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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 44  March 26, 2014

Quote of the day:
"All of us who work at the 9/11 Museum understand that the eyes of the world will, once again, be turned toward the World Trade Center."  - Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, on the opening of the museum, scheduled for May.

* Howard Hughes Corp. may erect tower at 80 South St.
* Bowling Green bull is unpenned
* Preview of 9/11 Museum from its president, Joe Daniels
* Bits & Bytes: CNN producers arrested; Weekend ferry service amplifies noise; Pier A liquor
* Community Board 1 full-board meeting gleanings
* Calendar

Masthead photo: New York harbor. March 23, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

South Street Seaport     

The Howard Hughes Corporation is considering erecting a 1,000-foot-tall tower at 80 South St., the current site of the low, red-brick building at the center of this picture. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


If many South Street Seaport residents and businesses didn't like The Howard Hughes Corporation's plans to build a 50-story hotel and apartment tower at the current site of the New Market building in the South Street Seaport, they certainly won't like Hughes' latest move. Today, HHC announced the proposed acquisition of 80 South St., which is just outside the South Street Seaport historic district.  


The 80 South St. site has already been approved for a 1,000-foot-tall tower - nearly twice the size of the tower that Hughes has been discussing for the New Market building site. If built, it would be taller than the Frank Gehry building at 8 Spruce St.   


A low, red-brick building currently occupies that parcel of land. In 2008, developer Frank Sciame had proposed building a high-rise tower on the 8,128-square-foot parcel, to be designed by Santiago Calatrava, with apartments going for $29 million to $30 million. At the time, few people were interested and the plan fell through. Now, apartment sales at that price range and more are not uncommon.   


A more recent design for a high-rise building at 80 South St. was created by Morali Architects. This design was approved by City Planning. 


According to the New York Post, Sciame's offices are still in the South Street building but he "recently transferred a $14.5 million mortgage back to the Queens-based owner, Cord Meyer, which is selling the site and plans to HHC." ("South Street Seaport Owner Eyes Southern Star," New York Post, 3/26/14) 


The Howard Hughes Corporation does not plan to abandon its efforts to erect a tower on the New Market building site, despite community opposition.  


A press release issued by Hughes quoted Christopher Curry, senior executive vice president of development, as saying, "The Howard Hughes Corporation is committed to transforming the South Street Seaport, and today we are reaffirming our belief in the future of the area by expanding our investment. Our immediate priority is the rebuilding of Pier 17, bringing great new retail back to the historic district and advancing our proposed mixed-use project with its vital pier infrastructure investments."

The press release said that, "The company is under no obligation to close on the [80 South St.] acquisition and is currently undergoing feasibility analysis of a potential development on the site."


Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for Howard Hughes, said that he was unable to say how long Howard Hughes been considering building a tower at 80 South St.


The Seaport Working Group, which has been meeting for more than a month to thrash out development plans for the Seaport, knew nothing about this.  


Soffin was also unable to say what the feasibility study would entail and what the timeframe would be. Questions about the cost and financing of a tower at 80 South St. also went unanswered.  


Although a high-rise building for that site had previously been approved, any new design would have to go through an Environmental Impact analysis, including the ways that it would shadow the surrounding neighborhood, which includes the Imagination Playground, and the ways it would affect traffic and other aspects of the neighborhood.  


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


The Bowling Green bull. (Photo: Jay Fine)


Much to the amazement, and sometimes to the amusement, of locals, the Bowling Green bull - often erroneously known as the "Wall Street bull" - has become a major New York City tourist attraction. And now its fans, once again, can get as close as they like to the bull, where they have enjoyed posing for photos, both at its front end and its back end. The barricades surrounding the bull since the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, have just come down.


"Where's the bull?" many tourists ask. This question probably doesn't get the answer it deserves. Mostly, locals politely direct lost tourists down Broadway to a cobblestone island just north of Bowling Green park where the 7,100 pound, bronze bull has been snorting and pawing since 1990.


Fearing that the Occupy Wall Street crowd would not only use the bull as a photo op but deface it, the NYPD placed guards and barricades around the beast. By July 2012, this was getting a little old.  

Community Board 1 passed a resolution asking that the barricades be removed because they were ugly and because they caused pedestrians to stand on the trafficked street instead of on the safety of the cobblestones. There were some injuries as crowds of tourists vied for photos.


No more. The bull is now unpenned.  


The bull was sculpted by Arturo Di Modica, who spent $360,000 of his own money to create the animal. Somehow, he managed to truck it to lower Manhattan and install it on Dec. 15, 1989 in front of the New York Stock Exchange.  


The police took a dim view of this and impounded it, but their efforts at enforcing civic decorum were too late. The bull had been seen by too many people, and once seen, was not forgotten. So the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation hauled it out of the pound and placed it in its current location.  


It still belongs to Di Modica, who is willing to sell it as long as the buyer guarantees that it won't be moved.  


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 



Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, addressing Community Board 1 about plans for the opening of the museum.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, has been counting the days until the museum opens. As he stood before Community Board 1's full-board meeting on March 25, he knew that he had 51 days before the curtain rises.

"All of us who work at the 9/11 Museum understand that the eyes of the world will, once again, be turned toward the World Trade Center," he said.

The opening to the public on May 21 will be preceded by what he termed, "a truly historic dedication period," when the museum will be open 24 hours a day in tribute to the people who worked around the clock following the attack that destroyed the Twin Towers.

During that dedication period the museum will be free to family members of those killed, rescue and recovery workers, active duty first responders from agencies that lost members in the 9/11 attacks, survivors of the attacks and current lower Manhattan residents or business owners, or those who were residents or business owners of lower Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks, living or working below Canal Street.

Reservations became available starting on March 26. (For reservations during the dedication period, click here.)

Daniels said that the museum's
entrance pavilion and 165-seat auditorium have been completed. "There will be extensive public programming," he said. 


He showed a photograph of the bedrock level, which will have portraits of the faces and names of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed.


The museum will also attempt to educate, to "uphold our promise to never forget. The museum will acknowledge that the events of September 11 are part of an on-going story - one that began well before that day and one that continues to shape our world well beyond it. The historical exhibition will tell the story of what happened on 9/11 - the events that led up to it - and finally explore how our world has been changed in the aftermath."


He said that the museum will contain recording equipment so that visitors can continue to leave their stories for its archives.   


When the museum opens to the public, the entrance fee will be $24, but it will be free on Tuesday evenings between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. In addition, Daniels said, the museum will "explore the possibility" of having free evenings from time to time for the lower Manhattan community.   


He expects that approximately two million people a year will visit the museum, and that each visit will last around two hours.  


On May 21, when the museum opens to the public, Condé Nast, the publishing and media company that will be moving into 1 World Trade Center, will pay the admission fee for the approximately 5,000 people who are expected to visit that day.  


Advance reservations for museum tickets can now be booked by clicking here.   


Concurrent with the opening of the museum, portions of the fence surrounding the memorial will come down so that it will no longer be necessary to have a timed ticket to see the pools where the Twin Towers once stood and the plaza surrounding them. 


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


Bits & Bytes  

Community Board 1 put brakes on the proposed liquor license for Pier A.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


"2 CNN Producers Are Held in Trespass at World Trade Center" New York Times, 3/25/14. Apparently inspired by a 16-year-old kid who sneaked into the World Trade Center site a few days ago and climbed to the top of 1 World Trade Center, two CNN producers seeking to report on recent breaches of security at the World Trade Center tried to replicate his feat, The New York Times reported.  They were arrested. On Tuesday, March 25, "The two men, Yonatan Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, were seen repeatedly trying to get in, said Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the site. Their arrests, on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration, came amid intense scrutiny of security at the World Trade Center site." The Times article also referenced the fact that, "On Monday, three men and their lookout turned themselves in to the police admitting they had parachuted from the tower last year." However, this breach of security and the more recent one both occurred in darkness. "The CNN employees, however, were trying to enter the property around 2 p.m., as the area teemed with construction workers, tourists and police officers," said The Times. For the complete article, click here.

"As PATH Stations Close for Weekend Work, Ferry Service Opens...For Now," WNYC, 3/25/14. Battery Park City residents have been complaining for a while about blasts from ferry horns as the ferries back out of the terminal near the esplanade. Now, they will have even more to complain about. Ferry service to Paulus Hook is about to start on weekends. "Beginning this weekend, the Port Authority will begin piloting ferry service between Jersey City and lower Manhattan," says WNYC. "It's an alternative for weekend PATH train riders who normally travel between Exchange Place and the World Trade Center. Those two stations will be closed most Saturdays and Sundays throughout 2014 for Sandy repairs and upgrades to the rail line, including work to install Positive Train Control (PTC), a federally-mandated technology required to be installed on commuter railroads by the end of next year. The cost of the ferry will be the same as the PATH train - $2.50." For the complete article, click here.

Pier A liquor license: Pier A at the intersection of Battery Park City and Battery Park, is being transformed into what will probably be the largest restaurant in New York City. It is scheduled to open around Memorial Day, or shortly thereafter. Although Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee had unanimously approved a liquor license application for Pier A Battery Park Associates, LLC, that would have allowed it to serve liquor until 4 a.m., some members of the community board opposed the 4 a.m. closing time. "I think we'll be remediating this for the rest of our lives if we let this go," said CB1 member Tricia Joyce, who, like some other members of the community board, feared rowdy drunks cruising the dark, deserted waterfront. CB1 member Jeff Galloway thought otherwise. "If [Pier A] enlivens this area until 4 a.m., it will be a wonderful amenity," he said. There are no apartment buildings immediately near Pier A, whose residents could be disturbed by a late closing time and, as CB1 member, Tammy Meltzer, said, "We want it to thrive." Finally, the community board agreed on a compromise, granting the liquor license until 4 a.m. for a six-month trial period.


A helicopter landing at the Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street heliport at Pier 6 on the East River in Manhattan. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and other elected officials have been attempting to address the noise and safety problems that the helicopters pose.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Thanks and good-bye: Community Board 1 said good-bye at its full-board meeting on March 25 to three of its members. Among other contributions to the community board, Ruth Ohman served on the board from 2007 to 2014. She was co-chair of the Housing Committee and helped with the production of CB1's seniors guide. She will continue to be a public member. Paul Viggiano was a member of Community Board 1 from 2008 to 2014 and was co-chair of the Seaport/Civic Center Committee. Mark Costello was on the Community Board from 2007 to 2014, serving on the Tribeca and Youth and Education Committees and on the Battery Park City Community Center Task Force. The activities and credentials of all of these people extended well beyond their community board work. Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, thanked all of them for their service.

Save 67 Vestry St.: Numerous residents and neighbors of 67 Vestry St., a nine-story, Romanesque brick warehouse in Tribeca, turned out to urge the Community Board to pass a resolution to protect the massive warehouse from being torn down. The building, dating from 1897, was erected for the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (more commonly known as "A&P.") It is just outside of the North Tribeca Historic District, whose boundaries were established in 1992. A developer has filed plans with the New York City Department of Buildings to place an 11-story building on this site. Though 67 Vestry has not been well maintained, it is of historical and cultural significance. It has been home and studio to many internationally recognized artists. CB1 recommended that it be evaluated for landmark status or that the boundary of the North Tribeca Historic District be redrawn to include this building. In the meantime, with the threat of demolition imminent, those who want to save it have created a website ( and launched a petition.

News from the electeds: Every Community Board 1 meeting begins with a presentation from representatives of the elected officials who represent lower Manhattan. Yume Kitasei, director of budget and legislation for City Councilmember Margaret Chin, said that a bill sponsored by Chin expanding the right to paid sick leave has now been signed into law. The law will take effect on April 1 and will apply to all businesses with five or more employees. Celine Mizrahi, speaking for U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, said that Nadler continues to try to find a solution for the noise and safety issues created by low-flying helicopters. At a Federal Aviation Administration helicopter symposium on March 24, Nadler indicted the FAA for having dragged its feet on this problem for the last 10 years. "We must find a solution now," he said. During the Bloomberg Administration, the City balked at banning the helicopters because they allegedly bring in $50 million a year in tourist dollars and because Bloomberg is, himself, a helicopter pilot. The FAA symposium ended with plans to convene a technical meeting with stakeholders, including New Jersey representatives. Paul Goldstein, speaking for New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said Silver's budget proposal in Albany would increase education funding by $4 billion over the next four years. Funds for universal pre-K and after-school programs would be raised by imposing a personal income tax surcharge on those earning more than $500,000 a year. Some of the education money would also go to address severe classroom overcrowding in lower Manhattan and throughout the city.


CALENDAR: Week of March 24
On Sunday, March 30, Julian Wachner will conduct NOVUS NY at Trinity Church in a concert of music for Lent. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
March 27:  "Concerts at One" at Trinity Wall Street present professional vocal and instrumental performances from emerging and established artists playing in a range of styles from jazz to classical. Today hear "Contemporary American Art Song: songs by Chris DeBlasio." Place: Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street. Time: 1 p.m. Free. For more information, click here

March 29: Grammy Award-winning artist Kathy Mattea, an American country music and bluegrass performer, presents "Calling Me Home" at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., at 8 p.m. Tickets: $35-$55. To for more information or to buy tickets, click here.

March 30:  In a series of six Sunday concerts called "Lamentatio," Trinity Wall Street presents  early Renaissance music juxtaposed with contemporary music. The fourth concert features work by Canadian composer Peter Togni, Philip Glass' Symphony No. 3 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14 performed by NOVUS NY with Julian Wachner conducting. Place: Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 5 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information or to buy tickets, click here. Concerts every Sunday through April 13.
Through March 28: Exhibit of artwork done in classes sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. 75 Battery Place, weekdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Reserve now: "Seaport Series: Archaeology in the Seaport," is a walking tour on
March 31 at 6 p.m. with Alyssa Loorya, president and principal investigator of Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants. The tour, under the auspices of Open House New York, will highlight archaeological discoveries unearthed from the South Street Seaport during its redevelopment and revitalization, ending with a rare, hands-on survey of recent archaeological finds. Tickets: $25; $15 (OHNY members). For tickets, click here.

Ongoing: "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage," is at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community of Iraq in a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives' ongoing work in support of U.S. government efforts to preserve these materials. Through May 18, 2014. Place: 36 Battery Place. Varying hours. Museum admission fees: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors) and $7 (students). Members and children 12 and under, free. Free admission on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s" at the Fraunces Tavern
Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation's place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Place: 54 Pearl St. Time: Noon to 5 p.m., daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old. Children, 5 and under, free. Active military with ID, free. For more information, click here.
Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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