Architectural Heritage Program Offers Access to Local Landmarks
The AT&T Long Distance Building, designed by revered architect Ralph Walker in 1932, features a lobby with an allegorical ceiling mosaic decor designed by Hildreth Meiere, who later designed the stained-glass windows at St. Bartholomew’s Church.
Open House New York, a program that provides the public with unparalleled access to New York’s extraordinary architecture and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the City, will take place this weekend (tomorrow, Friday, through Sunday, October 18 – 20).
On Sunday, visitors to the Hall of Records at the Surrogate’s Court building can tour multiple exhibits on the City’s history, including, “The Language of the City: Immigrant Voices” – a multimedia exhibit based on oral histories gathered by the Brooklyn College Listening Project.
The event will welcome New Yorkers to more than 300 venues in the five boroughs, most of which are usually inaccessible to the public, while also providing curated tours and informational presentations, and inviting visitors to view seldom-seen parts of each space.
The plaza, rotunda, City Council Chamber, and Governor’s Room will be open to visitors at City Hall.
The program features 18 destinations in Lower Manhattan, all of which are free, and most of which require no registration in advance. These include historic temples of commerce, such as the Standard Oil Building (at 26 Broadway) and the AT&T Long Lines Building (at 32 Sixth Avenue), as well as cultural centers (the Skyscraper Museum, at 39 Battery Place), and National Monuments (the African Burial Ground, at 290 Broadway, and Castle Williams, on Governors Island). Also on Governors Island: touts of Our Lady the Star of the Sea church, and the new Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center.
Federal Hall National Memorial will offer tours that discuss the history of the site, which hosted George Washington’s inauguration as the first president of the United States and served as the first capitol building, housing the Congressional, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices in the 1790s.
The halls of government will receive those whom government serves, with tours at City Hall (enter on Broadway and Murray Street), the Hall of Records at the Surrogate’s Courthouse (31 Chambers Street), and the Municipal Building(One Centre Street), where the Borough President’s historic collection of 92 individually hand-drawn and hand-colored maps which will on display. And Federal Hall (26 Wall Street) will offer free tours an noon, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm.
Three architectural studios (all of them active on Lower Manhattan’s ongoing transformation) will also open their doors: Marvel Associates (145 Hudson Street), Sage and Coombe (12-16 Vestry Street), and Kushner Studios (390 Broadway).
For more information about available venues and destinations during the Open House New York weekend, please browse: www.ohny.org.
Keep It Light
Condo Boards Question Need for South End Avenue Redesign After Installation of Traffic Signal
A rendering of the BPCA’s plan for changes to the South End Avenue
At the October 2 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, Battery Park City Authority president B.J. Jones was apprised by the leader of a coalition of condominiums along South End Avenue of that group’s ongoing reservations about the Authority’s plan to revamp the thoroughfare.
Pat Smith, the board president of the Battery Pointe condominium (at South End Avenue and Rector Place) told Mr. Jones, “before you go too far on South End Avenue, please remember that six condo boards, representing more than 1,000 households along South End Avenue, from Albany down to West Thames, don’t want you to do this.” To read more…
Wildlife in Lower Manhattan
The dogwalking and jogging crowd on the esplanade this morning had quite a show, when an unidentified Accipiter (Bird Hawk) lazily flapped past a few heads and landed on a branch to enjoy his breakfast: a tasty pigeon.
Music to Our Ears
When she was ten, Julie Reumert was selected
to sing at a celebration marking the birthday of
Margrethe ll, Queen of Denmark. As a girl growing up in Copenhagen, Ms. Reumert performed with the Saint Anne Girls Choir as a soprano and a soloist.
Pipes at One St. Paul’s Chapel The weekly Pipes at One series showcases leading organists and rising stars from around the country in this year-round series at St. Paul’s Chapel, featuring its celebrated three-manual Noack organ.
Night of 1,000 Jack O-Lanterns
Governors Island See over 1,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns, all hand-carved on Governors Island. Event ends at 10pm each night through October 27. $22 and up
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
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, PREFER NON-WORKING
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and sometimes repaired
Great Square of Pegasus, upper left. Milky Way sweeps up through the Summer Triangle. Diagram: Judy Isacoff/Starry Night
I am always giddy at the turning point of the season when red and gold leaves fall by day, darkness falls perceptibly earlier every evening and, during the last few weeks of Eastern Daylight Time, bright stars are visible rather late in the morning. The brightest shine into dawn, or civil twilight, which begins within minutes of 6:40am to 7am for the rest of this month through November 3. Clocks are turned back an hour to Eastern Standard Time on November 4.
Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart
1091 – London tornado of 1091: A tornado thought to be of strength T8/F4 strikes the heart of London.
1558 – Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, is founded.
1604 – Kepler’s Supernova: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.
1610 – French king Louis XIII is crowned in Reims Cathedral.
1662 – Charles II of England sells Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.
1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 15.
1814 – Eight people die in the London Beer Flood.
A huge vat of beer at the Muex and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road ruptured, sending 135,000 imperial gallons of beer rushing through the building causing other vats to also rupture resulting in more than 323,000 imperial gallons gushing through the streets destroying two homes. Within minutes nearby George Street and New Street were also flooded and a roomful of people attending a wake and a mother and daughter having tea were killed as the rooms quickly filled with beer.
1888 – Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph
1907 – Guglielmo Marconi’s company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.
Albert Einstein at City Hall
1933 – Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.
1941 – World War II: a German submarine attacks an American ship for the first time in the war.
1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield,in Cumbria, England.
1965 – The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair closes after a two-year run. More than 51 million people had attended the event.
1966 – A fire at a building located at Broadway and 22nd Street in Chelsea kills 12 firefighters, the fire department’s deadliest day until the September 11, 2001 attacks.
1979 – Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1994 – Russian journalist Dmitry Kholodov is assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces.
1915 – Arthur Miller, American playwright and screenwriter (d. 2005)
1930 – Jimmy Breslin, American journalist and author
1938 – Evel Knievel, American motorcycle rider and stuntman (d. 2007)
1587 – Francesco I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1541)
1849 – Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (b. 1810)
1979 – S. J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (b. 1904)
1991 – Tennessee Ernie Ford, American singer and actor (b. 1919)
Build It and They Will Come ~ Monarch Butterflies Pause to Refuel in Lower Manhattan
Click to watch monarch butterflies feeding on milkweed planted by the Battery Park City Authority to help them on their annual fall migration from Canada to the mountains of Mexico. To read more…
To the editor:
Thank you, kind-hearted gardeners. We must all do whatever little bit we can to hold back the wave of extinctions that is a hair’s breadth from taking the last of our monarchs.
Damascus on the Hudson
Lower Manhattan’s Old Syrian Quarter
This map from 1899 highlights “Little Syria”
Today, the stretch of Greenwich and Washington Streets between Battery Place and Albany Street — bisected by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel entrance — is known by the forgettable name, “Greenwich South.”
By all appearances it is an orphan of a neighborhood that never quite coalesced. But nothing could be further from the truth. A century ago, before the World Trade Center or the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (the two giant public works projects that decimated this once-thriving quarter), it was an ethnic enclave as vibrant as Little Italy or Chinatown. To read more…
City to Reduce Speed Limit on West Side Highway Tomorrow
Beginning (Saturday, October 12, the City’s Department of Transportation will begin installing signs on the five-mile length of the West Side Highway between Battery Place and West 59th Street, to reduce the speed limit from 35 to 30 miles per hour.
City Hall Hints at Scaled-Back Plan for Lower Manhattan Jail, While Pushing Ahead on Plan for New Prison Downtown
A rendering that illustrates the bulk and shape of the 45-story, 1.27 million-square-foot prison complex that Mayor Bill de Blasio proposes to erect in Lower Manhattan.
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly considering a scaled-back version of its controversial plan to erect a new, 45-story prison in Lower Manhattan, as part of a wider scheme to close the City’s notorious detention complex on Rikers Island, and replace it with four, large “borough-based jail” facilities — one in each county, except Staten Island.
BPCA’s Public Art Collection Represents Multiple Layers of Value
The Pylons, a pair of granite and stainless steel obelisks by sculptor Martin Puryear
The Battery Park City Authority, has completed an inventory and appraisal of its public art collection. This is part of a broad effort to take stock of the Authority’s ongoing role as a patron and custodian of pieces that represent an integral thread in the fabric of the community, as evidenced by the fact that space and funding for public art were both set aside decades ago, in the neighborhood’s first master plan, before the first building was erected.
Peter C. Hein, President of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York
It’s not often you get invited to a 300th birthday party.
Last week, Fraunces Tavern and Fraunces Tavern Museum celebrated the 300th anniversary of the construction of the building at 54 Pearl Street that would become Fraunces Tavern. The museum also highlighted its new exhibition “A Monument to Memory: 300 Years of Living History.”
More than a dozen concerned Tribeca residents turned out for the September meeting the Licensing and Permits Committee, which weighs in on the granting or renewal of liquor licenses.
They showed up to voice concerns about MI-5, a bar located at 52 Walker Street, which has been a source of local complaints as far back 2007.
Neighbors of the bar allege that it operates as a dance club (in violation of its current license, which is now up for renewal), and that loud music penetrates the upper floors of the residential building located above the bar as late as 4:00 am. To read more…
Sin of Omission
City Agency Leaves Cash-Strapped Local Museum Off Roster of Cultural Institutions
The City’s Department of Cultural Affairs has omitted from its list of dozens of New York-based cultural institutions that receive public support the museum that chronicles the oldest community anywhere in the five boroughs.
BPCA Puts the Brakes on Conversions of Rental Buildings within Community
Residents of rental apartments in Battery Park City who fear being thrown out of their homes as developers plan to convert those buildings to condominiums can rest a little bit easier, according to the Battery Park City Authority.
At the October 2 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, Authority president Benjamin Jones said, “I want to talk about some of the potential condo conversions that people are concerned about. We have been very clear with developers over the last year, and then some, about our position — that we want to preserve the rental housing that exists in Battery Park City.” To read more…
Court of Appeal
Local Leaders Urge Preservation of Justice Complex
The New Deal-era Criminal Courts Building at 100 Centre Street is widely regarded as a historic treasure, but does not enjoy any legal protection that would prevent it from being sold, demolished, and replaced by a skyscraper.
Community Board 1 is urging the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider granting legally protected status to the Criminal Courts Building, at 100 Centre Street.
The case of 100 Centre Street takes on special urgency in this context, because, as the CB1 resolution notes, “the Manhattan Criminal Court building shares the same underlying City lot with the south tower of the Manhattan Detention Complex. This appears to mean that if City Hall needed extra space for the proposed new jail, it would face no legal obstacle in demolishing all or part of the historic building.
Costs to Rent or Own in Lower Manhattan Are Matched by Lofty Local Earnings
A slew of recent reports documents what everyone who lives or works in Lower Manhattan already sensed in their bones: This is a mind-numbingly expensive place to call home.
In September, RENTCafé issued a new analysis of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters in the United States that finds northern Battery Park City (zip code 10282) is the priciest enclave in America, with an average rent of $6,211 per month. Coming in at second place is zip code 10013, which covers western Tribeca, along with part of Soho. To read more…
Art On the Fence
The ubiquitous chainlink fence has become a canvas for local artist Wendy Friedman. The artist ran out of workspace now that she rents her loft, SoHoSoleil, for corporate meetings and photoshoots. She said, “A fence around an empty lot on Grand Street was perfect. Flowers, waves and whirligigs now grace the fence; smashed tin food containers form a superhero skeleton. Imaginary animals delight children, tourists, and neighbors.”
From Bunker to Incubator
New Arts Center on Governors Island Will Provide Studio Space and Cultural Programming
The historic building at Soissons Landing at Governors Island.
Lower Manhattan has a new cultural hub. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Trust for Governors Island have partnered to create the LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island, a 40,000-square foot studio space and education facility, housed within a restored 1870s ammunition warehouse — a relic from the days when the island was a military outpost.
CB1 Makes Exception to New Policy; Okays Naming Street for Former NYPD Commissioner
A public figure from the 1980s may soon be honored by having a street co-named in his memory, if Community Board 1 gets its way. The panel recommended that Benjamin Ward, New York’s first African-American police commissioner, be commemorated by rechristening one block of Baxter Street as Benjamin Ward Way.
This comes on the heels of a controversial decision by CB1 in 2018 to decline such a request on behalf 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.”
There isn’t anything unusual in a woman keeping a light in her window to guide men folk home, I just happen to keep a bigger light.” – Keeper Margaret Norvell
courtesy: Elaine Marie Austin
Shattering the Lens is an exhibit at the National Lighthouse Museum.
Artist Elaine Marie Austin, using her paintings of keepers and their lighthouses, sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers.
It is inspired by the book Women Who Kept the Lights by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.
The show runs through October 20, 2019.
National Lighthouse Museum
200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island
While They Were Sleeping
Battery Park City Resident Charged with Two Home Invasions, and Sexual Abuse
A Battery Park City resident has been arrested twice in the space of five days on charges arising from two separate (but related) incidents, in which he is alleged to have sexually assaulted one woman, and sexually menaced her roommate on another, prior occasion.
Onetime Non-Profit Nursing Facility Sold to Anonymous Buyer for Five Times Original Price
If there is an Exhibit A in the case of fevered speculation in Lower Manhattan real estate, it must be Rivington House
After purchasing the block-long, 150,000-square-foot structure (located at 45 Rivington Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge), the developer, the Allure Group, paid the City an additional $16 million to remove the deed restriction that limited the property to its legacy use of non-profit, residential healthcare. To read more…
Breaking It Down
Composting Catches on in Battery Park City
Jake Jacevicius and Joshua DeVoto of BPCA parks operations dump out a binful of fruit and vegetable scraps where the neighborhood’s composting process takes place.
You’re probably heard of the farm-to-table movement. Thanks to the Battery Park City Authority’s compost initiative, there’s a burgeoning table-to-earth movement in this Lower Manhattan community.
What happens to the scraps after you’ve dropped them in the bin? How do your apple peels and corn husks turn into rich, beneficial compost?
City Transportation Study Finds That Lower Manhattan Bus Service Is Among Most Sluggish in Five Boroughs
Bus speeds in Lower Manhattan average below eight miles per hour
The annual New York City Mobility Report, produced by the City’s Department of Transportation, contains two data points that will come as no surprise residents of Lower Manhattan. The first of these is that the median speed for Downtown bus service ranks among the slowest of any community in the five boroughs. And the second is that this creeping pace is, if anything, getting creepier. To read more…
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
In an instant, both wagon and horse were vaporized, and the closest automobile was tossed twenty feel in the air. Incredibly, the iconic bronze of George Washington surveys the devastation from the steps of the Sub-Treasury without so much as a scratch.
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.
Disney Magic Inbound 6:45 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Bermuda Zuiderdam Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 6:30 pm; Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Friday, October 18
MSC Meraviglia Inbound 8:15 am; outbound 7:30 pm; New England/Canadian Maritimes Norwegian Dawn Inbound 6:15 am; in port overnight Queen Mary 2 Inbound 6:00 am (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm; Transatlantic (Southampton, UK/Hamburg, Germany) Silver Wind Inbound 12:15 pm; in port overnight
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.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper