Lower Manhattan’s Local News
A Friend of the Court
Landmarks Agency Says Justice Complex May Merit Protection
The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has responded to a resolution enacted by Community Board 1 (CB1) in September, calling for legal protection for the criminal courts building at 100 Centre Street.
CB1’s resolution noted, “the surprising and unfortunate fact that many of the Civic Center’s important historic buildings lie outside the existing neighboring historic districts and are not yet landmarked. These include 80 Centre Street, 137 Centre Street, 139 Centre Street, and the Manhattan Criminal Court Building at 100 Centre Street.” The unprotected status of these historic structures came to light during the review of plans by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to replace the existing Manhattan Detention Complex at 124/125 White Street with a new, 45-story prison facility that would be the tallest jail in the world.
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.
Another danger was also cited in the Board’s resolution, which noted that, “given the rapid rate of development in Lower Manhattan, there is enormous risk that without a prompt landmark designation, the Criminal Court building could likely be sold, demolished and replaced with a large-scale tower, as of right.”
On December 6, the LPC responded to CB1’s resolution, saying that, “the agency has carefully reviewed the complex’s architecture and history, and has determined that the courthouse, which occupies the southern portion of the lot, may merit consideration as a potential New York City landmark.” The LPC’s response goes on to note that, “the City’s plan is to construct a new, borough-based jail on the site of the prison on the northern portion of the lot.” This appears to mean that, even if the LPC eventually grants landmark protection to 100 Centre Street, the agency does not foresee this status as a possible legal tool to stop the de Blasio prison plan.
The building at 100 Centre Street was erected in the late 1930s, with federal funds from the Public Works Administration, a New Deal agency that aimed to stimulate the national economy during the depths of the Great Depression by commissioning large-scale civic infrastructure projects.
One of the architects who help design 100 Centre Street was Harvey Wiley Corbett, who also worked on Rockefeller Center and the Metropolitan Life North Building, adjacent to Madison Square, which is widely regarded as an Art Deco masterpiece.
CB1’s September resolution concluded by noting that, “the Manhattan Criminal Court building clearly contributes to the historic context of the neighborhood and is a critical to Lower Manhattan’s social history, architectural character and urban design,” and urging the LPC, “to act promptly in reviewing and seeking to preserve the Manhattan Criminal Court Building at 100 Centre Street.”
A Cup of Good Cheer Among Neighbors
Gateway Tenants Group to Host Holiday Get-Together Tonight
The Gateway Plaza Tenants Association will host a holiday get-together tonight (Tuesday, December 10) at Le Pain Quotidien (395 South End Avenue), from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The event — at which wine, soft drinks, and snacks will be served — is open to all Gateway residents, who are encouraged to join (or renew their membership with) the organization that represents renters in the 1700-plus apartments of Battery Park City’s largest residential complex.
“As we quickly approach the holiday season,” reflected GPTA president Rosalie Joseph, “we are so pleased to have the chance to gather with our neighbors. This is all about community, and we are grateful to Le Pain Quotidien for opening their space to us.”
Plan Floated to Span East River with Arch Containing Thousands of Apartments and New Transit Portal
To those who claim that the age of monumental public works and historic pieces of civic infrastructure has ended in New York, Scott Baker has a succinct answer: “Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Mr. Baker is the brains and the propulsive force behind an audacious new proposal to span the East River with a hybrid structure that would be part building, part bridge, and part mass transit conveyance, connecting the Dumbo/Vinegar Hill section of Brooklyn to the Manhattan neighborhood of Two Bridges.
Mr. Baker calls his plan, “RiverArch,” and describes it as, “a way to transform the skyline and the City with a structure like no other in the world, while also housing thousands of people and generating hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new tax revenue.”
EYES TO THE SKY
December 9-22, 2019
Venus and Saturn, Full Cold Moon Winter Solstice
Yesterday’s sunset, earliest of the year, down to the second, is at 4:28:30pm. Sunset time is seconds later beginning tomorrow, until it is nearly one minute later, 4:29:27 on December 15. Afternoons will be noticeably lighter by month’s end. Sunrise today, 7:08:02, is 12 minutes earlier than the latest sunrise, 7:20:13 on January 6. To read more…
What If All This Is Not Enough?
Pondering Whether $300 Million and 16.5 Feet of Protection Will Matter
At the October 29 meeting of the Battery Park City Authority board, Catherine McVay Hughes raised a potentially troubling question. As BPCA management reviewed plans to spend some $300 million on resiliency measures designed to protect the community against future sea-level rise, extreme-weather events, and climate change, she questioned one of the key assumptions upon which these plans are predicated.
“I think a lot of folks are looking at the depth-to-design elevation flood line,” Ms. McVay Hughes began. “And there was a report that was recently issued… [in which] this technical expert suggested that the 16.5 feet needs to be raised another two to three feet. So I just wanted to make sure that what the Battery Park City will be planning to do will be adequate, as well.”
The metric to which Ms. McVay Hughes was referring comes from the lower end of the mid-range of predicted coastal flood heights for Lower Manhattan by the 2080s. A 2014 report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, entitled “Climate Change in New York State,” noted that middle range for such predictions at the Battery was 16.5 to 18.3 feet. (The lowest bracket was 16.1 feet or less, while the most extreme scenarios ranged up to 19.9 feet.)
How a Nazi Sympathizer’s Tribeca Garage Could Become a Luxe Mansion
Community Board 1 is pushing back, in unusually emphatic terms, against a builder’s plans for a new mansion in Tribeca. The property in question is located at 11 Hubert Street, near the corner of Collister Street.
The existing structure at 11 Hubert Street has a tangled pedigree. It was built in 1946 by Dietrich Wortman, who was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1884, and emigrated to the United States, where he studied architecture at Columbia University.
Today in History
361 – Julian enters Constantinople as sole Emperor of the Roman Empire.
1792 – French Revolution: King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention.
1866 – First yacht race across Atlantic Ocean
1905 – A workers’ uprising occurs in Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), and establishes the Shuliavka Republic.
1936 – Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII’s abdication as King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India, becomes effective.
1941 – World War II: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States,following the Americans’ declaration of war on the Empire of Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declares war on them.
1964 – Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
1972 – Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the Moon.
1978 – The Lufthansa heist is committed by a group led by Lucchese family associate Jimmy Burke. It was the largest cash robbery ever committed on American soil, at that time. 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NY Kennedy Airport and made off with $5.8Million in cash and ewelry
2008 – Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
2017 – 2017 New York City attempted bombing: A pipe bomb partially detonates in the New York City Subway, in the Times Square-42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal. Four people are injured, including the perpetrator.
1465 – Ashikaga Yoshihisa, Japanese shogun (d. 1489)
384 – Pope Damasus I (b. 305)
I have nothing against the Tribute Museum and I was angered when I heard that they were losing their lease. It is a good institution and should survive.
However, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum doesn’t deserve to be put down in comparison to the Tribute Museum.
6 River Terrace
Directed by Church Street School for Music and Art, the BPC Chorus is open to all adults who love to sing. Learn a mix of contemporary and classic songs, and perform at community events throughout the year. Battery Park City Authority FREE
Civitella Ranieri 25th Anniversary Reading and Reception
Civitella Ranieri is an international residency program for writers, composers, and visual artists. Join us in celebrating Civitella Ranieri at Poets House.
This is our final event of 25 held worldwide in 2019, our 25th anniversary year. $15 10 River Terrace.
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Friday, December 13
Inbound 9:15 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 tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
Arts and Minds
Highly Regarded Local Arts Education Group Stays the Course
To stroll in Tribeca in 2019 is to apprehend what is happening throughout Lower Manhattan. Buildings – along with their occupants and uses – are in perpetual flux. Amid this tumult is a symbol of local continuity: the Church Street School for Music and Art.
Recently, the Broadsheet asked Dr. Ecklund-Flores, who has been the sole proprietor of CSS for many years, to reflect on the move north and the challenges faced in relocating to a new neighborhood. To read more…
CB1 to Consider Cutbacks in Number of Stops on Free Bus Service
Tonight (Tuesday, December 3) the Transportation Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) will hear a presentation from the Downtown Alliance about planned cutbacks to the number of stops on its free Downtown Connection shuttle bus.
The plans include the elimination of six stops within Battery Park City.
Gotham Girls Winter Futsal League & Formativo Training
Gotham Girls F.C. – the only NYC all-girls soccer club is running our Winter Futsal League for girls ages 7 to 16.
(Our foundational development soccer – Formativo – is available for girls ages 7-10).
Our dedicated coaches ref the fun, active 50-minute 4v4 indoor futsal games, and provide coaching to develop girls foot skills and knowledge.
Games are on Saturdays or Sundays (depending on age)
at PS276 and PS234 gyms.
Cost is $210 for 12 games.
To register for Winter Futsal or Formativo, please go to http://gothamgirls.org.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
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
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
ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE
with 17 years experience seeks PT/FT work. Refs available Call or text 718 496 6232 Dian
DO YOU NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT?
I am experienced, reliable, knowledgeable and able to work flexible hours.
CHINESE AIDE/CAREGIVER FOR ELDERLY
Cantonese/Mandarin-speaking and Excellent Cook for Battery Park City.
SEEKING FREE-LANCE 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. Savvy social media skills a must. Downtown location.
Please send resume and fee schedule to: Email: email@example.com
Available starting September for PT/FT.
Wonderful person, who is a great worker. Reference Available
Available for PT/FT elder care. Experienced. References Angella
DITCH THE DIETS & LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD
Call Janine to find out how with hypnosis.
EXPERIENCED ELDER CARE
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 12yrs experienced 347-898-5804
Call Hope firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature Text Paula at 917-836-8802
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 email@example.com 347-933-1362. Refs available
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT, PREFER NON-WORKING
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and sometimes repaired
If you would like to place a listing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Train to the Plane
A Convenient Connection to the Airport Visible from Lower Manhattan Rooftops May Be Less Than Ten Years Away
The Regional Plan Association (RPA) recently partnered with the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association (DLMA) to build support for a proposed rail connection between Lower Manhattan and Newark Airport. A report the two organizations produced together, “Taking the PATH to Newark Airport,” summarizes the potential and the prospects for such a link, which local leaders have long pushed for.
Nadler Sponsors Legislation to Make Lower Manhattan Heliopolis No More
Support is building among decision-makers to heed a decade long call by Lower Manhattan community leaders to enact a comprehensive ban on non-essential helicopter flights in New York’s airspace.
Preservation, Renovation, Elevation,
and a Donation
Seaport Structure Reborn as Flood-Proof Food Emporia as Owner Celebrates with Support for Local Charity
The South Street Seaport’s historic Tin Building reached a milestone on Wednesday, when the last and highest structural beam was placed (after being ceremonially signed by dozens of well-wishers) within a reconstructed edifice, following an unprecedented, years-long effort to preserve it.
Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm…’
Lawsuit Over Similarity Between One World Trade and Architecture Student’s Design Moves Ahead
One thing is reasonably certain: In 1999, Jeehoon Park, then a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, created a design for a very tall building with a large square base tapering to a smaller square top. In Mr. Park’s vision, the square formed by the roof was rotated 45 degrees relative to the one at the ground level, so that the center-points on each side of the quadrilateral below corresponded to the corners of the one above, and vice versa. And instead of four vertical walls, the structure’s facade consisted of eight elongated triangles.
That structure was never built. Or was it?
What’s In Store?
Amid a Booming Economy, Lower Manhattan Retail Space Languishes
A new report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that in one Lower Manhattan zip code — 10013, which covers parts of western Tribeca SoHo, and the Canal Street corridor in Chinatown — there are 319 empty retail spaces, comprising almost 300,000 square feet of unused property.
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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