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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 59  April 30, 2014

Quote of the day:
" bigotry, no sanction, to persecution, no assistance."- President George Washington, in his letter of August 1790 to the Jews of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I.

* Landmarks Preservation Commission unimpressed with Howard Hughes' Fulton Market plan
* 225th anniversary of George Washington's first inauguration as U.S. president
* Bits & Bytes: Historic Tribeca home for sale; Port Authority eyes 3WTC equity
* Downtown openings: Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 delayed; New Greenmarket?
* Downtown bulletin board: Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra; Summer youth employment
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

The Old Barracks Fife & Drum Corps playing in Federal Hall on April 30 in honor of the 225th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as the first president of the United States.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Christopher Sharples, a partner in SHoP Architects, showing a schematic of the gutted interior of the Fulton Market building to CB1's Landmarks Committee.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

If The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) was hoping for a slam dunk when it brought its makeover plans for the Fulton Market building in the South Street Seaport before the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday, it must have been disappointed. The Landmarks Preservation Commission was not impressed.

The exterior of the building (erected in 1983) is landmarked and requires Landmarks Preservation Commission approval for changes. HHC has already ripped out the vestiges of the fish market stalls on the interior of the building and plans to install an eight-screen, dine-in multiplex movie theater inside, with retail stores lining the exterior.

As Christopher Sharples, a partner in SHoP Architects, explained to Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee on April 22, the plan would be to change lighting, signage and paving around the building and to create a glass façade at ground level for the proposed stores.

According to an article in ("Fulton Market's 'All-American Mall' Makeover Fails To Impress," 4/30/14), members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission concurred with Barbara Zay of the Historic Districts Council, who spoke yesterday against the Howard Hughes plan at the LPC hearing.

She said that, "HDC laments the scattershot planning and philosophical retreat from the market origins of the South Street Seaport, a shift that has been highly contested and discussed in many forums. Discussion of the building's use aside, HDC finds that much of the proposed work does not improve Benjamin Thompson's original design, but rather, is quite unnecessary."

The article goes on to say that, "LPC members were similarly concerned with design aspects of proposals for signage, lighting, bluestone paving, and even the windows to be used for the theater portion of the building. Also among the concerns with the proposal is the fact that it removes the last vestiges of the stalls from which fish used to be sold."

The major support for the Howard Hughes plan came from Community Board 1. At last night's CB1 full board meeting, Jason Friedman of CB1 reiterated what he had said to the Landmarks Preservation Commission earlier in the day - namely that while the decision to remove the old fish market stalls along South Street was "not in keeping with the preservation of the historic fish market, the reactivation of South Street between Beekman and Fulton Streets is long overdue."

Friedman told the full board meeting, "We really want this to happen expeditiously. It's been a long time since this building has been operational, along with many other buildings in the district."

Friedman said that the Landmarks Preservation Commission felt similarly, although, he said, "my experience with them is that they drag their feet and we should encourage them to work as fast as possible with Howard Hughes to come up with a solution because at the public hearing today for this building, they didn't give them any directions."

Friedman told CB1 last night that it looked as though it make take another three months for Landmarks to get to a decision "about what's right for this building." The Fulton Market building was flooded by Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012 and has not been open since.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The old Fulton Fish Market stalls on the South Street side of the Fulton Market building housed the Fulton Stall Market in recent years. Vendors used the spaces behind the garage doors to store their wares and sold them in front, where once crates of fish would have been piled up. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Reenacting George Washington's first inauguration as President of the United States, Michael Grillo bent down to kiss the Bible as Washington did after taking the oath of office on April 30, 1789. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Two hundred and twenty-five years ago, on April 30, George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall at Broad and Nassau Streets and, in a brief ceremony, placed his hand on a large Bible, raised his right hand and swore the oath that made him the first president of the United States.

At the conclusion of the oath, he bent down and kissed the Bible - his impulse, his idea - as the cheers of the crowd assembled below the balcony rang out.

The Bible is still there, the stone on which Washington stood is there, but the building was demolished in 1812.

The first U.S. Congress had met in this building on March 4, 1789. The United States Bill of Rights had been proposed there, argued there and enacted there. The Judiciary Act of 1789 had been passed there, creating the federal court system still in use today.

Not only was this building a place of irreplaceable historic importance, it was an architectural landmark - remodeled in 1788 by Pierre L'Enfant, who was later chosen by Washington to design the capital city on the Potomac River.

But the building was destroyed, as so often happens in New York City. History succumbs to "progress" and market forces; what has been lost is only mourned when it's too late.

Still, something of the past can be retrieved with the aid of props and some imagination, and so it was today. In the Federal Hall National Memorial, itself a fine building, erected in 1842, George Washington's inauguration was reenacted - not on the porch, as planned, but inside in order to escape from the heavy rain.

The Old Barracks Fife & Drum Corps set the mood, evoking the war from which the new nation had emerged. Then, the simplicity and drama of the inauguration reverberated across the centuries.

Washington's inaugural address was brief and according to eyewitnesses, delivered by him with hesitation. In it, he spoke of his anxiety about his new role. He mentioned his deficiencies and that he would have preferred to remain a private citizen at his Virginia home, Mount Vernon, but could not refuse his country's call. He said that he did not want to be paid to be president beyond any expenses that he might incur. He ended with a "humble supplication" to "the benign parent of the human race" that his "divine blessing" might guide "the temperate consultations and the wise measures on which the success of this government must depend."

New York City, then, as now, was a place remarkable for its diversity. After the reenactment, a panel of religious leaders whose congregations were present in 18th-century New York spoke about "George Washington and Religious Freedom in the New Nation." On the panel, were representatives of the Quakers, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics and the Jews. A representative of Trinity Church - Episcopalian - was supposed to be there, but was not.

The oldest of these congregations was Jewish - Shearith Israel, founded in 1654. Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745-1816) was its first American-born spiritual leader and was present at Washington's inauguration. Donald Green, one of Seixas' descendants, organized and moderated the panel.

He read Washington's famous letter of August 21, 1790 to the Jews of Newport, R.I., in which Washington said that the government of the United States would give "to bigotry, no sanction, to persecution, no assistance."

Then it emerged from the panelists, whose congregational archives go back centuries, that Washington himself lived by those principles. He attended services of all denominations, all of which he found worthy. As much as anyone could know of his personal beliefs, which he did not publicly discuss, he believed in an architect of the universe that controlled human destiny and earnestly and humbly entreated guidance for himself and the new nation.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

George Washington, April 30, 2014 - in front of Federal Hall.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Bits & Bytes  

By March 2015, clothing stores will line the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Rare 1828 Tribeca Home With Farmland Feel Asks $3.75M,", 4/30/14. One of the beautiful, historic homes on Harrison Street is on the market. "If you've ever fantasized about living on a little homestead but are mired to New York City, this tiny Tribeca townhouse at 37 Harrison Street might present the perfect compromise," says "Built in 1828 on what was originally a street along the Hudson River, the Federal style house is one of nine remaining on land that once belonged to the farm of Annetje Jans. The landmarked 21-foot-wide three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has six-count 'em, six!-wood-burning fireplaces, exposed beams, original arched dormers, and a private garden that 'adjoins an enclave of similarly designed houses connected by their historical pedigree and unlikely survival.'" For the complete article, including photos, click here.

"Port Authority bigs eye equity stake in 3 WTC,"
Crain's New York Business, 4/30/14. "Officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are negotiating to receive a large perk in return for extending a $1.2 billion loan guarantee that would back a soaring new office tower at the World Trade Center site," says Crain's New York Business.  "Top officials at the agency, including the Port Authority's executive director Pat Foye and vice chairman Scott Rechler, are trying to secure an ownership interest in 3 World Trade Center, the planned 80-story building that some critics say the Port Authority has no business backing. The deal is an effort to give the Port Authority a share of the building's potential upside in exchange for committing more of its capital. The hope is that the new sweetener will help win over critics on the agency's board, whose vote at a meeting in May will likely determine whether the tower gets built in the near future-if ever." For the complete article, click here.

"High-End Cosmetics Shop Cos Bar Lands Its First NYC Location,", 4/27/14.
"Cos Bar, a Denver-based high-end cosmetics store with locations in 'wealthy pockets' of the country, is opening its first location in Manhattan at-where else-Brookfield Place," says "The company's other locations (as well as its e-shop) carry skincare, fragrances, makeup, bath and body products, and men's lines, from brands like Bulgari, Cartier, Clinique, Deborah Lippmann, Jenny Patinkin, Killian, Nars, Omorovicza, Oribe, Prada, Serge Normant, St. Tropez, Tom Ford, and plenty more. WWD writes that the new store will have small shop-in-shops for particular brands but 'no open-sell area in the store in order to maintain the high service standards.' Instead, it seems the focus will be on direct staff-shopper interaction." For the complete article, click here.

Brookfield Place score card: If you've lost track of which stores will be moving into Brookfield Place, here's the list: Bonobos, Burberry, Calypso St. Barth, Cos Bar, Diane von Furstenberg, Hermes,  J. Crew, Michael Kors, Paul Smith, Posman Books, Salvatore Ferragamo, SCOOP, Theory, Zegna. "The retail space is 80 percent rented," said Scott Cooke, a Brookfield Place spokesperson. He said that the stores will be situated in the Winter Garden, on the northern flank of what was formerly called 2 World Financial Center and at street level on West Street. A glass pavilion, similar to the one on West Street, will overlook Vesey Street. These stores are expected to open in March 2015.

In addition to these retail stores, there are 15 high-end, fast food stores opening in May on the southern flank of the building. These stores are being promoted as "Hudson Eats." An exact opening date has not yet been set. Each of the 15 stores is doing its own build-out and Brookfield wants to wait until all of them are finished before opening.


Downtown openings, definite, possible, delayed and soon

Greenmarket radishes. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26
Free public kayaking will not be returning to Pier 26 on May 17, as previously announced. Downtown Boathouse, the volunteer-run organization that was awarded a contract for boating from the pier by the Hudson River Park Trust, was just informed by HRPT "that there will be a delay in the Certificate of Occupancy for Pier 26, and that the most realistic start date for us at Pier 26 is now June 1st," said Graeme Birchall,  president of the Downtown Boathouse. "In order to provide free kayaking to Downtown residents in the interim, we will repair our old dock at Pier 40, install the ramp, and open there on May 17."

Meanwhile, the Downtown Boathouse volunteers have packed their gear at Pier 96 on W. 55th Street, where they had been offering free kayaking for several years, thinking that Pier 26 would be ready to receive them. They were about to start packing and clearing out of Pier 40 as well - another interim location.

New York Outriggers, a Hudson River paddling organization, is also counting on Pier 26 to open. The Outriggers' annual regatta, which draws crews from around the world, is scheduled for June 21.

Return of the World Trade Center Greenmarket?
For the 15 years before September 11, 2001, the largest and most popular Greenmarket in Lower Manhattan had been at the World Trade Center. Among many other losses inflicted that day, the loss of the Greenmarket was mourned. There are other Downtown Greenmarkets, but none was ever as large and as successful as that one.

Now it is possible that that Greenmarket can come back. The queuing area for the 9/11 memorial, currently located on Albany Street between Washington and Greenwich Streets, will soon be dismantled. Shortly after that happens on or before June 30, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which owns the site, could use that space for a Greenmarket.

At its full board meeting on April 29, Community Board 1 adopted a resolution that said that it looked forward to working with the LMDC and GrowNY to establish a temporary Greenmarket on Albany Street. Eventually, that site will likely be used for something else, "though it may be available for an awfully long time," said CB1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes.

In its resolution, CB1 said that it hoped that LMDC and the community could reclaim the site from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in time for a Greenmarket to open there by June 1.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown bulletin board   

Gary Fagin conducting the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra concerts
Downtown's own orchestra, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gary Fagin, is holding two concerts in May. On Thursday, May 15, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a soirée in the South Street Seaport at the home of KCO board members Lynda Davey and Alan Schiffres, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Shir Victoria Levy, a renowned 19-year-old violinist, will perform works by Debussy and Poulenc. KCO board member Sharon Phair Fortenbaugh is co-host for the event. Tickets are by donation starting at $125 a person. Click here for more information or to make a reservation, or call (917) 929-8375 and contribute at the door.

On Sunday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m., the KCO returns to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to perform Piece de Résistance: Music Celebrating the Polish Spirit. Shir VictoriaLevy will play Karol Szymanowski's haunting Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35. Also on the program are works by Wladyslaw Szpilman, subject of the award-winning film "The Pianist;" Wojciech Kilar, composer of the film score for "The Pianist;" and more! Tickets are $18; $15 (students and seniors); $12 (museum members). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

The 2014 Summer Youth Employment Program

The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. The deadline to apply has been extended to May 2.

All youth aged 14-24 who permanently reside within the five boroughs of New York City are eligible and are encouraged to apply.
Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs including parks, summer camps, hospitals, community-based organizations, small businesses, museums and retail organizations. In addition to work experience, SYEP also provides workshops on job readiness, career exploration, financial literacy and opportunities to continue education and social growth.

Programs are located in community-based organizations in all five boroughs of New York City. Youth can apply for the program online or at a community-based organization during the application period. Participants are selected by lottery for the program. Specialized programming for disabled, foster care, runaway/homeless and justice-involved youth is also available.

 To apply for SYEP, submit a completed application by going to   
For more information, click here or call (800) 246-4646.

Manhattan Youth: Downtown Community Awards 2014 Event
At its annual Community Awards event, this year on May 15, Manhattan Youth honors seven people for their commitment to education in the Lower Manhattan community. The honorees are
Wendy Chapman, for her advocacy on behalf of children and education, and Michael Clark, Frank DiOrio, Derick Henry, Jose Velez, James Willie and David DiGiacomo, for their stewardship of the PS 89/IS 289 physical plant through 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and every school day, and their commitment to the community's children.

Invited guests include Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hon. Sheldon Silver, Hon. Scott Stringer, Hon. Gale Brewer, Hon. Daniel Squadron, Hon. Deborah Glick, Hon. Margaret Chin, and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes.

Proceeds from the event will help Lower Manhattan working families obtain after-school and summertime childcare services of the highest quality regardless of their ability to pay. Manhattan Youth provides nearly $500,000 in childcare subsidies to families each year in addition to $500,000 in free programming, and has been the leading provider of after-school childcare, summer camp, recreation and enrichment programming in Lower Manhattan since 1986.

The Community Awards Event will take place at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. featuring the piano stylings of Nate Andersen followed by an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m., a buffet dinner and live music. The Manhattan Youth Players of IS 276 will present "It's a Hard-knocks Life" from their recent production of "Annie."

Click here for tickets to the event or contact Jim Hopkins at (212) 766-1104 ext. 232, or by e-mail Ticket prices start at $150.

Save Our Seaport Town Hall meetings
On May 3 and May 5, Save Our Seaport is hosting Town Meetings in New York's South Street Seaport Historic District. Both will begin with guest speakers followed by a walking tour.

SOS invites the public to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum; maintains ties to an active waterfront and locates a world-class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

The Town Meeting on Saturday, May 3, will start at 2 p.m. in Titanic Memorial Park, Fulton and Water Streets. Guest speakers will include Peter Stanford, founder of the South Street Seaport Museum and author of "A Dream of Tall Ships," Robert Rustchak, Merchant Marine Captain and Bridget Schuy, realty specialist in Lower Manhattan. After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period followed by a walk through the South Street Seaport Historic District.
The second Town Meeting, on Monday, May 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will also start in Titanic Memorial Park followed by a walking tour of the Seaport Historic District. Guest speakers will include Capt. Brian McAllister, owner of McAllister Towing and Robert LaValva, founder and president of the New Amsterdam Market.

For more information, email or call 347-6-PIER16.

CALENDAR: Week of April 28
On Sunday, tour Teardrop Park with one of the architects who created it.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
May 1: "Relative Strangeness" at Poets House. Rosmarie Waldrop is one of poetry's most prolific innovators. Associated with a diverse array of post-1945 literary movements, co-founder of the celebrated Burning Deck Press, and the award-winning translator of the great Egyptian Jewish poet Edmond Jabès, Waldrop defies categorization or border. She is joined by Dr. Nikolai Duffy, author of Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop, for an evening of readings and discussion. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets:  $10, $7 (students and seniors), free to Poets House members. For more information, click here.

May 2: The annual Sailors Ball is a black tie gala that celebrates the start of the new sailing season. All sailors and sailing enthusiasts in the New York area are invited to attend. Dancing, open bar and hors d'oeuvres. The Sailors Ball raises money for the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation. Place: Down Town Association, 60 Pine St. Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets: $120. For more information, click here.

May 2: Come to the first Sunset Singing Circle of the 2014 season for folk-song singing led by Terre Roche. No experience necessary. Place: Wagner Park. Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free.

May 3
: A sleepover at Poets House includes guided meditations and intuitive writing sessions, proprioceptive movement and acupuncture options, and other activities designed to clear and comfort the mind and body, and open up new space for creativity. Led by poet and certified hypnotherapist Kristin Prevallet, yoga and mindful movement teacher Romona Mukherjee, and licensed acupuncturist and holistic healer Mona Chopra. Open to Poets House members. Place: 10 River Terrace. Fee: $75. Memberships cost $50 a year, with a discount for seniors and students. To register, contact Krista Manrique, (212) 431-7920 ext. 2830, or email For more information, click here.

May 4: Matthew Urbanski, landscape architect with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will lead a tour entitled "Imagining, Creating and Constructing Teardrop Park." Meet at Teardrop Park (or at 6 River Terrace in case of rain). Time: 2 p.m. Free.

Ongoing: An exhibit called "Bright! Color in Three Dimensions" is in the lobby of 250 Vesey St., Brookfield Place. With the advent of digital and commercial technology, it has become easier to take the power of color for granted in two-dimensional mediums. The artists - Justin Adian, Caitlin Bermingham, Benjamin Dowell, Charles Dunn, Juan Fernando Morales, and Courtney Puckett - in Bright! take color to another level by manipulating it into sculptural forms. Whether made of plastic, textile, or paper, the artists use color as a foundation for the entire object, rather than the decorative finish to the piece. Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through June 1. Free.

Ongoing: An exhibit called "Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII" is in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The exhibit of 84 photographs by award-winning photojournalists was drawn from work produced over a period of 30 years in 30 different countries. Place: 220 Vesey St. Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Free. Through May 1. The public is invited to add smile photos to the exhibit by following @ArtsBrookfield on Instagram and Twitter and submitting your photo via Instagram and/or Twitter using hashtap #ShareMySmile. Also, answer in a few words, "What makes you smile?" Arts Brookfield will screen and add submissions on a rolling basis.

Ongoing: Poets House in Battery Park City presents "A Painter and His Poets," the first major retrospective show of George Schneeman's collaborative paintings, collages, prints, and books, with portraits of his poet friends, spanning 40 years. "A sort of utopia in the visual field filled with pleasure, quickness and wit" is how Schneeman himself described his collaborative work with poets. Exhibition on view through Saturday, Sept. 20, during regular Poets House hours. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For information about Poets House, 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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