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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 16  Feb. 3, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"We have a duty to protect the historic fabric of the Seaport from this kind of irresponsible development proposal."
     - City Councilmember Margaret Chin commenting on The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposal to build a 494-foot tower in the South Street Seaport.

* Chin issues statement opposing Howard Hughes Seaport tower
* Downtown Alliance celebrates 20th anniversary
*In memoriam: Jordan Gruzen, architect and neighbor (1934-2015) 
* Bits & Bytes: Heastie elected Assembly Speaker; Pasanella resigns at Old Seaport Alliance
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Open Houses for Asphalt Green and Manhattan Youth day camps
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of Feb. 2
* African Burial Ground observes African-American History Month
* Historic Districts Council's 'threatened neighborhoods' includes South Street Seaport
* Calendar: Week of Feb. 2
COMMUNITY BOARD 1 FULL BOARD MEETING: Community Board 1's full board meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 26, was postponed. It has been rescheduled for Feb. 5. Check for updates on this and other breaking news.

PARKING: Alternate Side Parking Regulations have been suspended from Feb. 4 to Feb. 7, to facilitate snow removal. Payment at parking meters remains in effect throughout the City.

WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.
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Snow boots. Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


City Councilmember Margaret Chin at the Alliance for Downtown New York's 20th anniversary celebration on Jan. 28.   (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On Feb. 3, City Councilmember Margaret Chin issued a strong and unequivocal statement opposing The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposal to build a high-rise tower in the South Street Seaport.

Chin will play a pivotal role in determining whether The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposals for development of the South Street Seaport are approved. With any disposition of public property, as would happen in this case, the proposals must go through the ULURP process (Uniform Land Use Revue Procedure), where they are reviewed and commented upon by the local Community Board, the City Planning Commission and the Borough President before ending up in front of City Council, which has the ultimate authority to approve or disapprove the proposals.

Christopher Curry, senior executive vice president of The Howard Hughes Corporation, talking with City Councilmember Margaret Chin at the Downtown Alliance anniversary celebration on Jan. 28.
In a statement issued on Feb. 3, Chin referred to Mayor Bill de Blasio's remarks on contextual development, and how they relate to the Hughes proposal to build a 500-foot residential tower in the heart of the historic South Street Seaport.
Chin said, "Today in his State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio made some powerful statements to lay out his continued vision for affordable housing in our city - and in so many ways, he was right on the money. As part of his remarks today related to housing in general, the Mayor also highlighted the importance of appropriately contextual development throughout the city, by stating: 'We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don't belong. We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods, and we will do so.'
"That is exactly the point I have made in my forceful opposition to the inappropriate 500-foot residential tower that The Howard Hughes Corporation has proposed to build in the heart of the South Street Seaport, one of the city's most uniquely historic treasures. While I am committed to helping to revitalize the Seaport, it's true that we have a duty to protect the historic fabric of the Seaport from this kind of irresponsible development proposal.
Kyle Kimball, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, talking with David Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation, at the Downtown Alliance gala on Jan. 28.
"Since NYC EDC [Economic Development Corporation] has been a partner in this process, as well as being part of our Seaport Working Group, I'm extremely glad to hear that Mayor de Blasio very clearly recognizes the importance of protecting the character of neighborhoods from inappropriate tower development. I look forward to working with EDC and the Mayor's Office to identify alternative sites for any such tower, so it could be appropriately sited next to other high-rise buildings, rather than in the heart of the historic Seaport."

Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance, speaking at the dinner celebrating the Alliance's 20th anniversary. With her on stage were Robert Douglass, chairman of the Alliance, and Charles Urstadt, first chairman and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority, who introduced Douglass.  (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Under the painted, vaulted ceiling of the former Cunard Line ticketing hall at 25 Broadway, now a
Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance.
Cipriani restaurant, Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, smiled at the crowd that had come to celebrate the Alliance's 20th anniversary. The Alliance was founded in 1995 at a time when Lower Manhattan was on the ropes with a 20 percent office vacancy rate, a mere 14,000 residents, and with streets that were dark and empty after 5 p.m. when the office workers went home.

The Alliance is jubilant over the turnaround. More than 61,000 people now live in Lower Manhattan. More than 300,000 work here. Buildings by world-renowned architects are sprouting like dandelions. Around 250 shops are about to open. Soon, there will be 8,000 hotel rooms.

"The transformation that continues to take place here, it gives me goose bumps," Lappin said.

Robert Douglass, chairman of the Downtown Alliance, talking with New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron.
The anniversary gala acknowledged the fact that many people in the room were directly or indirectly responsible for the resurrection of blighted Lower Manhattan into one of the city's choicest residential and business districts. In particular, the evening paid homage to Robert Douglass, founding chairman of the Alliance, who received its David Rockefeller Downtown Leadership Award.

In 1995, the Downtown Alliance was spun off by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, which Douglass also chaired. As a Business Improvement District, said Douglass, it "addressed one challenge after another, with security and sanitation services, streetscape and design efforts, crusades of information and advocacy, branding and marketing campaigns, special events programming, and even free transportation services."

Of course, there were also the challenges of 9/11 and of Superstorm Sandy but Lower Manhattan survived even these.

"All of this required an unprecedented collaborative effort and the support of our elected officials and partners in government," said Lappin, naming a number of the people who were in the room:  Former Council Member Kathryn Freed, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, City Councilmember Margaret Chin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, EDC president Kyle Kimball, and the chairman of the City Planning Commission and the founding president of the Alliance, Carl Weisbrod.

"The result of this collaboration has been a great urban success story," said Lappin. "I'm looking forward to the next chapter, and I'm honored to lead this great organization."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A Cipriani restaurant has been installed in what was once the ticketing hall of the Cunard Line at 25 Broadway.

In memoriam
Jordan Gruzen on the Battery Park City esplanade, April 2013.
(Photos: Courtesy of Lee Gruzen)

Lee Gruzen sat at her kitchen table, looking out over the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and the blue lights of Battery Park City's South Cove. With winter's short days, it was already dark, though not late.

"Jordan loved Battery Park City," she said. "He loved Lower Manhattan."

Her husband, architect Jordan Gruzen, had died just a few days before, on Jan. 27 at the age of 80. Though gone, he was everywhere - in the building where Lee lives, which he had designed; in four other apartment buildings in Battery Park City. In Stuyvesant High School, on Chambers Street. His firm, Gruzen Samton, had designed the NYPD headquarters at 1 Police Plaza, Southbridge Towers in the South Street Seaport, Chatham Green and Chatham Towers, Murry Bergtraum High School and hundreds of other buildings in New York City, New Jersey and in other parts of the world.

"There are very few areas of Manhattan and the boroughs - especially in Queens - where they didn't do a master plan or a building," said Lee.

In addition to this vast body of work, Jordan Gruzen left behind his family: Lee, who he married in July 1976; his first wife, Joan, mother of his son, Alex; Rachel and Georgia, his children with Lee; four grandchildren, and many friends. They flocked to the Gruzen apartment in the days following his death to visit with Lee and the children and to pay their respects to a man who they admired and loved.

Their diversity reflected the diversity of his interests. He was a fine athlete - skiing and playing tennis. He loved music. (His mother had been a professional opera singer with the Metropolitan Opera.) He and Lee helped to found Lower Manhattan's Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. He was an avid sailor. With Michael Fortenbaugh and Dennis Conner, his name was on the lease that Fortenbaugh had for a decade when he was the manager of North Cove Marina. Jordan happily explored Gardiner's Bay at the eastern end of Long Island on his Sunfish.

He was born in Jersey City on April 5, 1934 to Barney Sumner Gruzen and Ethel (Brof) Gruzen. Jordan's father, who was known professionally as B. Sumner Gruzen, founded the architectural firm Kelly & Gruzen with Colonel Hugh A. Kelly, in 1936. Jordan received his Bachelor of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Master of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. In the early 1960s Jordan and MIT classmate Peter Samton joined Kelly & Gruzen. Jordan and Peter became partners in 1967, and changed the firm name to Gruzen and Partners, then to The Gruzen Partnership, and in 1986 to Gruzen Samton, which merged, in 2009, with IBI Group and is now known as IBI Group-Gruzen Samton.

Over an 80-year period, the firm received five national AIA design awards and numerous city and state AIA awards. Jordan was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), a former Chairman of the AIA NY Chapter Committee on Architecture for Justice, a former Chairman of the AIA NY Chapter Committee on Housing and an active member of the Urban Land Institute and Building Congress. He was also a member of many other urban planning and architectural organizations.

"Jordan was great at getting work," said Lee. "He delighted in the challenges. He knew how to get a building done. He enjoyed every step along the way."

At one time an enthusiastic traveler, Jordan did less of that in his last decade. He was beset with a series of illnesses - a mitral valve replacement, Grave's disease, five knee operations, prostate cancer, and finally, bladder cancer, which caused his death. "But he was always good humored," said Lee. "He never felt sorry for himself."

He remained active until the very end. On Jan. 9, he attended a party for people who had worked for the Gruzen Samton firm who they especially wanted to thank. The next weekend, he and Lee and some of the children went to visit the house in Amagansett that he had designed and that they were in the process of building. He was very proud of that house, Lee said.

On the day of his death, he was emailing and Skyping his son, Alex, and his grandchildren to say good-by to them and to tell them that he was dying.

"He wasn't afraid," said Lee. "He never had a moment of fear in his life."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Donations in Jordan's memory can be made to the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. For more information, click here.


Bits & Bytes

Malaysian Kitchen is opening at 21 South End Ave. in Battery Park City, serving Malaysian food - an amalgamation of many cuisines stemming from the country's colonial history. (Photo: Malaysian Kitchen)

"Heastie Is Elected Speaker of New York Assembly," New York Times, 2/3/15. "Culminating a rapid rise from a Bronx back-bencher to holder of one of the most powerful offices in New York state politics, Carl E. Heastie was elected speaker of the New York State Assembly on Tuesday," The New York Times reports. "Mr. Heastie, a 47-year-old Democrat, made history by becoming the state's first African-American speaker, succeeding Sheldon Silver, the longtime Albany power broker who was forced to step aside after his arrest on federal charges of accepting millions of dollars in payoffs. On Tuesday, Mr. Silver was one of more than 100 Democrats in the liberal-minded lower chamber who voted to elect Mr. Heastie, who had easily dispatched a roster of other candidates over the last week in a fast-moving campaign. Reformers in the Assembly had initially hoped for a longer process to pick Mr. Silver's successor, and a vote was tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10. But with Mr. Heastie's support coalescing quickly, the timetable was cut short." For the complete article, click here.  

"Heastie rewarded contributors, racked up unusual expenses," Capital New York, 2/2/15. "Assemblyman Carl Heastie, the current front-runner to become the next speaker of the Assembly, has steered hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to his campaign contributors," says Capital New York. "Additionally, his donors include individuals with business before the committee he chairs and supporters of bills that he has introduced. His campaign expenditures include international plane tickets and over $60,000 in unitemized expenses. While several Albany politicians who engaged in similar practices have been scrutinized by prosecutors, this sort of activity isn't unique or necessarily illegal. Heastie's campaign spending was in the process of being examined by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption before the commission was disbanded by the Cuomo administration." For the complete article, click here.

"Eats Beat: Philadelphia's hot chef Jose Garces moves ahead with plans for first NYC restaurant," Daily News, 1/27/15. "Philadelphia's hot chef Jose Garces has gotten the go-ahead to start building his first New York City restaurant, the forthcoming tapas place Amada in the Financial District's high-end Brookfield Place mall," says the Daily News. "Justin Bogle, the former executive chef at the now-shuttered Gilt restaurant - and the youngest chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars - will head up the 120-seat restaurant. The design will be created by AvroKo, whose sleek projects also include Gotham West Market and Saxon + Parole. Amada will anchor Hudson Eats, a collection of fast-casual dining that opened last summer." For the complete article, click here.

"A First Look at Residence Inn at the World Trade Center,", 1/30/15. "What do you do with an outdated office building in one of the best locations in Lower Manhattan? You convert it into a hotel of course!" says "That's just what Marriott has done, with the opening of Residence Inn New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area." The new hotel "has a stellar location at the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway, in the heart of the financial district and a short walk to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As for the building, it dates back to 1903 and formerly contained offices for financial bigwigs, as well as for the jewelry industry." For the complete article, with photos, click here.

"Sal Polisi, Master Woodcarver at South Street Seaport Museum, Dies at 79," New York Times, 1/26/15. "Sal Polisi spent his life awash in mermaids," says The New York Times. "For more than 30 years, Mr. Polisi, a master woodcarver who died on Jan. 18, at 79, was a constant, gregarious presence at the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. There, he spent six days a week transforming wood into signs, sculptures, ships' figureheads and the like, while simultaneously explaining his craft to a steady tide of visitors. Besides making art for the seaport, where he had volunteered his skills since the mid-1980s, Mr. Polisi also did carving and restoration work for museums, businesses and private collectors around the country. On any given day, his workshop at the seaport's Maritime Craft Center - a jury-rigged affair made of two shipping containers, long located near Pier 15 on the East River - could teem with fish and fowl; sirens and sea captains; a great wooden lobster, destined for a restaurant; and immense wooden teeth, destined for a dentist." For the complete article, click here.

Malaysian Kitchen opens in Battery Park City: Liberty View, the Chinese restaurant at 21 South End Ave., is no more. It has been replaced by Malaysian Kitchen, an Asian Fusion restaurant whose "soft opening" was on Feb. 1. The official opening will come later this month, perhaps on Feb. 21 and perhaps accompanied by lion dancers. The Battery Park City restaurant is owner Kirby Tan's third restaurant venture. His other two restaurants are in Fort Lee and Edison, N.J. The menus, said Tan, are identical, with food that reflects Malaysia's colonial past. The Portuguese were there, as were the Spanish, the Dutch, the British and the Arabs, all of whom contributed to the cuisine. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with lunch specials, Monday to Friday, for $10.50 that include rice and soup or a spring roll or soda. Dinner entrées cost $12 to $25. For more information, click here.

Changes at the Old Seaport Alliance: Marco Pasanella, owner of Pasanella & Son Vintners at 115 South St. and a founder of the Old Seaport Alliance, has resigned from its chairmanship and from its board of directors effective Monday, Feb. 2. The Old Seaport Alliance is a non-profit merchants' association founded after Hurricane Sandy by the businesses within the historic South Street Seaport neighborhood. Pasanella said that he, with some colleagues, founded the Old Seaport Alliance at the urging of Elizabeth Berger, who was then president of the Alliance for Downtown New York and with the help of the Mayor's Office and the City's Department of Small Business Services. Pasanella said that although he has resigned from the Old Seaport Alliance, he will continue to advocate for the South Street Seaport community through his membership on Community Board 1, where he is co-chair of the Seaport/Civic Center Committee. He is a long-term business and property owner in the neighborhood.

Downtown bulletin board
The summer day camp at Asphalt Green Battery Park City uses the Battery Park City ball fields for outdoor play. Asphalt Green is holding a day camp open house on Feb. 5. (Photo: Asphalt Green)
Asphalt Green Battery Park City Summer Day Camp: Enrollment is now open for Asphalt Green's summer day camp for children ages 4 ½ to 15 years old. Asphalt Green at 212 North End Ave., has programs for age-specific groups: Pee Wee Camp (4 ½ - 6 years),  Junior Camp (6-8 years), Senior Camp (8-13 years) and Counselors in Training (14 - 15 years). Camp is in session from June 29 to Aug. 21, with five separate sessions. The fee to attend for the entire eight weeks ranges from $5,750 to $6,250, depending on age, however, scholarships are available. Scholarship applications are being accepted through Feb. 13, 2015. Click here for directions on how to apply. Asphalt Green is holding monthly open houses through May to introduce the camp program and staff. The next open house is on Feb. 5 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for more information.

Downtown Day Camps: Downtown Day Camps, operated by Manhattan Youth, are holding an Open House on Feb. 4. Downtown Day Camps are for children who are entering kindergarten through 8th grade. The full season (divided into two sessions) is from June 29 to Aug. 7, with an optional add-on week from Aug. 10 to Aug. 14. Early Bird rates apply through March 15, with a full season costing $3,795. The camp is in session from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with optional extended hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. An RSVP for the Open House is suggested, but not required. Place: 120 Warren St. (between Greenwich and West Streets). Time: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (212) 766-1104, ext. 250 or click here.

TimeBank registration: TimeBank is a community project for people of all ages (4 to 100) who assist one another in many ways. Members give what they can, when they can (never any pressure) and request what they need. No money changes hands. Each hour of service earns an hour of service from someone else. Among its activities, Battery Park City TimeBank has a weekly tai chi class and a Foodies cooking club. Members help each other, one on one, as needed. They also prepare lunches for a local food program and meet up as walking partners. Battery Park City TimeBank is hosting information and enrollment sessions on Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. at 200 Rector Place, Liberty Court Health Club (top floor community room). Light refreshments will be served. For more information about TimeBank, which is a non-denominational program funded by the Archdiocese of New York, click here.
Downtown deals: The Downtown Alliance website has a section listing "deals" in Lower Manhattan. These range from discounted hotel rooms to food and drink offers. Flowers are discounted by 10 percent at City Blossoms, 62 Trinity Place. Brand name and generic cold items and vitamins are discounted at the Battery Park Pharmacy, 327 South End Ave. The deals change frequently. To see what's on offer, click here.


Capt. Brendan Timoney of the NYPD's First Precinct addressing a meeting of the First Precinct Community Council. A representative from the First Precinct made a presentation to Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee on Feb. 3.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Community Board 1 meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St, Room 709, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise stated. All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

Feb. 3: Battery Park City Committee -  6 p.m.
          Location: Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave.
* Brookfield Place - Update about retail plans and construction by David Cheikin, Senior Vice President, Leasing, New York Region, Brookfield Office Properties
* Water-related uses at Pier A - Discussion with Brian McCabe, Chief Operating Officer and Matthew Washington, Director of Communications and Government Relations, New York Water Taxi
* Review of map of public pay telephones in CB1
* Overview of the 2015 capital plan by Gwen Dawson, Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Robin Forst, Vice President of External Relations, Battery Park City Authority
* 250 Vesey St., ground level #107b and second floor #202, application for restaurant liquor license for L'Atelier NYC LLC - Resolution
* 21 South End Ave. (Store 3), application for restaurant liquor license for Malaysian Kitchen USA Inc. - Resolution
* NYPD First Precinct - Update
* 250 Vesey St., application for liquor license for Parm Battery Park LLC - Resolution
* Announcement of change of location of future Battery Park City Committee meetings

The following notices have been received for BPCA permit requests:
* MS Society/NYC LeadDog Marketing Group, Inc. Sunday, April 19, 2015
* National 9/11 Memorial/NYC LeadDog Marketing Group, Inc. Sunday, April 26, 2015

Other permit requests received from BPCA:
* Lupus Foundation of America, Saturday, May 2, 2015
* American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, Sunday, June 21, 2015
* Macy's Inc., Saturday, June 27, 2015 (Wagner)

Feb. 4: Financial District Committee
* Maiden Lane Pavilion and signage designs - Update by Abraham Merchant, President and CEO of Merchants Hospitality - Possible resolution
* Battery Maritime Building, PDC Sidewalk proposal - Possible resolution
* Pace University Community Needs Assessment Student Study - Presentation by Michael Levine, CB1 Land Use Consultant
* 4 World Financial Center, Store #102, application for a restaurant liquor license for entity to be formed by Jose Garces - Resolution
* 11 Park Place, application for a wine and beer liquor license for AAA Pizza Corp. d/b/a Little Italy Pizza - Resolution
* 1 World Trade Center, 34th and 35th floor, application for a wine and beer liquor license for Restaurant Associates, LLC - Resolution
* Street activity permit for Bowling Green Association on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 from 12 p.m.- 10 p.m., Whitehall Street between Stone Street and Water Street, Broadway between Morris Street and Stone Street, and Broadway between Liberty Street and Morris Street - Resolution
* Street activity permit for Veteran's Day Festival - IND Plaza Tenants Association co-sponsored event on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Broadway between Liberty Street and Battery Place - Resolution
* Street activity permit for Sons of Italy Freedom Block Party on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Liberty Street between Broadway and Trinity Place - Resolution
* Street activity permit for First Police Precinct Explorers Block Party on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Liberty Street between Broadway and Trinity Place - Resolution
* Street activity permit for ZIUA USA - Romanian Day Festival on Sunday, May 10, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m, Broadway between Liberty Street and Battery Place and Whitehall Street between Stone Street and Water Street - Resolution
12) Street activity permit for Chabad of Wall Street Community Fair on Monday, May 25, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m, Liberty Street. between Broadway and Trinity Place - Resolution
13) Street activity permit for Seaport Community Coalition on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2015 from 12 p.m.-7 p.m, Water Street between Fulton Street and Broad Street - Resolution
14) Review of Map of Public Pay Telephones in CB1

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
*27 Park Place aka 24 Murray Street, renewal liquor license application for MXK Restaurant Corp.
* 27 Park Place, renewal beer and wine license application for 27 Shinjuku Sushi Inc.
* 52 William Street, renewal liquor license application for Club Quarters/The Bailey
* 88 Greenwich Street, renewal liquor license application for MRM88LLC d/b/a/ Medici 21 Ristorante
* 164 Pearl Street, Store 9, renewal wine and beer license application for Shinju Sushi Inc.
* 80 Beaver Street, renewal liquor license application for 80 Enterprise Inc., d/b/a Killarney Rose Restaurant
* 11 Trinity Place, renewal liquor license application for Blarney Stone

Feb. 5: CB 1 January Monthly Board Meeting - 6 p.m.
           Location: PS/IS 89, 201 Warren St.
(This meeting had been postponed because of the snowstorm.)

A display depicting a slave burial at the African Burial Ground National Monument. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Throughout February, the African Burial Ground National Monument at 290 Broadway, 1st floor, celebrates African American History Month with an array of activities and special events.

The African Burial Ground is a 17th- and 18th-century cemetery that was rediscovered in 1991 when construction began on a federal office building in Lower Manhattan. In 1993, the site was preserved as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior and was later designated as a National Monument by Presidential Proclamation on Feb. 27, 2006. The National Monument is part of an original 6.6-acre site containing the remains of approximately 15,000 people, making it the largest and oldest African cemetery excavated in North America.

The schedule is subject to change. All events and activities are free and open to the public, first come, first served. For more information, call (212) 637-2019 or click here.

Feb. 5: Noon: Screening of "Dreams of Equality" from Women's Rights National Historical Park

Feb. 7: Noon: Screening of "Frederick Douglass: An American Life"

Feb. 11: 1 p.m.: Lecture by Herb Boyd, co-editor of "The Diary of Malcolm X" and author of the forthcoming "Black Detroit - A People's History," on the importance and controversy surrounding the film, "Selma," and the connections to the current activism in the wake of the recent shooting deaths of unarmed black youth by police officers.

Feb. 12: Noon: Screening of "Spirit of a Culture: Cane River Creoles"

Feb. 14: Noon: Screening of "The City that Lit the World" from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

Feb. 17: Noon: Screening of "Booker T. Washington: The Life and the Legacy"

Feb. 19: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: A Reenactment and Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the 26th U.S. Colored Troops

Feb. 21: Noon: Screening of "Never Lose Sight of Freedom" from Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

Feb. 27: 12:30 p.m.: Dramatic performance by David Mills on the works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Graffiti from the 19th and early 20th centuries left on the walls of the South Street Seaport Museum's Schermerhorn Row buildings by the men who once worked in the Seaport's warehouses and coffee-roasting businesses. The Howard Hughes Corporation has proposed turning Schermerhorn Row into affordable housing, which would take its historic interior out of the public domain. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
At its annual "Six to Celebrate" launch party, the Historic Districts Council spotlights six neighborhoods of architectural and historic merit that are threatened by development. This year, the South Street Seaport is one of those neighborhoods.

The Historic Districts Council, founded in 1970 as a coalition of community groups from New York City's designated historic districts, is one of the city's foremost voices for historic preservation. It describes the South Street Seaport as "the oldest intact neighborhood in Manhattan" and as "the nation's major port for over 100 years, its history still anchored by the distinct sense of place created by its historic buildings, harbor views and tall ships. The Seaport "faces major development pressures from The Howard Hughes Corporation, which would irreversibly and insensitively distort this character," says the Historic Districts Council.

HDC is partnering with the Save Our Seaport Coalition and Friends of the South Street Seaport to protect the Seaport historic district with its 200-year-old mercantile buildings, its Belgian block paving and views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Launch Party took place on Feb. 3.

CALENDAR: Week of Feb. 2
Part of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy's annual exhibition of artwork created in the Conservancy's free art programs. The exhibit at 75 Battery Place runs through
March 27. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Feb. 4: Elana Sztokman, author of "The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom," talks about her book at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Sztokman made headlines last fall when an Orthodox man refused to sit next to her on a flight from New York to Israel. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free (museum members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Feb. 4: Irka Mateo (Taino) brings "The Art of Storytelling" to the National Museum of the American Indian with stories, songs and hands-on activities for toddlers on Feb. 4 and with storybook readings for older children on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6. Place: 1 Bowling Green. Free. For times and other information, click here.

Feb. 4: Christian Bjone talks about his book, "Philip Johnson and His Mischief: Appropriation in Art and Architecture" at the Skyscraper Museum. A celebrity architect and a power broker, Johnson had enormous influence in New York and beyond. Bjone examines Johnson's style, first as influenced by his mentor, Mies van der Rohe, then by post-modern ideas of appropriation. The architect's "biggest failure" was the design for Times Square Center, the project for four post-modern mega-towers around which the Museum's exhibition "Times Square: 1984" is organized. Bjone, a licensed architect in New York City, was educated at the University of Illinois and Princeton University. He worked as project architect for the firms Pei Partnership and Johnson/Burgee Architects. All guests must RSVP to to assure admittance to the event. Priority is given to members of The Skyscraper Museum. Place: 39 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. For more information, click here.

Feb. 5: Under the auspices of the the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), historian James M. Lindgren, author of the book, "Preserving South Street Seaport: The Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District," will trace the complex story of how the South Street Seaport has evolved over the past 50 years. The South Street Seaport District, home to the original Fulton Fish Market and to the South Street Seaport Museum, is one of the last neighborhoods of late 18th- and early 19th-century New York City not to be destroyed by urban development. Lindgren will discuss the efforts of preservationists to protect the area leading to its being designated a New York City Historic District, the many challenges faced by the South Street Seaport Museum, the controversial construction of the Rouse Company's New Fulton Market (1983) and recently demolished Pier 17 mall (1985), and the impacts of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. Place: 536 LaGuardia Place. Time: 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $10; free (AIA members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Feb. 7: "Transgenres" with Vijay Seshadri at Poets House explores why so many poets also write prose nonfiction. What transformations occur between poem and essay? Pulitzer Prizewinner Seshadri, whose newest book is "3 Sections," discusses identity, form and fulfillment for contemporary writers. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free (Poets House members) For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy's 2015 Annual Art Exhibition of artwork created in the Conservancy's free art programs such as Figure al Fresco, Elements of Nature Drawing,  Art + Games, and Preschool Art. Place: 75 Battery Place. Time:  The exhibition will be on view weekdays from Jan. 26 to March 27, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Ongoing: The Woolworth Building was designed by Cass Gilbert to house the offices of the F. W. Woolworth Company and was the tallest building in the world from 1913 until 1930. With its ornamental gothic-style exterior, it dominated the New York City skyline and served as an icon of American ingenuity with state of the art steel construction, fireproofing and high-speed elevators and it was dubbed "the Cathedral of Commerce." The building is still privately owned and operated, and has long been closed to the public. Tours of its magnificent landmarked lobby featuring marble, mosaics, and murals have only recently been made available and can be taken for 30-minutes, 60-minutes or 90-minutes. Custom and Private tours for groups of 10 - 35 can also be arranged. Place: 233 Broadway. Various times. Tickets: $20, $30 and $45, depending on the length of the tour. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Ongoing: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in February, The Howard Hughes Corporation in partnership with and sponsor New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital invites local families inside the Community Cube at the South Street Seaport. Children will have a chance to partake in music, arts, crafts, film and yoga for kids. Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Jewish Art Salon presents "Lashon Hara: On the Consequences of Hate Speech." This exhibit examines the power of words, both within hate speech and as "a catalyst for salvation" The exhibit features several mixed media textile works by Robin Atlas. Place: The Anne Frank Center USA (44 Park Place). Time: Tuesdays through Saturdays (except holidays), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets: $8 (adults); $5 (students and seniors 65 and over); Free for children ages 8 and under.

Through Feb. 27, 2015. For more information, click here.  


Ongoing: An exhibit at Poets House called "Winter Wedding: Holiday Cards by Poets" is a compendium of imaginative and sometimes touching holiday greetings. The exhibit has been drawn from the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University and was curated by Kevin Young and Lisa Chinn. See "Happy Holidays" greetings from Langston Hughes, "Seasons Greetings" from Seamus and Marie Heaney and handmade valentines exchanged by Alice Notley and Ted Berrigan. This exhibition explores the vibrant, often funny, and always fascinating portraits of time, affection and ties of love and friendship. The exhibition is on view during library hours through March 21, 2015. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family" opened on Nov. 14 and continues through Jan. 10, 2016. The exhibit includes more than 300 examples of beautifully crafted jewelery, most of it made by the Yazzie family, with some from the National Museum of the American Indian's collection. Through a video, photographs and a handsome catalog, the exhibit shows how the jewelry expresses Navajo cultural values and way of life inspired by a majestic landscape of buttes, mesas and desert. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and on Thursdays until 8 p.m.; closed December 25. Admission is free. 


Ongoing: The Skyscraper Museum presents "Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Movement," on view through Feb. 15, 2015. Times Square today is bright and crowded - a tourist mecca, entertainment district, retail powerhouse and pedestrianized precinct that matches in vitality, both economic and populist, any decade of its storied past. But 30 years ago, the future of Times Square was in limbo - caught between a series of false starts at clean-slate urban renewal by New York City and New York State and an emerging philosophy of urbanism that favored history, preservationist values, electric signs and semiotics, and delirious diversity. Place: 39 Battery Place. Open, Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission: $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). For more information, click here.  
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: The lobby of the South Street Seaport Museum at 12 Fulton St. on Schermerhorn Row is open three days a week with interpretive displays and activities. Access to the museum's upstairs galleries is by appointment or for education programs only. For private tours of Schermerhorn Row and its old hotels, email Lobby access: Fridays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ongoing: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking welcome visitors Fridays 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. In addition, a guide to the Ambrose can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking here. 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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