Lower Manhattan’s Local News
A Plan to Warm Up the Frozen Zone
Alliance Readies First Steps in Master Plan to Balance Beauty with Security Around Stock Exchange
The Downtown Alliance is preparing to implement the first phase of a master plan unveiled in May 2018, which aims to transform the “frozen zone” — a 3,000-feet security perimeter surrounding the New York Stock Exchange, which has enclosed (and limited access to) 19 acres of the Financial District since shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
While the broader vision must await an allocation of up to $70 million from the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), the Alliance has raised funds on its own to carry out the initial stage of this plan, which focuses on adding benches and planters to the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets.
As Roger Byrom, chair of the Landmarks & Preservation Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) explained at the January 28 meeting, “the entire project of making Wall Street and Broad Street more friendly is $70 million, and that’s a drop in the ocean in terms of the DOT’s overall budget. But the Alliance has got some funding now, and we hope that with [CB1’s] approval, the Alliance is going to allocate the funds this year.”
He noted that a key objective of the Alliance’s 2018 plan is to enhance the pedestrian environment and improve mobility, while one feature of this goal is to create new street furniture that can serve both as seating and as planting beds.
The first phase of the plan will entail new installations on Broad Street, opposite the New York Stock Exchange, where twin benches will flank either side of the Fearless Girl statue. This will be followed by additional benches and planters on Wall Street (facing Federal Hall) and further south on Broad Street (near Exchange Place).
“These are free-standing elements, so there won’t be a problem with drainage,” Mr. Byrom continued, “and there’s an ability to put notches in the benches, to discourage skateboarders and homeless sleeping there.”
At Mr. Byrom’s urging, CB1 enacted a resolution noting that, “the designs are sensitive to the fact the Broad and Wall Streets are part of the landmarked road bed — the only such landmark in the City,” and recommending that the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (which must approve changes to the streetscape in the neighborhood, because it falls within a legally protected Historic District) okay the proposal. The same resolution calls upon the City, “to fund for the entire vision in 2021.”
This frozen zone, an area bounded by Broadway on the west, Beaver Street on the south, William Street on the east, and Pine Street on the north, is home to several thousand residents, and is the destination to which tens of thousands of people report for work each day. It is also visited by more than one million tourists each year. And yet, security precautions for the Stock Exchange (which is presumed to be a potently iconic target for terrorists planning future attacks on New York) have rendered the surrounding streetscape desolate and uninviting.
This was the problem that the Alliance proposed to solve when it convened a working group of more than 30 residents, community leaders, property owners, and business stakeholders in 2017. The resulting plan, titled, “A More Welcoming Wall & Broad: A Vision for Improving the Stock Exchange District,” envisions transforming the area through a series of innovations, such the creating of curbless “shared” streets, surfaced with historically contextual paving materials. The plan also seeks to create a distinct sense of place by erecting “gateway” structures at entrances to the zone. These interactive sculptural installations would serve purposes both aesthetic and didactic, displaying text to give visitors way-finding directions and historical background.
The built environment would undergo a visual transformation with the installation of new lighting. Beacons strung from cables or cantilevered off the sides of buildings would brighten now-dim alleys such as Exchange Place and New Streets. Additionally, the plan calls for architectural lighting to illuminate the nine historical landmarks within the perimeter — four of which frame the corners at the intersection of Wall and Broad Street.
The Alliance’s vision also mandates upgrading current features of the area widely regarded as eyesores, such as the “tattered tent” at the Broad Street entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, where security screenings are conducted. The plan calls for replacing this with a permanent, glass enclosure.
And in at least one case, the Alliance wants to bring a new feature to the crossroads of Lower Manhattan: the report proposes to move the Arturo Di Modica sculpture, “Charging Bull,” from its current location at Bowling Green, to the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets. (City officials have begun to worry that the crowds it attracts at the foot of Broadway, which sometimes spill into the street, are creating a traffic safety hazard.) This move, if implemented, would return the bronze (very nearly) to its original home: In 1989, Mr. Di Modica surprised everyone (including City officials, whose permission he had not sought) by placing the statue in front of the Stock Exchange building in the middle of the night.
Several elements of the scheme would have in common that, for the first time, they acknowledge as permanent (and thus attempt to bring a coherent design vision to) improvised security measures that were hastily implemented in the fall of 2001, but were always described in the years since (in a tortured official euphemism) as “temporary.”
The Alliance plan also contains logistical improvements, such as the call for a consolidated delivery center for all packages arriving in the area, which would consist of a centralized drop-off point for delivery trucks, from which parcels could be distributed using hand trucks or small vehicles.
“This report lays out a roadmap,” said Alliance president Jessica Lappin in 2018. “It is a grand-yet-achievable vision that could turn the Stock Exchange District into the jewel it should be.”
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.
The contest, announced Tuesday, has been sparked by the fact that, after 13 decades, the Brooklyn Bridge may need some surgical enhancement. A report released in 2017 by the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) noted that the span’s pedestrian and cycling deck is the No. 1 tourist attraction in Brooklyn and among the top five in Manhattan. 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 (a one-third mile stretch of shoreline between Pier A, in the north, and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, in the south) to an elevation 11 feet above the current waterline.
Retrofit and Restoration
Centuries-Old Aesthetics to Converge with Cutting-Edge Technology at Historic Seaport Warehouse
Trinity Church has purchased a historic warehouse in the South Street Seaport district, which it intends to convert into a four-family residence, while also adhering to the environmentally rigorous “passive house” standard. The building, at 245 Water Street (between Peck Slip and Beekman Street), was originally built in 1836, after a fire destroyed the previous structure on that lot. The building was put up by the firm of Hendricks & Brothers, who operated cooper mines in Newark, but had their offices in Lower Manhattan. The family, who had anglicized their names from the Henriques of their native Spain, had been in the cooper business for generations, selling to customers like Paul Revere and Robert Fulton.
The building bade farewell to its commercial and industrial legacy in 2008, when it was initially converted into a two-family residence. But Joshua Levine, the owner for several years, put the property on the market in early 2019, asking $12.82 million. Last August, Trinity Church negotiated a price of $12.3 million and took possession.
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. Today, Forrest Eimold of Trinity Church Wall Street. St. Paul’s Chapel.
Music and Storytime with Mandarin Seeds
New York Public Library
Highlights in Jazz 47th Anniversary
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Longtime Residents, Neither Rich Nor Poor, Face an Uncertain Future Downtown
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has released an updated version of its Where We Live NYC affordable housing plan, which contains some striking insights about Lower Manhattan.
The report finds that between 25 and 30 percent of all local rental units are rent stabilized, while market-rate apartments comprise between 35 and 42 percent of all units. To read more…
Today in History
Thursday February 13
1322 – The central tower of Ely Cathedral falls on the night of 12th-13th.
1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, is executed for adultery.
1633 – Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.
1914 – Copyright: In New York City the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
1935 – A jury in Flemington, New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the son of Charles Lindbergh.
1945 – World War II: Royal Air Force bombers are dispatched to Dresden, Germany to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.
1984 – Konstantin Chernenko succeeds the late Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
2004 – The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.
2008 – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.
2017 – Kim Jong-nam is assassinated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
1523 – Valentin Naboth, German astronomer and mathematician (d. 1593)
1885 – Bess Truman, Wife of Harry S. Truman, 35th First Lady of the United States (d. 1982)
1910 – William Shockley, English-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1989)
1923 – Chuck Yeager, American general and pilot; first test pilot to break the sound barrier
1542 – Catherine Howard, English wife of Henry VIII of England (b. 1521)
1571 – Benvenuto Cellini, Italian painter and sculptor (b. 1500)
1883 – Richard Wagner, German composer (b. 1813)
2016 – Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (b. 1936)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Community Board Applications Now Being Accepted
Every Community Board has 50 seats which are filled for two-year terms by volunteers, who are selected by the Borough President and local City Council members. Half the seats are up for appointment or re-appointment every year.
Community Boards get a seat at the table in high-stakes land use, real estate, and zoning negotiations, and they work directly with city agencies to influence how government services are delivered at the neighborhood level.
If you’d like to serve as a member of your Community Board, apply online here. The deadline is February 14, 2020
Another Food Hall Coming to Lower Manhattan, Amid Signs That Community’s Appetite Is Diminishing
A new food hall is coming to a historic (and long neglected) Lower Manhattan building: the former First National City Bank branch at 415 Broadway (on the corner with Canal Street), which dates from 1927.
The building’s owner is the development firm United American Land, a company that has established a niche in Lower Manhattan real estate by acquiring and repositioning historic structures, often transforming former office buildings and warehouses into apartments or retail destinations). To read more…
City Environmental Review of New Ferry Service to Battery Park City Springs a Few Leaks
The City’s Economic Development Corporation has released an updated version of the “draft supplemental environmental impact statement” for its plan to bring new ferry service from Staten Island to Battery Park City.
This document is meant to gauge the effect of the plan on metrics like noise, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions that will result from implementing the NYC Ferry expansion planned by the administration of Mayer Bill de Blasio, which is slated to bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, landing from 6:00 am to midnight, and carrying as many as 2,500 passengers per day.
One salient finding of the report may call into question the viability of the entire plan. To read more…
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Friday, February 14
Inbound 9:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Southern Caribbean
Saturday, February 15
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 5:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Sunday, February 16
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
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.
‘A Complete Free-for-All’
CB1 Raises Concerns about Wave of New Event and Entertainment Venues Planned for Downtown
Members of Community Board 1 are expressing reservations about multiple new party and performance spaces slated to open in Lower Manhattan this year.
At the January 28 monthly meeting of the Board, Mariama James, who co-chairs CB1’s Quality of Life & Service Delivery Committee, described a production planned for a new theater space now being created within 20 Exchange Place, near the corner of William Street.
“It’s by a group called Emursive,” noted Ms. James, “and the show is called ‘Sleep No More,'” which draw ironic laughs from members who CB1, because the title neatly evokes their concerns for the surrounding neighborhood.
A Pooling of Interests
Would Floating Filtration System That Doubles as a Swim Facility Be a Net Plus?
A decade of grassroots advocacy may be gradually bearing fruit, as community leaders prod the administration of Bill de Blasio into serious consideration of a proposal to create a floating pool in the East River.
The idea, styled as “+ Pool” (and verbalized as “Plus Pool”) began in the summer of 2010, when three friends — designers Jeffrey Franklin and Archie Coates, along with architect Dong-Ping Wong — wondered why there was no facility that would allow the public to swim in the Hudson or East Rivers.
Researching the idea, they realized that 150 years ago, New York had more than a dozen such accommodations. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
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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.
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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…
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.
Steven Amedee Gallery
Tapestry of Discord
A solo exhibition of oil paintings and mixed media works on paper by the South African artist Luke Baggott.
In Tapestry of Discord, Mr. Baggot uses New York City as a backdrop to challenge narrative conventions about place and community. Drawing on his experiences as a foreigner, his work highlights the fragmentation and confusion present in familiar spaces, destabilizing entrenched ideas about the City. His work examines what it is to be different and whether the process of assimilation requires us to abandon vital parts of our identity in the quest for belonging.
41 N Moore Street email@example.com
Soho Photo Gallery
Krappy Kamera Exhibition
The gallery is proud to present its annual Krappy Kamera Exhibition, including the winners of the 2020 International Competition. Exhibits by Soho Photo Gallery artists. The Competition originated at Soho Photo Gallery in 1998 and is one of the high points of the year. “Selecting just forty-five photographs from well over eight hundred submissions is no easy feat, especially when presented with such a rich array of diverse imagery. Nonetheless, I have endeavored to assemble an impressive group of photographic prints by a wide range of artists employing cameras outfitted with ‘lousy lenses.’ The outstanding results are an inspiration.”
— Brian Paul Clamp, Juror
15 White Street
EXHIBITION DATES: February 17 – March 7
Van Der Plas Gallery
ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE FOR ALL TO BEHOLD
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Van Der Plas Gallery presents a solo exhibition of work by Konstantin Bokov on view now through February 16th, 2020. It features Bokov’s signature found-art assemblage, sculptures, paintings, and sketches over four prolific decades.
Born in Ukraine, was groomed to pursue music at the Art Academy of Leningrad in St. Petersburg, a visceral encounter with Vincent van Gogh’s sunsets changed the trajectory of his life. From Moscow, he immigrated to New York City in 1974.
Gallerist and curator Adriaan van der Plas shares, “Bokov embodies the true spirit of an outsider with no phone or email to reach him. With a pure heart, he regards creativity as spiritual, and offers it with unbridled generosity.”
Exhibition through February16
Van Der Plas Gallery, 156 Orchard Street 212-227-8983
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 (no viewing on 2/17).
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.
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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