,” she added. “Over these very short 18 years, it has turned into one of the most sought-after schools, which now receives more than 6,000 applications each year for just 170 seats, which is a real testament to this school and its leadership.”
“It’s not easy to add space without enrollment,” she noted, in a reference to the Department of Education’s policy that an expanded school must accept more students. But, in a reference to the fact that the DOE has agreed to hold off on this requirement (at least for the time being), she added, “we know the hoops that everybody had to jump through. It’s a great thing to see City agencies come together to put the school first.”
In response to a question about the possibility of being required to expand the school’s student body once the new space is open, Mr. McEvoy said, “we are going to first prioritize serving students who are already here. We are currently serving 675 students in a space designed for 525. We are using hallway space, and space originally designed for lounges, as instructional space. The first space to come online will be new classrooms, to make sure our students have an appropriate learning environment. Once that’s in place, we can look at evaluating how many additional students, if any, we can serve. But we first want to address the overcrowding. That’s going to make a profound change for students and staff.”
Senator Kavanagh said, afterward the walkthrough, “Millennium High School’s long-awaited expansion is a laudable development that will increase opportunities for students.”
The additional space within 75 Broadway will allow MHS to add five new classrooms, and 5,000 square feet of physical education space, as well as a new staircase connecting all the facility’s floors. The funding for the expansion will also provide for a modernization of the school’s security camera system. One issue that remains to be resolved is elevator capacity. The crowding conditions at MHS often result in students waiting up to 30 minutes for space in an elevator to take them into or out of the school. In a 2018, resolution endorsing the proposed expansion, CB1 requested that, “at least one, but preferably two additional elevators, dedicated for the school, be made available along with the expansion.”
THURSDAY HEALTH TALK
January 23, 11AM-1PM
BPCA Community Room
200 Rector Place, West Street Entrance
Topic is “The Science of Memory.” This talk was presented last year to a group of participants in an Aging research project.
Dr. Masurkar, MD, PhD is affiliated with NYU-Langone Medical Center and holds these positions:
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience & Physiology
Investigator, Neuroscience Institute
Director, Clinical Core, NYU Alzheimer’s Disease Center
Attending Neurologist, The Pearl Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment
Don’t miss attending this relevant topic and hearing this very understandable presentation. Use it or lose it!!
Please rsvp here so we can provide sufficient food.
I am so glad to see that the Governor has created the Friends of St. Nicholas (non-profit) to raise funds and complete the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. And I am happy to see that Dennis Mehiel, who served as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority from 2012 to 2018, has been appointed to lead this project.
It has been a disgrace and a sadness to see this unfinished and neglected building sitting at the edge of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. Having a house of worship at this location creates a place for quiet reflection and peaceful observance. The new church can be a reminder of the generous spirit of the first-responders, residents and workers who helped others to survive and heal.
Mr. Mehiel showed himself to be a competent and responsive leader as BPCA chairman. Many important projects were completed and undertaken during his tenure. Further, he showed his open-mindedness to adapt and change.
Although initially resistant to having community members address the Board, he changed the rules. He listened and responded and acted on community input. This positive attitude has been continued in the Board and the Management of the Authority, and makes BPCA a wonderful place to live and work.
I am sure I am not the only local with high hopes for this new St. Nicholas Church.
Maryanne P. Braverman
To the editor:
The folks trying to save the bridge (or improve the Albany St. crossing) might try to get their hands on the statistics from the recently installed speed camera clocking northbound West St traffic just north of the bridge (south of Albany).
It appears to be flashing once or more after almost every green light. It could possibly add weight to crossing risks.
To the editor:
As of this moment, the only person who can save the Rector Street Bridge is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
If you want to act to save the bridge, you and your friends, children and associates are all encouraged to write our Governor Cuomo.
Please email his Manhattan representative at:
Yesterday, our District 1 Councilmember, Margaret Chin, sent the following letter to the governor. We applaud the Councilmember’s efforts on our behalf! .
Since the Rector Bridge is a New York State rather than a City issue, you are also encouraged to email our downtown State representatives, Senator Brian Kavanagh, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, email@example.com.
To date we have 3,620 petition signatures to save-the-bridge. If you haven’t signed a petition yet, here’s the link: http://chng.it/5Vyjt4dk.
The Bridge still has a chance.
It’s time for US to make a great noise to make a great difference!!!
The GPTA annual membership meeting will take place at PS 276 – 55 Battery Place on Thursday, February 6th – 6:45 PM
6:00 PM Doors Open – meeting ends promptly at 8:30 PM The meeting is open to all Gateway residents.
* Update by GPTA Board
* Introduction of our elected representatives
* Community discussion Q&A
* Nominations and Elections of Board Members
(If you are interested in placing your name on the ballot send an email to GatewayPlazaTA@gmail.com stating why you want to serve. Maximum 100 words.)
Only tenants who are current paid GPTA members may vote. Please note that dues are payable on a calendar basis, so the 2020 dues are payable now.
Membership in GPTA is $25 per household
P.O. Box 3266 Church Street Station New York, NY 10008
Vicinage with Vigor
Lower Manhattan Ranked Among Healthiest Districts in New York
Two Lower Manhattan neighborhoods rank among the healthiest communities anywhere in the five boroughs of New York City, according to new research by RentHop, an online listings database.
The analysis gauged overall healthy by three criteria: the proportion of overall space within each community set aside for parks, the number of gyms (and other fitness facilities) in each neighborhood, and the tally of vegetarian restaurants in each area (relative to its number of households).
To the editor:
It’s true that the Battery Park City community has little connection to the people of Puerto Rico. It is also true that Battery Park City is located in one of the most iconic and visited locations in the world.
If you wanted to call attention to an overlooked cause this would be the place to do it. Undoubtedly the people of Puerto Rico deserve a shout out to remind people that Puerto Ricans are American, that their suffering is real and that we should care!
To the editor:
RE: Compensation Dispensation (BroadsheetDAILY January 8)
I find this settlement untimely and quite depressing. My lease is up in April and I haven’t received a lease. I am becoming incredibly pessimistic at a continuation of stabilization much to my chagrin and disbelief.
I suspect that politicians will accept the 2 year 5% increase as a compromise.
Feet of clay. Those who have lived in Gateway for 15+ years and rebuilt the area after 9/11 know that it is not a good compromise.
I consider Gateway and Battery Park City my home.
I can barely afford the rent now. After 2 years of 5% increases and then skyrocketing rents, I will be forced to leave BPC and most likely NY (as many of my neighbors).
It is a kick in the teeth to those who supported the idea of a middle class in the city.
Peter Cooper Village, Stuyvesant, the Tribeca high rise, and Fulton Street apartments all now market rate.
The politicians have deserted us. There aren’t many stabilized people left. Sadly, we are an aging dying breed.
Eyes to the Sky
January 21 – February 2, 2020
Cygnus the Swan Soars as Summer Triangle sets
The Summer Triangle’s long season in the evening sky ends this week, although one of its remarkable stars, Deneb, lingers for another month. The Summer Triangle is a star pattern known as an asterism; three outstanding stars shape it, one from each of three constellations. It is a commanding sight from its emergence in the evening sky in May through summertime and autumn. Now, stretched out on the skyline from west to northwest as darkness gathers, the great triangle is particularly impressive, but fleeting.
To read more…
The Art of Chinese New Year
The Art of Chinese New Year is a vibrant, interactive experience where visitors of all ages can explore the Chinese New Year holiday and the traditional visual and performing arts related to it. The installation captures the sights and sounds of the holiday through displays, artist workshops, and hands-on activities, leading visitors to a deeper experience, and a greater understanding, of traditional Chinese culture. In the visual arts, visitors will learn about nianhua (New Year pictures), spring couplets, and papercutting. A showcase on the art of shadow puppetry will feature antique puppets, a traditional shadow puppet theater, and a theater where children can create their own puppet shows. At a lion dance display, visitors can try on real lion dance costumes. 40 Rector Street.
Pipes at One
Stretching the Canvas Exhibition Tour
National Museum of the American Indian
Make Your Own Comics Online with Pixton
New York Public Library
National Museum of the American Indian
The Greek Calends
After Two-Year Hiatus, Work to Resume at St. Nicholas Church
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on January 2 that a newly formed non-profit organization will raise funds and underwrite the completion of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, within the World Trade Center Complex.
The building, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava (who additionally created the nearby Oculus, also in the World Trade Center) is slated to replace the histo precious parish church that fell among the victims of September 11. To read more…
Hundreds of Local Storefronts Remain Rented to Corporate Brands
A new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a public policy think tank that uses data-driven research to bring attention to overlooked issues, documents that the proliferation of chain stores in Lower Manhattan has decreased slightly during the past 12 months, but at a slower rate than for the City as a whole.
Lower Manhattan Sales and Rentals Rebound Slightly, But Condo Prices May Founder on Looming Supply Glut
A trio of new reports documents the state of flux in Lower Manhattan home prices, both rental and owner-occupied.
They Didn’t Get the Memo…
Much-Touted Crackdown on Placard Parking Not All It Was Cracked Up to Be
Amid much fanfare, multiple City agencies recently announced that they would take part in a crackdown on illegal parking by government employees, whose personal vehicles bear placards that allow them to leave their cars blocking bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants, bike lanes, and lanes needed for use by fire trucks and ambulances.
By Tuesday, it appeared that dozens of law enforcement personnel who work in Battery Park City hadn’t heard, or perhaps knew better.
Today in History
393 – Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his eight-year-old son Honorius co-emperor.
971 – Using crossbows, Song dynasty troops soundly defeat a war elephant corps of the Southern Han at Shao.
1556 – The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
1570 – James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland, is assassinated by firearm, the first recorded instance of such.
1719 – The Principality of Liechtenstein is created within the Holy Roman Empire.
1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.
1870 – In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in what becomes known as the Marias Massacre.
1909 – RMS Republic, a passenger ship of the White Star Line, becomes the first ship to use the CQD distress signal after colliding with another ship, the SS Florida, off the Massachusetts coastline, an event that kills six people. Republicsinks the next day.
1941 – Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
1957 – American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the “Frisbee”.
1960 – The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 metres (35,797 ft ~ 6.77 miles under the sea) in the Pacific Ocean.
1986 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
1997 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.
2002 – U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered.
1719 – John Landen, English mathematician and theorist (d. 1790)
1737 – John Hancock, American general and politician, 1st Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1793)
1832 – Édouard Manet, French painter (d. 1883)
1855 – John Browning, American weapons designer, founded the Browning Arms Company (d. 1926)
1916 – David Douglas Duncan, American photographer and journalist
1922 – Leon Golub, American painter and academic (d. 2004)
1930 – Derek Walcott, Saint Lucian poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2017)
1252 – Isabella, Queen of Armenia
1567 – Jiajing Emperor of China (b. 1507)
1944 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter and illustrator (b. 1863)
1977 – Toots Shor, American businessman, founded Toots Shor’s Restaurant (b. 1903)
1999 – Jay Pritzker, American businessman, co-founded the Hyatt Corporation (b. 1922)
2005 – Johnny Carson, American talk show host, television personality, and producer (b. 1925)
2007 – E. Howard Hunt, American CIA officer (b. 1918)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Cuomo Announces Planned Expansion of Museum of Jewish Heritage
At his annual State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo included on his list of dozens of proposals an announcement that he was directing the Battery Park City Authority to develop an expansion plan for the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located within Wagner Park, on Battery Place.
Cuomo Vetoes Legislation Sought by HRPT to Allow Development on Pier 40
On New Year’s Eve, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill passed earlier this year by both houses of the State legislature that would have allowed limited commercial development on Pier 40, the massive former cruise ship terminal on the Hudson River waterfront, adjacent to Houston Street, which covers 14 acres and now houses athletic and recreational facilities.
Such development would have helped to fund operations for the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), which oversees the four-mile-long riverfront park that stretches from the Battery to West 59th Street.
“Pier 40 is a very key element of the Hudson River Park,” noted Paul Goldstein, who chairs the Waterfront Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1), at an April meeting. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
When a Deadline Becomes a Lifeline
Renewed Victims Compensation Fund Extends Cutoff Date for Registration
Following last summer’s passage of a new law that extends (and expands funding for) the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), the Fund will be accepting claims until it sunsets in 2090. Another benefit of passage is that the cutoff date by which current claimants must register for the VCF has been pushed back to July 29, 2021.
Kimberly Flynn, the director of 9/11 Environmental Action, a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to ensure that those who were affected by September 11 (physically or emotionally) get the specialized health care they need, commented, “the best possible news is that on July 29, 2019, the ‘Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act’ was signed into law.
Class-Action Suit on Behalf of Gateway Tenants Reaches Proposed Settlement
Attorneys representing Gateway Plaza residents in a class-action suit that began in 2014 have reached a tentative settlement with the LeFrak Organization, the landlords at Battery Park City’s largest residential complex, which they value at $42 million. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
January 6 – 19, 2020
Sun’s New Year, dawn and dusk planets
Since the winter solstice, December 21, I have been particularly attentive to the Sun as it sets into the skyline to the southwest. Even though I know that the Sun is setting about a minute later everyday, I am impressed to notice that the location of the setting Sun has inched more westerly.
By the time of Vernal Equinox, March 19, sunset will be due west. Sunset today, the 6th, is at 4:43:33pm., an increase of 15 minutes from the earliest sunset on December 8th. Picking up momentum, we will experience a 14-minute gain of afternoon sunlight by January 19, when sunset time is 4:57:28pm. To read more…
Recalling Five Points
Epicenter of a Notorious Slum Proposed for Commemoration
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.”
A decade later, Charles Dickens, visiting New York, wrote of the same Lower Manhattan neighborhood that had inspired the petition, “what place is this, to which the squalid street conducts us? A kind of square of leprous houses, some of which are attainable only by crazy wooden stairs without. What lies behind this tottering flight of steps? Let us go on again, and plunge into the Five Points…. To read more…
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Sunday February 2
07:00 ~ 17:00
10:00 ~ 16:00
07:00 ~ 17:00
07:00 ~ 17:00
10:00 ~ 16:00
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 passenger and propulsion problems, tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920, a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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