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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 70  Oct. 16, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"The subway may be the single most essential piece of our city's infrastructure and its upkeep must be non-negotiable."
     - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, commenting on a study by New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron that found serious deficiencies in many Lower Manhattan subway stations.           

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* Sen. Squadron issues subway report card
* Open House New York's annual open house weekend: Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 
* Calendar: Week of Oct. 12
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MASTHEAD PHOTO: The National Circus & Acrobats of China at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Oct. 14, 2015. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Chambers Street subway station. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

After receiving numerous complaints from constituents about the condition of the subway stations in his district, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron assembled a team to have a look. Squadron represents the 26th State Senate District, encompassing Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. There are 53 stations in the district. In 2014, an average of 724,516 riders used these stations every day - an increase of 3 percent from 2013.  

Squadron's team inspected subway interiors and exteriors for ponding (water on the floor), leaking water, graffiti, broken stairs, deteriorating walls, rodents and trash, issuing a "pass"  or "fail" on each of 14 points.

On Oct. 9, the senator issued his report card. The Canal Street station on the No. 1 IRT line was deemed the worst in the district, having failed 11 out of the 14 criteria. The Rector Street station on the R line tied for second place with Borough Hall on the 2/3 lines in Brooklyn, each with 10 failures. Broad Street on the J/Z line was a close fourth with nine failures.

The runners-up in Manhattan with eight failures each were Broadway-Lafayette Street (B/D/F/M lines); Canal Street (A/C/E lines); Franklin Street (1 line); Second Avenue (F line) and Wall Street (2/3 lines).

Not likely to surprise subway riders - more than two-thirds of the stations surveyed had interior ponding. Trash had accumulated in around 70 percent of the stations. Walls had deteriorated. Signage was broken. 

However, not to be too downbeat about this, Squadron said that most stations got an overall passing grade and that "many of the surveyed conditions we saw are easily fixable."

The underlying problem seems to be what John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance - a grassroots, membership organization of subway and bus riders -  called "decades of underinvestment in public transportation." He said that the station conditions "are yet another example of why we need a fully funded MTA capital program so that we have the money we need  to repair stations, purchase new subway cars, and upgrade century-old technology."

The day after Squadron's subway report card came out, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that they reached an agreement on helping to fund the MTA's proposed five-year, $29 billion capital plan. The state would put up $8.3 billion and the city would come up with $2.5 billion.

Wary of the state's previous behavior when there was a pot of money lying around, de Blasio made the state promise not to use the money for any purpose other than MTA projects . He also asked that the city have jurisdiction over MTA work in the five boroughs.

The money will be used to pay for new train cars and buses, updated signal systems and countdown clocks for some of the lines that don't now have them.

Although some of the money would go to capital improvements in Lower Manhattan stations, that still leaves hanging questions of station upkeep such as Squadron documented. Moreover, although the agreement between the city and the state to help fund the MTA's capital plan would seem to some people like a large sum of money, it's $700 million less than the MTA asked the city to put up.

Squadron worked on his subway study with the help of the Riders Alliance, the Straphangers Campaign, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and community leaders, who all seemed to be in agreement that the current situation is deplorable and needs to be fixed. "The subway may be the single most essential piece of our city's infrastructure," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, "and its upkeep must be non-negotiable."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

City Council chambers in New York's City Hall will be open to the public during Open House New York weekend. Tours will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 17 from
noon to 4 p.m.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Open House New York's annual open house weekend, when it arranges for access and tours of New York City's architectural wonders, has become so popular that most of the sites that required advance reservations sold out on Oct. 7 within half an hour of reservations becoming available. But there's still plenty to see with no reservations required, and many of the sites open to all are in Lower Manhattan.

The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at 1 Bowling Green will be open Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both the interior and exterior are city landmarks. The building was designed by Cass Gilbert and now houses the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Archives and Records Administration, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and other federal agencies. Of special interest, this weekend the Tiffany-designed Collector's office will be on view.

The Cunard Building lobby at 25 Broadway is one of the most impressive spaces in Lower Manhattan. The building was designed by architect Benjamin Wistar Morris as a ticketing office for the Cunard steamship line. Artisans and designers of the highest caliber worked on the building, using the most luxurious materials available. The space, an interior landmark, is now a Cipriani event venue. Open Sat., Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Federal Hall National Memorial at 26 Wall St. stands on the site of George Washington's first inauguration as president of the United States. It has been designated as a National Historic Site, a national memorial and a New York City interior landmark. It will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Brookfield Place at 200 Vesey St. is offering tours with structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti every 30 minutes on Saturday between noon and 4 p.m. The four-building, mixed-use complex recently underwent a $250 million renovation.

The Seaport Culture District is a series of spaces in the South Street Seaport that are currently occupied by several cultural organizations. Start with the Center for Architecture @the Seaport. Open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at 159 John St. (entrance on Front Street).

The U.S. Lighthouse Tender Lilac, docked at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park (near North Moore Street), will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Lilac entered service in 1933 and was decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1972. It is now a museum ship. Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, The River Project will be pulling fish traps out of the Hudson River so that visitors can see what lives there. On Sunday, there will be knot-tying lessons. Visitors can also view the exhibit, "Spirits of the Passage: Stories of the Transatlantic Slave Trade."

The Map Display in Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office in the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., provides an extraordinary glimpse into New York City's history. Brewer writes on her Facebook page, "My office is displaying the original 1811 John Randel map of Manhattan - the first map to plot Manhattan's numbered street grid from Houston to 155th Street - as part of Open House New York weekend. These 92 individually hand-drawn and hand-colored panels will be assembled into a room-size display roughly 16 feet by 60 feet!
Join me at the 1 Centre Street Mezzanine, Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take a look at these beautiful pieces of history. And if you arrive before 11 a.m., Hilary Ballon, curator of "The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan" at the Museum of the City of New York (and Professor of Urban Studies at NYU) will be available to answer questions."

New York's City Hall was finished in 1812 and is the oldest city hall in the nation still serving its original purpose. It is a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark. Beneath a rotunda, lit by an oculus, a graceful "floating" staircase links the floors of the building. On Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to see the plaza surrounding the building, the rotunda, City Council Chambers and the Governors Room. 

The African Burial Ground National Monument at the corner of Duane and Elk Streets (290 Broadway) preserves part of an African cemetery that was used in the 17th and 18th centuries. The site is now administered by the National Park Service and includes a small museum. It will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The AT&T Long Distance Building lobby at 32 Avenue of the Americas is one of the Art Deco wonders of New York City. In 1930, muralist Hildreth Meière was commissioned by Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker, the architects of the building, to design a ceiling mural depicting the "Continents Linked by the Telephone and Wireless" as a reflection of the purpose of the building. The lobby was designated an interior landmark in 1991. Experts from the International Hildreth Meière Association will be on site to discuss the artist's work. Open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Museum of the Chinese in America, 215 Centre St. in Chinatown, occupies a former machine shop that was redesigned by architect Maya Lin. MOCA's core exhibition on the Chinese-American experience revolves around the museum's historic, sky-lit courtyard. Open Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. with a tour at 2:30 p.m.

The Center for Italian Modern Art at 421 Broome St., 4th floor, is a new non-profit dedicated to promoting scholarship and dialog around the subject of 20th-century Italian art. It is in a loft in an 1873 cast iron building that is part of Soho's cast-iron historic district. The center will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with architect Irina Verona. Center for Italian Modern Art fellows will offer tours at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Although many of the OHNY sites in Lower Manhattan are monumental, there's one that's probably the smallest venue in the city. Mmuseumm 1 at 4 Cortlandt Alley is in a former freight elevator shaft in Tribeca, with Mmuseumm 2, the new wing (so to speak), a few doors away. OHNY describes this as "a new kind of museum that allows the public to explore the modern world through vernacular objects." Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with ongoing tours both days.

In addition to these venues in Lower Manhattan, there will be sites open throughout the five boroughs. Click here for more information.

BitsBits & Bytes
Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton at the dedication ceremony for the Battery Park City Police Memorial on Oct. 13. Since this time last year, 18 members of the NYPD died of 9/11-related illnesses, and their names were added to the wall. In addition, four officers died in the line of duty. 
(Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

"Battery Park City Pad With a Coffee Closet Asks $825,000,", 10/12/15. "It's sad that in 2015 a one-bedroom apartment in Battery Park City asking less than $1 million raises the red flag, but it's not 1986 anymore," observes "Even so, it's easy to question where the catch is with this Hudson Tower apartment. It has one of the most futuristic ranges ever, a piped-in coffee closet, top-of-the-line appliances, a terrace and brand new Brazilian hardwood floors all for $825,000. Maintenance is a cool $1,650, and monthly taxes are $525, but that's not unheard of. So what's the deal here? Is this place-gasp-an okay deal?" For the complete article with photos, click here.

"Downtown pads give luxury market a boost: Olshan,", 10/12/15. "Manhattan's luxury market is sluggish no longer, with 21 contracts signed last week on properties $4 million and up, according to Olshan Realty's weekly luxury market report," as cited in The Real Deal. "The top six deals were located Downtown, according to the report, which logged a weekly asking price volume of $140.3 million. That's up from 13 contracts and $81.8 million in asking price volume during the last week of September, and 10 contracts and $65.8 million in asking price volume the week before that. Between Oct. 5 and 11, the median asking price was $5.75 million and the average number of days on the market was 207. The top contract was a 6,800-square-foot townhouse at 156 Reade Street that was listed for $13.995 million, down from an original asking price of $16 million in September 2014." For the complete article, click here

"Time Inc. sign heads to new downtown location," New York Post, 10/8/15. "The Time Inc. sign officially went up in the window at the magazine publishing giant's new corporate headquarters in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday," says the New York Post. "By the end of the month, the first publications start vacating the storied Rockefeller Center home in the Time & Life Building, which Sports Illustrated and other titles in the stable have called home since 1959. The new address for Time Inc.'s 2,800 employees is 225 Liberty St." For the complete article, click here.

"Leonardo DiCaprio puts Volkswagen scandal film on the production line," The Guardian, 10/13/15. Leonardo DiCaprio, a Battery Park City resident, owns a production company that is bringing "the story of the Volkswagen emissions scandal to the big screen, according to the Hollywood Reporter," and as cited in The Guardian. "Appian Way, which has worked on films such as The Revenant, The Wolf of Wall Street and Shutter Island, has bought the rights to an upcoming book by Jack Ewing which was recently picked up by publisher Norton for a six-figure sum. The company will team with studio Paramount on the movie version, which is expected to examine how a 'more, better, faster' ethos fuelled one of the most extensive examples of corporate fraud in history. VW has admitted that 11m vehicles around the world were fitted with a defeat device which allowed them to cheat emissions testing. In the US, where the scandal broke, the company programmed 500,000 diesel cars so that they adhered to strict environmental standards in testing but had emissions rates up to 40 times higher in daily use." For the complete article, click here.

"You Can Now Tour Ellis Island Without Getting On a Boat,", 10/15/15. "The National Park Service has launched a virtual tour of Ellis Island's south side, where some of the landmark's so-called 'seldom seen spaces' are located," says "The website includes more than 40 interactive spherical photographs in stunning clarity, covering buildings, landscapes, and other spaces rarely, if ever, seen by the public, including the abandoned hospitals. Though the highlight is the south side of Ellis Island, the tour starts in front of the Great Hall, with its Guastavino tile ceiling." For the complete article, click here. To see the interactive Ellis Island website, click here.

DowntownDowntown bulletin board
 The annual Battery Park City Halloween Puppy Parade will be held on Oct. 31, and it's not too early to start thinking about a costume. Last year, an English bull dog named Dilley and a 14-month-old baby named Maddy dressed up as Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion and won a prize. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Trinity's Family Choir: People of all ages and musical levels are welcome to join Trinity's Family Choir. The choir is made up of community singers who come together on a regular basis for music making, performance opportunities, fellowship, and creative renewal. Rehearsals take place one Saturday each month for singing on the following Sunday at the 9:15 a.m. service at St. Paul's Chapel and the 11:15 a.m. at Trinity Church. The choir is directed by Thomas McCargar. No long-term commitment is required; come when you can for fun, community-centered music making. The first rehearsal is Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Trinity Church choir room (Broadway at Wall Street. The first service meeting time is Sunday, Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m., St. Paul's Chapel (Broadway and Fulton Street). For the full  2015 rehearsal/service schedule, click here.

DeLury Square Park fair and planting day:
DeLury Square Park at Fulton and Gold Streets near the South Street Seaport will be holding two events in support of one of the few green spaces in the Seaport/FiDi area. An Arts and Crafts Fair will take place on Friday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a variety of crafts, pottery, fine objects and jewelry. The money raised by the fair will be used for the care, preservation and beautification of the park. On Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers are needed for planting and gardening as part of a citywide effort called "It's My Park" day. "We will be planting our spring tulips and daffodils, as well as, getting the park ready for winter," said Veronica Ryan-Silverberg, the head of Friends of DeLury Square Park. She said that no experience was necessary and that all equipment and instructions would be provided. Children can participate, but they have to be at least 12 years old. For more information, click here or send an email to

Haunted Halloween at Manhattan Youth:
Manhattan Youth invites all Trick-or-Treaters to stop by its Great Hall on Friday, Oct. 30, (the day before Halloween). Families with younger children will enjoy visiting Silly Spooks, a short stroll featuring a Friendly Ghost peek-a-booing in Manhattan Youth's graveyard, a Scaredy-Cat Scarecrow in a balloon pumpkin patch, and a Wiggly Witch with a super-size bubble cauldron brewing up potions galore. Families with older children can choose to brave the Tunnel of Terror, an interactive walk through a Haunted Graveyard, a Vampire Castle, Zombie Alley, the Mad Science Lab, an Insane Asylum, and the Black Widow's Web. Each installation will be staffed by professional actors and Manhattan Youth child-care professionals. At the end of both paths, children can Trick-or-Treat for candy and fangs. This event should take five to10 minutes to walk through. Place: Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. Time: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free.

Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra at the Melville Gallery:
The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, founded by South Street Seaport resident Gary Fagin in 2008, brings orchestral and chamber music performances and educational programs to the downtown community. Now, the orchestra will be performing regularly in the South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery at 213 Water St. The orchestra's 2015-2016 season will open at the Melville on Nov. 19 with a soirée-fundraiser entitled "Soundscape of Historic New York" - a musical tour of New York City's most iconic 19-century architectural treasures: Castle Clinton, Niblo's Garden, Carnegie Hall, the theaters of the Great White Way, and more. Co-hosts for the evening are Laura Starr, principal of Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, Claire Weisz, principal-in-charge at WXY Studio, and Alan Barlis and Dennis Wedlick, principals at BarlisWedlick Architects. Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets: $125 for one, $250 or $350 for two, and $500 for four. Click here for more information and/or to buy tickets.

Downtown Basketball League:
The Manhattan Youth Downtown Basketball League is offering weekend clinics and Downtown Basketball League tournaments starting in November. Boys and girls of all ages and skill levels learn to dribble, pass and use teamwork in the weekend clinics. (This year, the weekend clinics are being expanded to include the new Peck Slip School in the South Street Seaport.) The league begins with two months of practice so that players can hone their jump shot and dribbling skills. After that, in January, teams are formed and the games begin. Registration is now open, but space is limited. Children registered for both league play and weekend clinics save $95. Downtown Community Center members save $100. Find out more about registration for the league and clinics by clicking here

The future of Pier 26:
Pier 26 in Hudson River Park near North Moore Street already houses the Downtown Boathouse, which offers free kayaking, and it has a restaurant for which City Winery has been awarded a contract. But the pier is still unfinished. It is supposed to house an estuarium to be run by Clarkson University - and it needs landscaping. The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) previously received a $70 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation  to finish the Tribeca section of the park, but that proved insufficient. Now HRPT is going back to LMDC to request another $10 million, which would supplement $20 million that the HRPT already has in hand for the build out. In the meantime, on Oct. 19, HRPT and Community Board 1 are sponsoring a discussion about the future of Pier 26. Place: 120 Warren St. (the Downtown Community Center). Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tribeca Meet & Greet:
Tribeca Meet & Greet provides an opportunity to meet informally with neighbors to exchange ideas, do some networking and have a drink. Around once a month, these meetings take place at a different Tribeca restaurant or business. Some people show up for the full evening, some just drop by to say hello. Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway provides some beverages and MaxDelivery brings nibblybits.

The next Tribeca Meet & Greet will take place at the Drama League in the historic AT&T Long Distance Building at 32 Ave of the Americas on Monday, Oct. 19 from 6:30 p.m.  to 9 p.m. This is your opportunity to experience the amazing lobby of this building as well as to learn about The Drama League. Everybody's welcome. This is a free event.

The Drama League is a not-for-profit theater organization dedicated to creating transformative interactions between artists and audiences, above and beyond the performances they experience. Their offices have a small space for readings and discussions.

Tribeca Meet and Greet is organized by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Music workshop series at Trinity Wall Street
: On Thursdays from Oct. 8 to Nov. 19, Trinity's music staff is offering a new series of classes focusing on vocal skills, sight-reading, musicology, hymnology and more. The first session was on Oct. 8 to introduce the 2015-2016 season with a Q & A with Julian Wachner, Trinity's director of music and the arts. Future sessions are as follows: Oct. 22: Intro to sight-singing and music theory: Part II - led by Thomas McCargar; Oct. 29: Handel's Messiah - led by Avi Stein; Nov. 5: Freedom songs - led by Melissa Baker; Nov. 12: Sacred works of J.S. Bach - led by Julian Wachner; Nov. 19: Healthy hymn singing: Vocal technique for the congregation - led by Thomas McCargar. Place: Trinity Church. Time: 6:15 p.m. Free.

Halloween Puppy Parade in Battery Park City: The 14th Annual BPC Dogs Halloween Puppy Parade will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31, starting at noon on the BPC esplanade at the South Cove arbor. The parade will proceed from South Cove to the plaza near the North Cove Marina (where the volleyball courts are usually set up) where dogs (and people who have dressed up for Halloween) will be judged on their costumes. Prizes will be awarded for Best Costume Large Breed; Best Costume Small Breed; Best Owner and Dog Combo; Best Dog Team Costume. A Tail-Wagging Contest for Small and Large Dogs will be held again this year. There will also be a raffle with exciting, new prizes. All dog owners and their dogs in costume should meet promptly at 11:50 a.m. on the esplanade at the South Cove arbor. The rain date is Sunday, Nov. 1, same time and place. Check if the weather looks bad Saturday morning or call Le Pet Spa at (212) 786-9070 for up-to-the-minute weather updates.

Battery Park underpass closures: The schedule for nighttime lane closures in the Battery Park Underpass has been extended. The closures are needed in order to install temporary lighting and drainage as part of the restoration of the electrical and mechanical systems damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Work in the north tube (FDR Drive to West Street) will proceed from Tuesday, Oct. 13, through Saturday, Oct. 17. Work in the south tube (West Street to FDR Drive) will resume on Monday, Oct. 19, continuing at least through Saturday, Oct.  24. Single-lane closures will start at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Full closures will follow, lasting from midnight until 5 a.m.  Full closures will also be in effect on Saturday mornings from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. In the West Street Underpass, work is in progress to demolish and remove damaged equipment, but this will not involve any additional closures beyond those required by MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

More free Wi-Fi in Lower Manhattan
: The Alliance for Downtown New York recently announced that more than one million square feet have been added to its free Wi-Fi network, bringing plans to provide access for the entire Lower Broadway corridor halfway to completion. In total, the Alliance now provides more than 3.7 million square feet of coverage throughout the district. The most recent addition to the network provides uninterrupted service on Broadway from the Battery to Trinity Church. The Downtown Alliance's network is free. For more information about the network, click here.
Downtown Post Portfolio: Downtown Post Portfolio is a feature in Downtown Post NYC, showcasing artists and photographers who live and/or work south of Canal Street or who create images (paintings, drawings, photographs) of Lower Manhattan.

To have your work considered for publication in Downtown Post Portfolio, send up to seven high-resolution jpeg files attached to an email to (One of the photos should be a picture of you.) Several of these photos will be published in Downtown Post NYC, along with a short artist bio and a statement about the work submitted, including whether or not it is for sale and how to purchase it.

Not all entries can be published. Copyright remains with the artist. Before publication, each contributor will be asked to sign a release stating that Downtown Post NYC has the right to publish the work in the emailed newsletter and in the Downtown Post archives, and that there is no payment.

Independence Day in Lower Manhattan photo gallery:
The Independence Day celebration in Lower Manhattan started on July 1 with the arrival of the Hermione at Pier 15 in the South Street Seaport. Hermione is a replica of the 18th-century frigate that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to the U.S. colonies in March/April of 1780. Also at Pier 15, El Galeón, hosted parties and tours. It is a replica of a 16th-century Spanish ship such as Ponce de Léon would have sailed when he landed on the east coast of Florida 500 years ago. On July 4, there were fireworks over the East River. For photos of some of the Independence Day celebrations, click here.

Downtown Little League opening day photo gallery
: The Downtown Little League kicked off its 2015 season on April 18. This year, there are just under 1,100 players on 81 teams. For photos of the opening day, click here.

Whitney Museum of American Art photo gallery: The Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St. opened to the public on May 1. For photographs of the Whitney Museum's new building and of its opening exhibition, click here.

South Street Seaport Museum Opening Day: The South Street Seaport Museum opened its 2015 season on April 25 with events on Pier 16 and activities for kids and their families in the lobby of the museum's 12 Fulton St. building. For photographs of the museum's opening day, click here.

South Street Seaport Museum on Schermerhorn Row: To see photographs of some of the
Edward Burtynsky took photographs in Bangladesh of tankers and cargo ships being disassembled for scrap metal. His photos were part of an exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum in January 2012. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
artifacts inside the South Street Seaport Museum's premises on Schermerhorn Row and photos of past exhibitions, click here.

Downtown Post Portfolio: Jay Fine: Jay Fine is a New York City fine-art photographer and photojournalist, based in Lower Manhattan whose work was featured in Downtown Post Portfolio (DPNYC, 5/6/15). To see some more of Fine's work on the Downtown Post NYC website, click here.

SeaGlass Carousel: After 10 years of design and fundraising and a setback named "Sandy," the SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery opened on Aug. 19 to universal critical acclaim and rapturous crowds. Downtown Post NYC was there for the opening. Read about the carousel and see photos by clicking here.

LandmarksDowntown Post Landmarks

2 Oliver St. near Chatham Square in Chinatown. (Photo: Courtesy of the Friends of the Lower East Side)
The brick house at 2 Oliver St. near Chatham Square in Chinatown is 194 years old, designed in the restrained style of the Federal period, and it is in danger - a small, old house sitting on a piece of valuable real estate.

In 1966, an application was made to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to have it declared a New York City landmark. The application was heard but the building wasn't designated because its owner, Trinity Church, vigorously objected.

Now the Landmarks Preservation Commission is trying to clear its backlog with a few broad strokes, and 2 Oliver St. may be among the victims.

The house dates from 1821 and was once part of a row of similar houses Originally it was two stories tall.

This was where a prominent architect-builder, James O'Donnell, once lived. In this house, which he designed, he imagined and drafted plans for one of the architectural treasures of Montreal - the Gothic-inspired Notre-Dame Basilica, completed in 1829. Except for the Oliver Street house, none of his New York work still exists.

Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, designed by James O'Donnell, who once lived at 2 Oliver St. in a house that he also designed.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A group called the Friends of the Lower East Side is trying to save the house by organizing a campaign to beseech the Landmarks Preservation Commission to recognize the building's value and protect it. The founders of the Friends are Linda Jones, Joyce Mendelsohn and Mitchell Grubler.

"The importance of preserving this intact dwelling, the only one of [O'Donnell's] buildings that survives in New York City, cannot be overstated," they say. "It is a typical New York City, Federal-style, two-story row house clad in red Flemish bond brick with brownstone lintels and sills. A third story was added ca.1850 replicating the original paneled lintels.  Hundreds of these modest Federals have been destroyed or altered beyond recognition; it is extremely rare to find one extant with a known architect."  

The Friends of the Lower East Side are asking those who care about the house to email the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Comments must be received before Oct. 29. A hearing on the house will take place on Nov. 5.

Emails should be sent to with the subject line "Designate 2 Oliver Street."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

CommunityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of Oct. 19

1 World Trade Center and other parts of Lower Manhattan as seen from Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. A forum about the future of Pier 26 sponsored by Community Board 1 and the Hudson River Park Trust takes place on Oct. 19 at 120 Warren St. starting at 6:30 p.m. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Community Board 1 meetings take place in the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., 2202-A North, CB1 Conference Room, unless otherwise indicated. Meeting start at 6 p.m.  All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

Oct. 20: Seaport/Civic Center Committee
* New Market and Tin Buildings - Update by Richard Cote, Executive Vice President, Asset Management, NYC Economic Development Corporation
* Howard Hughes Corporation Landmarks Preservation Commission review - Report (HHC invited)
* Hearing: Two Years After the SIRR Report: The State of Coastal Storm Resiliency in the City - Resolution
* 11 Fulton Street, application for restaurant liquor license for iPic-Gold Class Entertainment, LLC d/b/a iPic Theaters - Resolution
Oct. 27: CB 1 Monthly Meeting -  6 p.m.
            Location: 4 World Trade Center,  (150 Greenwich St.) 68th floor

CalendarCALENDAR: Week of Oct. 12

Cowgirl SeaHorse sold lemonade at last year's Taste of the Seaport. The annual event, which raises money for the Spruce Street and Peck Slip Schools, returns on Oct. 17 from  11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Historic Front Street between Fulton Street and Peck Slip.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Oct. 16: The incandescent paintings of Narihito Munakata are on exhibit at the World Trade Gallery through Oct. 21. The gallery is open daily. Place: 120 Broadway. Free. For more information about Munakata, click here. For more information about the World Trade Gallery, click here.

Oct. 16: New Sounds Live, mc'd by WNYC's John Schaefer, brings the American Composers Orchestra (part of the SONiC Festival), Andy Akiho, Judd Greenstein, Alex Mincek, and Angélica Negrón to Battery Park City. Place: Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Time: 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Oct. 17: Taste of the Seaport returns to Front Street in the South Street Seaport with musical entertainment, children's activities and treats from more than 40 food and beverage purveyors. Proceeds from the event benefit arts and enrichment programs at two local elementary schools, PS 343 Peck Slip School and PS 397 Spruce Street School. Place: Front Street between Fulton Street and Peck Slip. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early bird tickets now on sale: Five tastes, $35 plus $2.74 handling fee; Family pack of 20 tastes, $125 plus $7.24 fee. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Oct. 17: The 7th Annual Marco Polo Festival celebrating the Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District starts at 11 a.m. in front of 62 Mott Street (between Canal and Bayard) with a procession of large-scale Marco Polo and Kublai Khan marionettes and a magnificent, hand-painted, 50-foot-long Silk Road banner. The parade wends its way through the streets of Chinatown and Little Italy ending at the Grand Street Stage for music and cultural performances. Programming begins at noon and includes traditional Chinese and Italian Opera, folk dances, contemporary Chinese and Italian instrumental performances and more. For the first time in the festival's history, photographer, author and explorer, Denis Belliveau, will host a pop-up Silk Road Museum featuring artifacts he collected during his Emmy ® nominated, acclaimed documentary film, "In The Footsteps of Marco Polo." Click here for a detailed map of the procession route and festival. Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.

Oct. 17: "Go Fish!" in Battery Park City features catch-and-release fishing, art projects, a bird walk and folk music performed by Tom Chapin & Friends. Using barbless hooks, master anglers help novices catch some of the 50 species of fish that are known to live in New York Bay. (For a list of these fish from The River Project, click here).  Fish are placed in saltwater tanks for observation and identification before being released back into the Hudson. Live demonstrations and displays teach fish anatomy and heighten awareness of the ecology, flourishing marine life and the much improved health of the Hudson River and its estuary. Rods, reels and bait are provided for those who do not bring their own. At 11 a.m., join an experienced birder to look for species that live in or migrate through Battery Park City. Binoculars can be borrowed. Place: Wagner Park. Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Oct. 18: Trinity Wall Street remembers German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the 70th anniversary of his death with "For Conduct and Innocents," a multimedia event of poetry, history, music, dance, film, and more. In a dramatic portrayal of Bonhoeffer, perhaps best known for his involvement in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler, this performance richly depicts the last three years before Bonhoeffer's arrest in 1943. Place: Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: Work by Trevor Winkfield showcases his visionary contributions to the overall aesthetic of poetry publishing. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City.  Exhibition will be on view through Jan. 10, 2016 during regular hours for Poets House. Free. For more information, click here.
: "Spirits of the Passage: Stories of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" on the museum ship Lilac at Hudson River Park's Pier 25 discusses aspects of the maritime trade in African slaves combined with profiles of slaves, former slaves, abolitionists and others whose lives were touched by this global traffic. The exhibit was created by the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum ( in Key West, Fla. Lilac received key funding from the Sandy Hook Pilots' Association ( to bring this exhibit to New York. Through Oct. 25. The ship is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Lilac is the last steam-powered lighthouse tender in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Launched on May 26, 1933, she carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and then the U.S. Coast Guard until she was decommissioned in 1972. For more  information about Lilac, click here.

Ongoing: "America in Circulation: A History of US Currency Featuring the Collection of Mark R. Shenkman," an exhibition at the Museum of American Finance, showcases around 250 rare examples of American paper money accompanied by large, interactive touch screen displays. From Colonial times, American money has told a fascinating story of the country's struggles and successes. Often local and national currencies competed and coexisted with each other, while economic depression, war and counterfeiting drove constant advances in design. The exhibition spans the period from the Colonial era to the present day. Highlights include rare examples of currency bearing the signatures of signers of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence; a complete set of notes from the Educational Series of 1896, renowned for being the most beautiful paper money in American history; and rare examples of high denomination notes including $5,000 and $10,000 bills. Through March 2018. To see an online version of the exhibition, click here. Place: 48 Wall St. Museum is open Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $8; $5 (students and seniors); free (museum members and kids 6 and under). For more information, click here.

: "Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed" displays 155 ancient objects from the National Museum of the American Indian's rarely seen collections of Central American ceramics. The exhibition examines seven regions representing distinct Central American cultural areas that are today part of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, where Central America's first inhabitants lived. Dating back to 1000 B.C., the ceramics help tell the story of the innumerable achievements of these ancient civilizations, each with unique, sophisticated ways of life, value systems and arts. Through January 2017. Place: 1 Bowling Green. The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays, until 8 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.  

Ongoing: The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents "Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism," an exhibition that explores the cultural context in which many Jewish émigré architects and designers created a distinctly modern American design that still has wide appeal today.  Walk-up tours will be offered on Sundays in May (except May 24) at 12 p.m. with no reservations necessary. Through January 2016. Place: 36 Battery Place. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Skyscraper Museum's exhibition, "Ten Tops," surveys all buildings in the world today, completed or under construction, that are 100 stories and taller. Of these 24 towers, the exhibition focuses on 10 (plus a few more), zooming in on their uppermost floors to see how they were designed and constructed. Through October 2015. Place: 39 Battery Place. Hours: Noon to 6 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays. Admission: $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). For more information, click here.

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: "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: "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: "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: Fraunces Tavern Museum's exhibition, "Lafayette," opened in May to complement the docking of the Marquis de Lafayette's replica ship, L'Hermione at the South Street Seaport over the July 4th weekend. It includes 20 items from the museum's collection such as Lafayette's calling card and the his sash, splashed with his blood from a wound sustained at the Battle of Brandywine. Through December 2016. 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: 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. Lobby access: Fridays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For private tours of Schermerhorn Row and its old hotels, email

Buy tickets now: On Oct. 25, the Working Harbor Committee is offering a tour of Gowanus Bay including the Erie Basin, Red Hook and Sunset Park. Joseph Alexiou, writer and tour guide, and Capt. Margaret Flanagan, Maritime Operations, Waterfront Alliance, will discuss the changing face of South Brooklyn's waterfront, which was once active with manufacturing and shipping. The tour will include the new waterfront recycling facility at Gowanus Bay, the slag ship MV Loujaine and a close-up view of the Big Grain Elevator. Leaving from Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street. Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: $30; $25 (seniors). To buy tickets, click here. 
Buy tickets now: On Nov. 1, the Municipal Art Society of New York is offering a new tour called "Financial History in Lower Manhattan" led by architectural historian and guide Francis Morrone. The history of Wall Street is that of booms and busts, high drama, mergers and acquisitions, giant personalities - and great architecture. In this walk Morrone will discuss the histories of such classic New York companies as Lehman Brothers, Chase Manhattan, Bank of New York, AIG, Kuhn, Loeb, Bankers Trust, and many others, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, the Customs Service, and the Federal Reserve Bank. Learn about the role the financial sector has played in the growth of New York, about financial panics and depressions of the past, and about J.P. Morgan, Alexander Hamilton, and Jacob Schiff, all of whom worked in Lower Manhattan. In addition, see buildings designed by York & Sawyer, McKim, Mead & White, George B. Post, and many others (New York's bankers built splendidly). The meeting place will be sent after ticket purchase. Time: 2 p.m. Tickets: $30;  $20 (Municipal Art Society members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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