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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 123  Sept. 26, 2014
* Battery Park City Block Party: Sept. 27
* Downtown history: James Bogardus and Orson Welles at the Washington Market 
* Bits & Bytes: Woolworth condo sales office opens; New Sandy grants and loans
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Downtown Dining Fest; Old Seaport Street Fest; Citzen preparedness
* Calendar

NOTE: The Howard Hughes Corporation has postponed the presentation of its South Street Seaport plans to the Seaport Working Group. That was supposed to occur on Sept. 29. Now the tentative date is Oct. 8. As of now, Community Board 1 still expects to hold a special meeting of its Landmarks Committee (with members of the Planning and Seaport/Civic Center Committees in attendance) on Oct. 22 to discuss the Howard Hughes plans. And as of now, Howard Hughes is scheduled to appear before the Landmarks Preservation Committee on Nov. 18 to get a ruling on its proposals.

For breaking news, go to

A detail of the lobby ceiling in the Woolworth Building. April 2013. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


The 10th Annual Battery Park City Block Party in 2011 ended, as always, with renditions of "New York New York" and "Downtown." Anthony Notaro, Tammy Meltzer, Honey Burke, Craig Hall, Rosalie Joseph and Ruth Ohman shared the stage with students from the New American Youth Ballet.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The 13th Annual Battery Park City Block Party takes place on Sat., Sept. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the esplanade just south of North Cove Marina. As usual, there will be vendors, food, a talent show and games for kids. Here's the schedule:


On Stage:

11:30 a.m.: Honor neighbors Tammy Meltzer, Deborah DiIorio and Abraham Merchant.

Noon on: Live music and dance, pet parade, demonstrations. 

4:15 p.m.: Gather around for the traditional closing sing-along of "Downtown" and "New York, New York!"


In the Marina:  

 Go to the Welcome Table to buy a ticket for a 45-minute-long ride on the Big Toot. Tickets are just $5 and all proceeds go to Wounded Warriers.  

Board the Arabella (North Cove Marina, docked right next to the Block Party) and hang out during the Block Party. Cash bar on board.  


In the Kids' Area:  

Rides, games, arts and crafts and sports.


On the Plaza:  

Food from your favorite BPC restaurants. Numerous tables of activities and items for sale from BPC residents, businesses and organizations.

2:30 p.m.: Bubblegum Blowing Contest. Check in at the Welcome Table to join by 2:15 p.m.
Build a scarecrow. Bring it to the Liberty Community Gsrdens table by 2:45 p.m.
Prizes awarded


Electronics recycling:  

Unclutter your home by bringing your unwanted electronics to the block party. The following working and non-working items will be accepted: computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, video games, cell phones and PDAs. For more information, click here or call (212) 477-4022.


Community Fundraising for Wounded Warriors

Help raise money for Wounded Warriors' local chapter by baking cookies, loaves or brownies to be sold at our BPC Kids' Table next to the Welcome Table. Drop off your baked goods by 11 a.m. 




Downtown history
Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport as it looked in January 2013, three months after Superstorm Sandy. The gray building with a rounded corner is a replica of a building designed in 1849 by James Bogardus for a merchant in the Washington Market. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


The article, "Tribeca Greenmarket manager shows Washington Market pix," in Downtown Post NYC on 9/22/14 has elicited some additional information about the Washington Market.

Robert LaValva, who wrote a letter to the editor about the Washington Market (DPNYC, 9/24/14), sent in a link to a New York Times article from March 7, 1999 describing a Washington Market building that was designed by the great pioneer of cast iron architecture, James Bogardus (1800-1874).

The article answers a question from a Times reader: "About 30 years ago, as the Washington Market area in lower Manhattan was cleared for urban renewal, the city dismantled an early cast-iron building and stored the pieces. The building, an architectural gem as I recall, was to be re-erected at a future date. What became of it?" the reader asked.

The answer: "It was stolen. James Bogardus, a pioneer in the design and construction of cast-iron buildings, built a group of stores for Edward H. Laing at Washington and Murray Streets in 1849. Using prefabricated cast-iron columns and panels, along with wooden spans and brick walls, Bogardus assembled the four-story structure in two months, an astonishing feat for the day," Daniel B. Schneider, The Times reporter, recounted.

He then went on to describe how the building was dismantled in 1971, the pieces stored, and then stolen from a storage lot at Washington and Chambers Streets. A few broken pieces were recovered and were supposed to be used in a replica of the original building to be erected in the South Street Seaport on Fulton Street, but those few precious scraps of Bogardus' building were also stolen in 1977.

"A facsimile of the building, lacking a single molecule of the original, was built at Front and Fulton Streets in 1983. It remains intact," said The Times.

For the complete article, click here. For a photograph of the Bogardus building in the Washington Market, click here.

Lynn Ellsworth, founder and chairperson of Tribeca Trust, an organization formed to educate people about the history of Tribeca and to preserve its historic scale and architectural character, sent a link to a film called "Too Much Johnson" that Orson Welles partially shot in the Washington Market in 1938. Welles was 23 at the time, and three years away from making "Citizen Kane."

"Too Much Johnson" was never completed and for a long time, it was thought to be lost. Ten reels of a work print on flammable nitrate were found in 2013 in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy and sent to George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y. for restoration.

"Too Much Johnson" is a silent film accompanied by music, invoking the farcical humor of the early silent films that Welles admired. The plot involves a voluptuous, married woman (Arlene Francis) whose lover (Joseph Cotten), has to make a hurried exit out the window when her husband comes home. He chases Cotten through the Washington Market, weaving in and out of crates and baskets and barrels and providing choice glimpses of the market stalls, the horse-drawn carts and the cobbled streets.

To learn more about the film, click here. To see it, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes
The upper floors of the Woolworth Building are being converted to condos.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Luxury Condos in the Woolworth Building,"
New York Times, 9/26/14. "A deal was struck two years ago to turn the neo-Gothic tower of the Woolworth Building into luxury condominiums, creating an unusual opportunity for wealthy apartment-hunters to own a piece of one of New York's most recognizable landmarks," says The New York Times. "Now, just a few doors down from the 101-year-old building at 233 Broadway, the sales office is poised to open. Inside, an opulent model apartment will harken to another age, with prewar proportions, dark herringbone floors and marble-clad bathrooms. W motifs appear throughout - on doorknobs and marble kitchen backsplashes. They were cast from the original logos on the elevators, lest prospective buyers forget where they are." The building, designed by Cass Gilbert, will have 34 residences spanning half and full floors, with prices starting a $3.875 million for a 1,290-square-foot one bedroom. For the complete article, click here.

Hurricane Sandy Business Loan & Grant Program: In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many Lower Manhattan businesses found that they could not get substantial grants to help them reopen, however the owners were reluctant to take on large loans. Now a federally funded Business Loan and Grant Program administered by New York City's Department of Small Business Services (SBS) with assistance from the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) will provide supplemental assistance to replace eligible inventory and moveable equipment plus working capital.

Small businesses that experienced direct damage as a result of the storm can now access up to $100,000 in grant money. Eligible applicants who demonstrate the ability to repay a loan with unmet need greater than $100,000 may qualify for a grant and loan up to $1.1M. In cases of severe need, these applicants may receive all grant awards. Applicants with unmet need greater than $1.1M will receive matching loans and grants. Loans will have a 1% interest rate and must be repaid in five years.

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 1, City Council Member Margaret Chin, who represents Lower Manhattan, will help local businesses apply for loans or grants. Several SBS staff members will work out of her district office at 165 Park Row, Suite 11, New York, NY 10038 on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., until at least the end of December, to help qualifying business owners apply for post-Sandy loans or grants.

To be eligible, applicants must be for-profit businesses and must also be small businesses as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 13 CFR Part 121. Applicants must demonstrate that their businesses, or at least one of their New York City business locations, have experienced loss, damage and/or interruption as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Applicants and any affiliated businesses with the same EIN must not be on the federal debarred list and they must not be a private utility.

For more information about the program, click here.

Downtown bulletin board

Peck Slip in the South Street Seaport, where the Old Seaport Alliance is throwing a party on Sept. 27 from noon to 10 p.m.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Lower Manhattan Dining Festival returns: After a three-year absence, Lower Manhattan will welcome back "Dine Around Downtown" on Sept. 30. More than 40 downtown restaurants will have food for sale on Chase Manhattan Plaza (between Liberty and Pine Streets, Nassau and William Streets) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The food festival is expected to draw 15,000 visitors.
The Food Network's Aarti Sequeira, host of "Aarti Party" and "Food Network Star" winner will serve as the event's celebrity guest host.  
Dine Around is being co-presented by Fosun International and the Alliance for Downtown New York. In addition to local restaurants, the event will have two guest participants from Shanghai, China: Lubolang Restaurant and Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant.

For more information, including a complete list of restaurants, click here or go to #dinearounddowntownnyc/

Old Seaport Street Fest:
The Old Seaport Alliance is throwing a party on Sept. 27 from noon to 10 p.m. Come to Peck Slip plaza for live music, food, art performances, free yoga and more. For more information, click here.

Free senior swim:
Seniors can swim for free at the Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. from Monday through Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Community Center offers aerobic water classes for seniors on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:45 p.m. To register, click here or call Lily at (212) 766-1104, ext. 221.

Deadline near to enroll in Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund:
If you were diagnosed with a 9/11-related eligible cancer before Oct. 12, 2012, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Registration preserves your right to file a claim in the future (before the VCF ends on Oct. 3, 2016). Registration is not the same as filing a claim and you are not required to file a claim even if you have registered. Register online at by Oct. 12, 2014. For more information click here or call VCF's toll-free helpline at (855)-885-1555 (or 855-885-1558 for the hearing impaired).

Citizen Preparedness training at PS 276: Sign up now for a Citizen Preparedness training program to be held at PS 276, 55 Battery Place in Battery Park City on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.  The program will provide instruction in how to prepare for emergencies and disasters, what to do when they happen and how to recover as quickly as possible. Training participants will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit (one per family) containing such supplies as an AM/FM radio with batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a face mask, safety goggles, an emergency blanket and more. The program is being sponsored by New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Community Board 1. All participants must register in advance. To register, click here.



CALENDAR: Week of Sept. 22
This is the last weekend of the 2014 season to visit Governors Island.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Sept. 27: Through Oct. 3, the historic lighthouse tender, Lilac, moored at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, has been transformed into a Floating Library. The project, created and organized by artist Beatrice Glow, offers opportunities aboard the ship for reading, writing, research, debate and "fearless dreaming." Activities take place almost daily from Wednesday to Sunday, with varying hours. Place: Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. Time: 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Cost: Free. For more information, click here.  
Sept. 27: The Governors Island Art Fair has filled 100 rooms on Colonel's Row with paintings, photography, sculpture, installations, video, and sound art. Run by artists for artists, New York's largest independent exhibition is in its 7th year. GIAF organizers, 4heads, received proposals from New York and from around the world for this show. Admission is free. Catalogues are available for purchase for $20. Time: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.  Also, Sept. 28. Ferries to Governors Island leave from the Battery Maritime Building (10 South St.) in Lower Manhattan and from Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 (at the end of Atlantic Avenue, at Columbia Street) in Brooklyn. The ferry ride costs $2 (adults); $1 (seniors). For directions and more information call (212) 673-9074 or click here.

Sept. 28: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy presents "Wildlife Tales of the City" with naturalist and New York Times contributor, Dave Taft. He will discuss growing up with bats in Brooklyn and watching wild turkeys in Lower Manhattan. He will tell how to look for birds and rare native plants in Battery Park City's gardens. Place: 6 River Terrace in Battery Park City. Time: 2 p.m. Free.

Sept. 28: Compline by Candlelight featuring Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. A meditative musical service in historic St. Paul's Chapel (built in 1766) on Broadway at Fulton Street. Time: 8 p.m. Free. 


Last call: An exhibit in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's arts center on Governors Island examines a pivotal time in Trisha Brown's early career as an artist and choreographer, as well as a particularly fertile moment for artistic production in New York City. With videos, photographs and installations, "Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity" highlights Brown's community of performers and artists, and the Lower Manhattan in which they lived and created. The exhibit shows Brown's investigation of simple movements such as walking or dressing, and the built environment, specifically through performances that took place on buildings inside and out, museum walls, parks, cobblestone streets, and other non-traditional performance spaces.  The exhibition also bridges the transition in Brown's practice from site- and gallery-based work to proscenium stage work, for which she became well-known throughout the 1980s and beyond. Through Sept. 28. Times: Fridays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.  
Last call: "From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island." A program for kids, who will see first hand the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required, but large school or day camp groups should call (212) 825-3045. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through Sept. 28. Place: Governors Island. Time: 10:20 a.m. Also at 11:20 a.m. Free.

Last call: Hike Through History. The most comprehensive tour of Governors Island National Monument takes in nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles. Wednesday to Sunday through Sept. 28. Place: Governors Island. Meet at Soissons Dock. Time: 2 p.m. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: Go for a walking tour of the historic South Street Seaport with an educator from the South Street Seaport Museum. Place: Meet on Pier 16 at the Visitors Services kiosk. Tickets: $12; $8 (students and seniors); $5 (children); free (members). Oct. 2 and other dates at varying times. For more information and to buy tickets, click here. The ticket price includes admission to the museum's historic ships, Peking and Ambrose.   

Ongoing: "A Town Known as Auschwitz" is an exhibit of photographs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage tracing the history of a town called "Oswiecim" in what is now Poland, where Jews and non-Jews lived side by side for centuries. When German forces occupied the town in September 1939, they renamed it "Auschwitz" and established a concentration and death camp there. More than 1 million people died at Auschwitz, including 90 percent of the town's Jews. The museum is at 36 Battery Place. For information the exhibit, click here. For information on the museum's hours and admission fees, click here.
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, Nov. 15, during regular Poets House hours. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For information about Poets House, click here.

Ongoing: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking welcome visitors Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Pier 16 (on the East River at Fulton Street). The Ambrose, launched in 1908,  once guided large ships through the Ambrose Channel into New York harbor. Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911, one of the last commercial sailing ships ever built. She was used to carry goods from Europe to South America and to return to Europe with nitrate. The museum's Visitors Services associates explain all of the fascinating details of the ships and their relevance to the history of New York as a port city. Cost: $12 (adults); $8 (students, 12-24 and seniors); $5 (children 2-11); under 2, free. To buy tickets, 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.

Ongoing: "Give Me Liberty," a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Sylvanus Shaw, is at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. In this site-specific exhibition, Shaw utilizes images from the Museum's permanent collection, invoking imagery of early American statehood in media ranging from oil on panel to collaged holograms, security envelopes, and other mediums.
Through March 16, 2015. Place: Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., noon to 5 p.m. Admission: $7; $4 (seniors, students, children 6-8); free (children under 5 and active duty military). For more information, click here

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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