View Full Version : Greenwich Street 'Restoration'

July 10th, 2003, 02:57 AM
July 10, 2003

A Through Street Restored, but Looking Thinner


At the gargantuan scale of ground zero, every dimension counts. And some dimensions may trump popular expectations.

Anyone anticipating a broad new Greenwich Street should pay attention to the Consolidated Edison Company substation now under construction, which will be the base of the new 7 World Trade Center tower. It is already clear that the tower will not so much open a vista down Greenwich Street as open a visual sliver.

Now, a sliver is certainly better than the dam of the old 7 World Trade Center, which stretched all the way across Greenwich Street, isolating TriBeCa physically and visually from Lower Manhattan. But a sliver is not nearly as generous a panorama as the one that currently exists.

In the 1960's, parts of Greenwich, Washington, Fulton, Dey and Cortlandt Streets were eliminated to create giant development sites for the trade center and a Con Ed substation immediately to the north, over which Larry A. Silverstein later constructed the original 7 World Trade Center.

After the destruction of the center, the opportunity arose — and was embraced by many community leaders and city planners — to reopen Greenwich Street for the missing five-block length.

Mr. Silverstein was widely credited with giving up valuable floor area in order to shrink 7 World Trade Center enough to let Greenwich Street run through the site. Considerable engineering ingenuity was needed, too, since the Con Ed transformer vaults had almost inflexible dimensions.

The result was described as a planning victory. "That Greenwich Street will be restored to its original state, at least as an unimpeded thoroughfare, is one of the few things that seem certain about the future of the World Trade Center site," Paul Goldberger wrote in The New Yorker in May 2002, reflecting a general assumption that restoration meant exactly that: a return to the 65-foot-wide street that once existed.

But it turns out that the new Greenwich Street will actually be 60 feet wide between Vesey and Barclay Streets. And 7 World Trade Center will be 171 feet wide, 11 feet wider than the buildings that occupied the block until the 60's.

From the north, 7 World Trade Center will seem to fill even more of Greenwich Street than it actually does because the Bank of New York Technology and Operations Center, in the foreground at 101 Barclay Street, is set far back on its lot, 94 feet distant from Fiterman Hall on the opposite corner.

As a matter of visual perception, in other words, 7 World Trade Center will appear to project 34 feet into Greenwich Street, since it extends that far beyond the line of the Bank of New York building.

From some vantages, the emerging Con Ed building, with its Y-shaped pillars, already seems to take up half of Greenwich Street. The tower will rise straight up from that base to a height of 750 feet.

"It was a shock," said Fredric M. Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, after he walked those blocks on Tuesday. "I said, `How could we not have noticed this?' "

Even allowing for the setback at 101 Barclay Street, Mr. Bell said, "It looks like a very significant protrusion into the view corridor."

Nancy D. Owens, a landscape architect and cofounder of the Friends of Greenwich Street civic group, was surprised to discover that the new structure appeared to be creating a bottleneck at ground zero rather than a grand entry. "Doesn't it feel as if you're going to have to go around 7 World Trade Center?" she asked. "The verbiage doesn't mesh with the reality."

But there was no way to shrink the footprint of the new 7 World Trade Center any further, said two of its architects, David M. Childs and Peter M. Ruggiero of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Because the transformer tolerances were so tight, recreating a 65-foot Greenwich Street right-of-way would have meant compromising three of Con Ed's 10 vaults, Mr. Ruggiero said.

Mr. Childs noted that Greenwich Street's width varies widely from block to block and gets down to 60 feet in other places. (Sixty feet is the width of typical crosstown streets in Manhattan. Avenues are typically 100 feet wide.)

To those who struggled to squeeze the building, a narrower Greenwich is preferable to no Greenwich. Alexander Garvin, former planning director for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, wrote in an e-mail message that the solution "permitted Greenwich and Fulton Street to be restored, allowed for the substation and did not cost the taxpayers anything."

Madelyn Wils, the chairwoman of the Lower Manhattan community board, said, "Even though it's not a huge passage, it's still a passageway that connects Greenwich Street from the Village to the bottom of the island."

"That doesn't seem like a loss," she said. "That seems more like a win."

However, to Beverly Willis, an architect and co-chairwoman of the Rebuild Downtown Our Town civic group, it seems more of a cautionary tale.

"This is a perfect example," she said, "of what can happen to the rest of the site unless there's a watchdog approach to every step of the development."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

July 10th, 2003, 09:09 AM
It is a restoration. *Who are these people that were expecting a "grand blvd."? *God forbid the new 7 WTC should intrude on their view. *Maybe they would love to have the old 7 WTC back. *Those ungrateful, unappreciative b.....ds.

July 10th, 2003, 09:15 AM
View of what, the 16 acre memorial perhaps? *Oh, that's nice.

July 10th, 2003, 09:29 AM
The Times has a picture, it definitely does look like the tower is sticking out into the street more than I thought it would - that's all. It's still better of course, but it's more of an observation than complaint. More realistic renderings would have eliminated the surprise.

(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 9:33 am on July 10, 2003)

July 10th, 2003, 09:39 AM
The public was misled once more - they could have spared us the rhetoric. Could someone please scan the image?

July 10th, 2003, 09:45 AM
But since 7 WTC is to be a "shaft of light" it'll be okay.

July 10th, 2003, 09:55 AM
The one over Larry's head.

No big deal, apparently.

July 10th, 2003, 10:05 AM
There was talk about opening up the view down Greenwich St. It depends on what your expectations were I guess. It's not like they had much of a choice.


July 10th, 2003, 11:04 AM
You'll get to peer. Thanks. Still a huge improvement.

July 10th, 2003, 01:27 PM
The perception will be different when 7 WTC (are they keeping the name?) is surrounded by other towers. *

"It was a shock," said Fredric M. Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, after he walked those blocks on Tuesday. "I said, `How could we not have noticed this?' "
Not to be immodest, but I noticed this when the plans were released, and it was obvious when construction began on the substation. *How could the AIA not notice this until now? *Makes you wonder about the level of dilligence they have regarding the WTC redevelopment:

"This is a perfect example," she said, "of what can happen to the rest of the site unless there's a watchdog approach to every step of the development."

Wasn't Greenwich street going to be a pedestrian street through the site anyway?

July 10th, 2003, 05:55 PM
I put this in the category of the wedge of light "discovery". *The street wasn't restored for the "views" down Greenwich. *But if they really wanted to make a point, show old and new photos of the street and tower from Greenwich and Barclay Street (northside of building). *

What will they find to whine about next? *

(Edited by NYguy at 5:56 pm on July 10, 2003)

July 11th, 2003, 07:32 PM
Probably why the rendering above Larry's head is from that point of view, it minimizes the effect.
What is in 101 Barclay? *This building seemed to be skulking in the shadow of the WTC complex, boring and quiet.
If someone puts a 34' addition on the facade, or two more modules - problem solved! *

July 11th, 2003, 08:10 PM
The first rendering though is still from the street, not the sidewalk, and the second is from just right of the center - the perspectives aren't the most extreme. There will be a park across the street from the tower, so it should be fine.

August 18th, 2003, 05:47 AM
(Above and below) The view down Greenwich St., with the rising 7 WTC in the center of the frame and the set-back Bank of New York Building to the right.


December 10th, 2006, 08:29 AM
Tribeca Promenade to WTC Site Proposed

Sidewalk outside Bank of New York

By Carl Glassman
POSTED DEC.4, 2006

A group of green-minded Tribeca residents is proposing a bold new plan to turn Greenwich Street into a tree-lined pedestrian promenade, connecting Tribeca to the World Trade Center site.

Friends of Greenwich Street, the non-profit group that maintains the street’s gardens and trees from North Moore Street to Duane Street and plants new trees in other parts of the neighborhood, submitted a $20 million request last month to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.The application was among those submitted for a share of $45 million in LMDC “community enhancement funds.”

“We think it is important to welcome future WTC visitors who, following their visit to the Trade Center Memorial, will very often wish to explore Tribeca…” Friends of Greenwich Street president Steve Boyce wrote in his introduction to the proposal.

Two design firms with major Lower Manhattan projects to their credit—SHoP Architects and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects—have signed on to the proposed project. No designs have been drawn up, but the proposal suggests including revenue-generating kiosks and open-air cafes, new seating and signage, and plantings and trees along the now barren stretch north of Barclay Street.

Signe Nielsen, who lives and works in Tribeca, was the landscape architect for the “Greening of Greenwich Street” (now called “Phase 1”). That project, completed in 2000, narrowed the street by half and created trees, planters, benches and new pavers along the west side of Greenwich, from Chambers to Hubert Streets. She said there is good reason to extend the landscaping, where visitors and others will exit the World Trade Center site beyond 7 WTC.

“People are logically going to pick Greenwich Street to walk up,” she said. “Church Street is miserable and Broadway is nothing to write home about. With the planned Barnes and Nobles and Whole Foods on Greenwich Street [between Warren and Murray Streets], that’s a huge deal. Then, farther up, there’s the great restaurants and outdoor cafes that make Tribeca fun.”

Along with its designers, Friends of Greenwich Street has gathered an eclectic advisory board from along the street that includes Citigroup, the Tribeca Film Center, Stellar Management (owners of Independence Plaza), the Washington Market Park’s board of directors, P.S. 234 PTA, and Bank of New York.

“We want to show that we have the community together with us. We’re not a lone wolf,” said Mark Winkleman, a Tribeca architect who is spearheading the plan with Steve Boyce. “We’re a group that’s going to come up with the solution for Greenwich Street and we need to bring in the stakeholders.”

As far back as the late 1980s, the city had planned an elaborate “greening” of Greenwich Street that was to stretch from Hubert to Barclay Streets. There was money to pay for it, from a special tax fund set aside when the corporate tower at North Moore and Greenwich Street (now the Citigroup building) was constructed. Additional money came from the corporate anchor at the other end of the street, Bank of New York.

In 1995, it was revealed that the city had nearly depleted the fund. Eventually the city restored enough money for the modified “Greening of Greenwich.”

Back then, no one could have imagined that Greenwich Street would extend not only to the World Trade Center site, but through it, with huge new residential projects along the way. That is what makes the new proposal all the more compelling, say its backers.

“How do we start to deal with all the cars and pedestrians and merchants, and reconnect this with the World Trade Center site?” said Bill Sharples, a principal in SHoP Architects. “Ultimately it will happen, but on whose terms?”

December 10th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Tribeca Promenade to WTC Site Proposed


A group of green-minded Tribeca residents is proposing a bold new plan to turn Greenwich Street into a tree-lined pedestrian promenade, connecting Tribeca to the World Trade Center site.

Friends of Greenwich Street, the non-profit group that maintains the street’s gardens and trees from North Moore Street to Duane Street and plants new trees in other parts of the neighborhood ...

This is a good idea that should be brought to a reality.

Hopefully they can do some further improvements on the stretch of Greenwich to the north all the way up to the Citigroup Building. Even though the somewaht recent widening of the sidewalks along that stretch is an improvement over what previously existed there it could be made vastly better with a more artful landscape design.

December 10th, 2006, 10:15 PM
^ Could do with some trees.

December 11th, 2006, 04:27 PM
... and lose the angled parking spaces. No excuse for that in Manhattan.

January 25th, 2007, 02:18 AM
i would be cool with a pedestrian block for greenwich north of wtc. would be a nice walking area. nassau street is closed to cars weekdays and it gives the street a non-new-york-like feel.

June 18th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Tribeca umbrellas will fold for good


Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
Only part of the umbrella remained on the Citigroup building’s façade this week, above.
The façade and plaza umbrella are expected to be removed within the next two months.
In August 2004, Citigroup employees going to work lined up near the umbrella after the
Dept. of Homeland Security warned of a threat to the firm.

Downtown Express (http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_214/tribecaumbrellas.html)
By Jennifer Milne
Volume 20 Issue 4
June 15 - 21, 2007

Under an ominous gray sky Tuesday, the final, rightmost piece of the iconic red umbrella clung to the side of the Citigroup building at 388 Greenwich St. in Tribeca. Nobody was on the street cheering for the umbrella’s demise, like so many had 10 years ago. Instead, the icon was being dismantled slowly, bit by bit, fading away silently.

Workers began removing the 50-foot by 50-foot façade umbrella, which was sold back to Travelers Companies in February, at the beginning of June. Community groups, like the Tribeca Community Association and Community Boards 1 and 2, had opposed the logo’s illumination from its inception in May 1997, saying the neon red light was an eyesore for the neighborhood.

West Village resident Michael Mooney gathered 600 signatures on a petition.

“I love Times Square, but I don’t think all of Manhattan should be turned into Times Square,” Mooney wrote in an email. “The umbrella has been turned off since 9/11, but now we can breathe easier knowing that it will never be turned on again. And since there are now laws to prevent a recurrence, the beautiful Lower Manhattan skyline can never again be spoiled by such lack of taste.”

In order to prevent a lawsuit, Travelers Group agreed in 1998 to turn off the logo’s light for four hours each night, and to dim it until sunrise. The logo had not been illuminated since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Citigroup employees eating lunch in the plaza had mixed opinions about the ongoing removal Tuesday.

“The missing umbrella will definitely leave a void,” said Ken Duong, who works for Citigroup’s information technology division. “Every time I see a red umbrella, I think of Citigroup. My honest opinion is that they should’ve kept it.”

Daniel Noonan, a spokesperson for Citigroup, said both the umbrella on the façade of the building and the large umbrella sculpture in the plaza will be removed.

According to Noonan, the remainder of the umbrella will be gone from the façade by the end of the month and paperwork has been filed with the city to remove the plaza sculpture, which should be gone in four to six weeks. He said Travelers will take possession of the plaza umbrella.

Citigroup chairperson and C.E.O. Charles Prince said in a prepared statement in February that the sale of the umbrella would be good for the new, unified “Citi” company. Citigroup was formed in 1998 by a merger of the Citicorp and Travelers Insurance Group companies.

“Our research continued to show that the trademark red umbrella was more connected with insurance, specifically St. Paul Travelers,” Prince said. “We are pleased to have entered into this agreement.”

Ivan Toro, another Citigroup employee, agrees with his boss.

“I think it’s good that they’re taking it down,” Toro said. &ldquoThe red umbrella has always been linked more to Travelers than Citibank. I like the [Citi logo red] arc better.”

The façade umbrella received approval from the Department of Buildings under then-Deputy Buildings Commissioner George Sakona’s 1991 interpretation of city policy. Sakona wrote, “…where a symbol on a building owned and occupied by a corporation is considered to be an integral part of […] the building, such symbol […] may be deemed not to be a sign and shall not be subject to the sign regulation of the zoning resolution.”

Two weeks after the decision to allow the umbrella logo on Nov. 25, 1996, the Department changed its policy to include a “more stringent review” of any future logos.

The Tribeca Community Association fought the umbrella permit at the city Board of Standards and Appeals and before the agency ruled, Travelers settled the case. The Buildings Dept., immediately after the settlement, rescinded the Sakona policy entirely.

Marlene Ibsen, a spokesperson for Travelers Companies, which is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., said Travelers is exploring options for the plaza umbrella, but has not made any plans yet.

© 2007 Community Media, LLC

June 18th, 2007, 08:30 AM
I always liked the umbrellas. Especially the one out front in the plaza which I thought was a very creative -- and practical -- use of a company logo. I hope Citi somehow fills the void in the plaza area with something nice.

June 18th, 2007, 09:43 PM
I always liked the umbrellas. Especially the one out front in the plaza which I thought was a very creative -- and practical -- use of a company logo.
Why don't they re-erect it somewhere else? On the pier at South Street Seaport?

June 25th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Great that the umbrella on the building is going. I always hated it and thought it looked tacky, cheapening the skyline down there.

June 25th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Why don't they re-erect it somewhere else? On the pier at South Street Seaport?To my knowledge, no one ever objected to the plaza umbrella (I think it looks cool), only the building neon.

It seems Citigroup wants to disassociate itself with a logo that connects more to with insurance than finance.

June 13th, 2009, 09:34 AM
Greenwich Street Work Brings Pain

By Matt Dunning (http://www.tribecatrib.com/index.php?option=com_zine&view=author&id=1:)


Current street work occupies two blocks of Greenwich Street, from Canal to Desbrosses Streets. It will eventually continue down to Hubert Street.

The living is not easy for residents and business owners along a portion of Greenwich Street in Tribeca. Noisy, disruptive street work on just two blocks, between Canal and Desbrosses, has been going on for the past five months.

Worse, it is a sign of what’s in store for many others down the road.

The utility upgrade and street repair work, along the five blocks between Canal and Hubert Streets, is part of a two-year project that also includes sections of Leonard and Harrison Streets. In addition, a separate water main replacement is planned next summer for Hudson Street between Hubert and Laight Streets and including work on Hubert, North Moore, Beach and Franklin Streets.

The Greenwich Street project is slated to continue into the summer of next year. Already it is two months behind schedule due to the removal of the contractor, Felix Construction, for “integrity issues,” according to Matthew Monahan, spokesman for the city’s Department of Design and Construction, the agency in charge of the project.

For those living and working near the street work, the disruption seems to be without end.

As early as 6:30 a.m., the sound of iron plates dropping onto the roadway is a harsh prelude to the cacophony of drills, chainsaws and clanging machinery that fills nearby apartments the rest of the day. Utility shutoffs have left apartments and restaurants without water on four separate days—so far—and without gas during two bone-chilling days in February. Nearby parking has all but vanished, as available spots are occupied with construction equipment during off hours and workers’ vehicles during the day.

“Every neighbor, from here down to Hubert Street, is going to go through this exact same story,” said Jim Conley, as the steady sound of a backhoe’s diesel engine roared beneath his window at 130 Watts St. “If they don’t get a better system in place going forward, it’s going to be a whole lot more of what we’re going through.”

One day last month, residents of Conley’s building discovered their basement flooded with more than a foot of water, damaging or ruining the contents of storage lockers there. Jordan Kurzweil, another resident of the building, rattled off a list of damaged or destroyed possessions now residing in a communal heap in the basement hallway.

“Stereo equipment, artwork, mid-century furniture, my high school yearbook, about 1,000 photos,” he said. “My kids’ toys, my CD collection; there was a lot in there.”


Jim Conley stands beside residents’ belongings ruined when their basement lockers were flooded.

Monahan said that a 130-year-old water main had become attached to a slab of underground concrete. As crews contracted by the city were removing the concrete, they accidentally took a piece of the water main with it. He said the city had not determined whether it would take responsibility for the broken pipe and residents are uncertain whether insurance will cover the cleanup.

The basement of a second building, 472 Greenwich Street, was also flooded. Marcy Brafman, the co-op president, said water has been seeping into the basement since the project began. She worries about mold and mildew taking root in the building’s foundation and, like her neighbors, does not know if they will be reimbursed by the city.

“I find it hard to believe that it couldn’t have been avoided or foreseen,” Brafman said. “The city should not be putting us through this. We’re not complainers, but there’s an issue of health and safety here.”

For the past five months, business owners have also contended with dust, debris and shrieking construction equipment. Gary Latawiec, owner of the Spa of Tranquility, said that trying to run a relaxation center near the work site—especially one with “tranquility” in its name—has turned into “a contradiction.” He estimated he has lost more than $45,000 since the project began. After the first few weeks, he stopped asking customers to pay for massages and other services if their sessions were pierced by the racket of jackhammers or chainsaws. When utilities are shut off, his employees cannot give pedicures or facial treatments. Latawiec said his business was hit especially hard during the normally lucrative Tribeca Film Festival.

“People saw all that, they saw the orange fences, and they’d turn around,” he said. “They wouldn’t bother coming up the block.”

“It’s a nightmare,” said Stacey Sosa, owner of Estancia 460, the restaurant next door. “I’m a destination spot, so people come but they see all the barriers and everything, then they decide they’re going to go someplace else.”

On May 21, she and the other business owners on the block were notified that the water would be shut off—for the fourth time—the following day. Her staff would later spend much of the evening filling water jugs and buying bottled water at a nearby grocery in preparation.

“Coupled with the economic downturn,” she said, “it’s another thing I didn’t need.”


July 15th, 2009, 11:06 AM
A couple of years ago, on my last visit to NY, I walked to the WTC site from Broadway via Barclay St, the gleaming spire of the then brand-new 7 WTC always in my upper vision.
It was a street that I had walked a thousand times before, one of the quick ways to the Barclay-Vesey Bldg where I worked for 6 years. I wanted to walk down Greenwich St again and welcome back the stretch of the street that I knew so well from those days.

Trudging to work down these streets in the early '70s, I could bypass all the Trade Center traffic, the construction guys who poured out of the Subway stations and filled the streets for a couple hours in the morning-- and their legion of trucks-- by coming into the area from the north off Thompson and walking maybe eight blocks down W Broadway and over to Greenwich. Piece of cake. It took 25 minutes on foot from my apartment and when I got to work I could look down over the street from my office and watch them put the Trade Center towers together.
Greenwich was still a city street, although it was shut off for 2 blocks and the South terminus was being used for equipment storage. G Street was one of the quick ways to get to Radio Row from The Village, a $2.00 taxicab fare. Suddenly, and seemingly forever, G Street was being trimmed back a couple more blocks from Vessey-- it was more a parking lot/construction yard for the WTC project, etc for it's last two blocks and it was fenced off and forbidden.

In June of '07, after years of being a stranger to the neighborhood, I turned the corner onto Greenwich, silently marveling at the large number of new buildings going in, here and along West St, and I became dismayed. G. Street was THERE alright, but the shiny butt of the faceless 7 WTC was eating up the street, making it look like a taxi turn-around. 7 WTC, while unfriendly and bland along the street is actually a pretty nice looking structure-- when seen from a distance. But it really needs some signs of friendliness at its base.
It's cold, in an industrial sense, and gives the pedestrian that "hurry along" feeling.
There was a brick park, filled with small-leafed skinny trees and a few raised flowerbeds, just east of the building. I sat on one of the metal benches and looked around. Here was Greenwich, ending at Vessey once again.

There was a lot of noise. Dust hung in the air. Trucks moved, metal clanged, things went "whoosh". It was busy with the snail's-pace reconstruction of the New WTC site. I'd seen this before, 40 years ago.

A south view was over the pit and all the action. You can only imagine what the proposed skyscraper garden will look like in 5 years... West, you can see most of BPC visible around #7's metal skin. This was certainly the last time I'll ever have that particular view again--soon,the new tower will block it. East is the stone wall of the Federal Bldg and a pile of construction things, and north, you look up Greenwich St, to leaves and trees and a much broader street, the Village lying a few traffic lights beyond.
I took off, going North, leaving the cold tower and the skinny street behind and walked back to The Village in twentyfive minutes. A few lights up, I turned and looked back, and Greenwich Street seemed to disappear around the shiny metal butt of the 7 WTC.
It was there, but it wasn't...

Sometimes, when I'd leave work and it was a nice day, I'd turn left and follow Greenwich back to my apartment in The Village, looking over my shoulder at the rising skeletons of the Trade Center towers. It was a nice day, so that's what I did again, then I walked back to my old home. It seemed like a much longer walk than I remembered.

I never thought that part of the street would just vanish.
I left my job before the Original Number Seven was built and hardly ever went down there again. Then I moved from NY, and In those pre-internet days it was really hard to get up-to-date information on what was going on in NY.
When, on one of my visits in the mid '90s, I saw the reddish bulk of the previous #7 WTC built RIGHT OVER where Greenwich terminated, I realized that the street was GONE!
I was bemused. I had to walk around the new tower of Old #7 to see where Greenwich St ended--or began, if you think like that. It was still there, it's leafy provenance going Uptown. It just sort of...ended, right at the Red Wall of #7.

Anyway, I'm glad it is back, even in a slimmed-down condition.

July 15th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Hof, I lived on Bleecker Street about the time you describe, and I would occasionally take your route downtown.

I always felt I was passing through Hopper's world.

August 8th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Old-World Craftsmen Pave
A Newly Reconstructed Tribeca Street

By Gregory Beyer

It seems fitting that the technology for laying cobblestones, which until 1938 were the primary surface on the city’s streets, is a bit old-fashioned. One of its most important tools is a piece of string.

Since the beginning of last month, three men have been using a single string, pulled tight across the width of Leonard Street, to guide them as they lay each row of granite cobblestones, inching their way eastward to West Broadway.

The roadwork is the final phase of reconstruction of the street and the utilities lines beneath it, part of a city project that includes Greenwich and Harrison Streets as well.

Anthony Alexander, the construction foreman, whose hair hung in long dreadlocks from beneath his green hard hat, estimated that it took three men laying stones to complete 500 square feet each day. A week and a half into the job, the crew was almost halfway between Hudson Street and West Broadway.

“This is a lot stronger than asphalt,” Alexander said of the granite stones. “But it’s a hell of a lot more work. With asphalt, we’d have this paved in one day.”

After a truck poured the cement, the workers eased each stone into place and then laid a two-by-four across adjacent stones as a level. Others crouched along the edges, smoothing the mortar with flat, rectangular tools known as grouting floats. Workers, wearing hard hats and reflector vests, chipped away with sledgehammers at the stones to fill irregular spaces in the street, while others dumped bags of cement and shoveled sand into a portable cement mixer for the next batch of mortar.

Men carefully lay row after row of granite cobble stones on Leonard Street.

A worker uses a string, or "mason's line," to set
the stones in a straight line across the width of the street.

It is repetitive and draining work. The men kneel or crouch during much of their 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shifts.

“It’s the same thing every day,” said Antonio Paiva, a 38-year-old crew member. “You go one by one.”
Paiva and his co-worker, Alex Lopes, 32, both emigrated to the U.S. from Portugal in the 1990s, where they laid cobblestones on streets and sidewalks, occasionally incorporating designs and patterns. Both live in Newark with their families.

“It’s physical work, but when you look back at the end of a job, it looks good,” said Lopes.

Tony Rivas, 36, came to the United States from El Salvador in 1989, and lives with his wife and three children in Franklin Square, Long Island. He said that compared to other street work, he liked laying cobblestones.

“When you’re digging in a hole, it’s different, because you don’t see what you’re working on. But when you do something like this...almost everybody who passes by is like, ‘Wow, what a beautiful job.’”

Indeed, throughout the day, onlookers peered, sometimes spellbound, over the orange netting and police barricades. The indisputable charm of cobblestones had yielded an anomaly: a piece of performance art whose effects would long outlast its presentation.

Copyright © 2009 The Tribeca

Greenwich St, south of Canal.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/4493/greenwichst20c.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=greenwichst20c.jpg) http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/8760/greenwichst21c.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=greenwichst21c.jpg) http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/780/greenwichst22c.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=greenwichst22c.jpg)

August 8th, 2009, 10:45 PM
Greenwich Street, south of Canal where they've been doing water main replacement and other work, is also getting new Belgian Block paving across the entire stretch. Looks great.

The problem comes when other infrastructure work needs to be done beneath the street. You can see it all over SoHo: They bring in the big saw, cut straight through the blocks and then, after the work is done, workers try to lay them back in correctly, but inevitably the sub-surface isn't as carefully prepared so we end up with a stripe of mis-aligned / mis-connected blocks running the length of the street.

June 30th, 2010, 09:28 AM
As utility work heads toward Hubert St, paving stones follow.

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/2686/greenwichst01c.th.jpg (http://img706.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst01c.jpg/) http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/6069/greenwichst02c.th.jpg (http://img717.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst02c.jpg/)

July 30th, 2010, 11:38 AM
Cobble stones really make a difference. Wish they'd do all the streets here.

http://a.imageshack.us/img261/8167/greenwichst01.th.jpg (http://img261.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst01.jpg/) http://a.imageshack.us/img824/8485/greenwichst02.th.jpg (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst02.jpg/) http://a.imageshack.us/img441/1830/greenwichst03.th.jpg (http://img441.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst03.jpg/)

Marked up already.

The orange markings highlight gas main shut-off valve locations. They're new, so I don't think they'll be digging soon. Maybe mapping, but you'd think that would already be on schematic drawings.
http://a.imageshack.us/img830/6904/greenwichst04.th.jpg (http://img830.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst04.jpg/)

This blue line at Canal St is more ominous.
http://a.imageshack.us/img824/4489/greenwichst05.th.jpg (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/greenwichst05.jpg/)

July 30th, 2010, 12:41 PM
The streets there look great, they've taken great care to create proper edge patterns and delineations at the intersections -- check it out now before they start ripping up the blocks. Seems that DOT doesn't coordinate with Con Ed and others who need to get underneath, and the utility workers often just saw cut a straight line right through the blocks and then don't align them properly when the work is done and they close up their digs + cuts.

October 11th, 2010, 12:19 PM
^That can't happen soon enough.

Has anyone been inside the BONY building? The atrium looks interesting.


October 11th, 2010, 01:34 PM
I've come to the conclusion that when any utility digs up the road on a particular block (street or avenue), they should be required to repave the entire block. In this case they'd have to relay the cobblestones propery.

BTW, while I admit the cobble stones look great, their terrible to walk, ride a bike, or drive on.

The streets there look great, they've taken great care to create proper edge patterns and delineations at the intersections -- check it out now before they start ripping up the blocks. Seems that DOT doesn't coordinate with Con Ed and others who need to get underneath, and the utility workers often just saw cut a straight line right through the blocks and then don't align them properly when the work is done and they close up their digs + cuts.

October 11th, 2010, 07:17 PM
A lot of the gals down there really dislike them.

October 11th, 2010, 07:26 PM
I've seen brick pavers used on some crosswalks of cobblestone streets.

October 17th, 2010, 11:38 PM
I always liked the umbrellas. Especially the one out front in the plaza which I thought was a very creative -- and practical -- use of a company logo. I hope Citi somehow fills the void in the plaza area with something nice.

As long as it doesn't disturb people who pass by, I don't think of such any reason to destroy the Giant Umbrella (http://www.giantumbrellacompany.com/index.htm). Though I haven't seen it personally, I still find it cute. I just love the color. If it gives a shade to people during sunny days and a moment of protection during rainy days, why destroy it? But anyway, if they think it would be the best choice.. then go for it.

October 17th, 2010, 11:53 PM
The umbrella is gone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/388_Greenwich_Street#A_Tale_of_Two_Citigroup_Umbre llas). They took it away after Travelers split from Citigroup.

July 19th, 2012, 06:31 AM
Sundered Greenwich Street Will Be Rejoined


Jack Resnick & Sons rechristened its 14-story office tower in the financial district this past weekend, giving it the new name 255 Greenwich Street. The building, which is home to several New York City agencies including the Office of Management and Budget, had been known as 75 Park Place since it opened in 1987.

The renaming is the latest move by landlords and developers to take advantage of a repositioning of Greenwich Street, which is poised to become a main thoroughfare running through the World Trade Center site when a long-closed stretch finally reopens next year.

The new address “takes advantage of all that Greenwich Street will become over the next two to three years,” said Dennis P. Brady, executive managing director of leasing for Jack Resnick & Sons. “We have already ordered the new signage, the new lobby mats and the doorman outfits,” he added. The Manhattan borough president’s office, whose approval is required for numeric address changes, recently gave its assent.

Greenwich Street, which runs from Battery Park to Gansevoort Street, one block east of the High Line, was once the main thoroughfare between Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village. But its luster began to fade when, in the 1860s, it became the downtown route of the Ninth Avenue elevated train, ushering in an era of crime, brothels and boardinghouses. The construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in 1950 further diminished the importance of Greenwich Street, and in 1973 it was dealt a mortal blow with the opening of the World Trade Center superblock, which sliced the once-significant north-south artery in two.

In recent years, addresses north of the trade center seemed to fare better than those to its south.

Now, however, city officials and real estate insiders hope the entire street will soon get a new lease on life. Next year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expects to reopen the road between Liberty Street and Dey Street, in front of World Trade Center Towers 3 and 4. It expects to open the remainder of Greenwich Street, which runs in front of Tower 2 and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, by 2016. The Towers will all carry Greenwich Street addresses, including the newly topped-off Tower 4 at 150 Greenwich Street.

With the opening up of Greenwich Street and the completion of the World Trade Center within sight, a number of developers are hoping to leverage the roadway’s newfound cachet. In addition to the newly named 255 Greenwich Street, several hotel and residential projects are in the works, including a hotel at 133 Greenwich Street and a retail and hotel development at the former American Stock Exchange building at 123 Greenwich Street.

“Greenwich Street is fast becoming the key north-south corridor it was for hundreds of years,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, the president of the Alliance For Downtown New York, a nonprofit organization that manages the area’s business improvement district. “It will knit the World Trade Center into the rest of Lower Manhattan,” she said, adding, “I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we start calling the towers by their Greenwich Street address.” Tower 3 will have the numeric address 175 Greenwich Street and Tower 2 will be 200 Greenwich Street.

“Greenwich Street south of the World Trade Center has always been a bit of a weird market, a bit sleepy and solitary,” said Ariel Schuster, a broker at the retail brokerage firm, RKF. “Opening the street will help its long-term rejuvenation and give it more of the energy that it enjoys in TriBeCa and north of the Trade Center.”

According to retail brokers, rents along Greenwich Street north of the World Trade Center are roughly $150 to $200 a square foot, while rents south of the development are $85 to $150 a square foot.

“It is literally as if a new city is being built around Greenwich Street,” said Abraham Hidary, the president of Hidrock Realty. The developer joined with Robert Finvarb Companies in April to acquire 133 Greenwich Street for $27.9 million. The developers are re-envisioning the vacant lot as a hotel with as many as 320 rooms and 5,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

“It will be a select service hotel, but we are still in the planning stages and working with the architects and engineers,” said Mr. Hidary, who said he hoped to break ground by year-end on the $100 million development and open in 2015.

At 123 Greenwich Street, the site of the former American Stock Exchange, Michael Steinhardt and Allan H. Fried are also betting on the area’s continued improvement. The building will include 100,000 square feet of retail space and a 174-key hotel. The two men also acquired the property next door, at 22 Thames Street at the corner of Greenwich Street, where they are planning a 300,000-square-foot ground-up residential project. “We have yet to decide if it will be rental or condominium, it will depend on the market at the time,” said Mr. Fried, who said they hoped to complete both projects in two to three years.

“There is a huge hotel subdistrict that is emerging along Greenwich Street and Washington Streets,” said Ms. Berger of the Alliance for Downtown New York, including the world’s tallest Holiday Inn at 99 Washington Street, which is slated to have 350 rooms and be nearly 448 feet high; a 190-room Four Seasons at 99 Church Street; and a 90-room as yet unnamed hotel at 87 Chambers Street. “This area is seeing an intense mix of uses — commercial, residential and tourist-oriented,” she added.

And while there will be increased competition for tourists among the many new hotels in the works, there are now only 1,583 rooms in the immediate area, according to the alliance, “so even with a number of new hotels, even if you double the inventory, it won’t be enough to handle the increased demand,” said Mr. Hidary. Five million visitors are expected to visit the World Trade Center annually, and thousands more office workers are expected in the area when the office towers open.

As for 255 Greenwich Street, where the city recently renewed a long-term lease for more than 200,000 square feet, Jack Resnick & Sons is hoping the new address will help spur interest in a large block of retail real estate it has begun to market. The corner retail space could include as much as 17,000 square feet of frontage onto Greenwich and Murray Streets as well as an additional 50,000 square feet below grade.

“It is a beautiful space with 20-foot ceilings and would be perfect for a big-box retailer,” Mr. Brady said. The tenants that occupy the space include the communications company RR Donnelley, which once kept printing equipment in the basement. “Big retailers make their plans two to three years in advance, so our timing is spot on,” he said, adding that while the plans could be accelerated, their timeline was to have the retail ready for a new tenant in 2015.

“Greenwich Street is going to be a major artery for downtown, and we are considering it a whole new world with our building right in the middle of it all,” said Jonathan Resnick, the company’s president.


July 19th, 2012, 07:56 AM

July 19th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Best case scenario. At which point, you will still need an NYPD body cavity search to traverse the four block stretch of this "restored" street from Vesey to Liberty.

July 19th, 2012, 06:11 PM

I'll wait.

October 7th, 2013, 05:27 PM
I posted this here because maybe with another tenant, there might be some movement to get rid of the 45° parking, and reduce the street width.

Fairway Market signed a lease to occupy space in 255 Greenwich St, AKA 75 Park Pl, but Greenwich has more cachet now.

Fairway Inks Deal for Tribeca Spot (http://www.downtownexpress.com/2013/09/30/fairway-inks-deal-for-tribeca-spot/)

Street view (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=255+greenwich+st,new+york,ny&ll=40.714288,-74.011422&spn=0.000247,0.00056&hnear=255+Greenwich+St,+New+York,+10007&t=h&z=21&layer=c&cbll=40.714235,-74.011564&panoid=FsN5ydP6qVwveVm_k6Dryw&cbp=12,28.93,,0,2.48)


Edit: Read the article after posting. If anyone is wondering how to cram a food market into 2242 sq ft, it's an error. Should be 52,242. 12,000 at street level and the rest in the basement. Lease is for 20 years.

December 20th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Citigroup is moving to the two-building complex on Greenwich at North Moore <> Hubert, with possible plans to re-skin it with glass (not such a good idea for the tower at 388 Greenwich, but the hulking mass along Hubert at 390 needs all the help it can get) ...

388 - 390 Greenwich Street: Google MAP (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=388+greenwich+street&ll=40.720624,-74.010623&spn=0.00696,0.009624&client=safari&oe=UTF-8&fb=1&gl=us&hq=388+Greenwich+Street+New+York+NY&cid=1787325931139512412&t=h&z=17)

In $1B deal, Citi moves HQ downtown

The move from the Park Avenue to Greenwich Street properties owned by SL Green
shows the growing allure of lower Manhattan and the financial giant's shrinking footprint in the city.

CRAIN'S NY (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20131219/REAL_ESTATE/131219836)
December 19, 2013

Financial services giant Citigroup signed a deal Thursday morning to relocate its global headquarters to lower Manhattan.

The move will shift the bank’s center of power from 399 Park Ave., where it has been based for decades, to Greenwich Street, where Citi signed a more than $1 billion deal to renew its lease and gut-renovate a twin-building complex that it already occupies, 388 and 390 Greenwich St.

In the deal, Citi has the option to extend its 2.7 million-square-foot lease by at least 15 years at the two properties when it expires in 2020 or exercise a right to acquire the buildings for around $2 billion. Citi had previously owned the complex but sold the buildings to a partnership between SL Green and Ivanhoe Cambridge in 2007 for nearly $1.6 billion.

Citi is expected to undertake a sweeping renovation of the two properties, which were built in the 1990s, including a makeover of the interior spaces and possibly a remake of the exterior with a new skin of glass.

The deal is a major victory for landlord SL Green, which had competed for months to hold onto Citi as a tenant. Combined, 388 and 390 Greenwich St. is the largest single property that SL Green, one of the city’s biggest commercial landlords, owns. A major corporate vacancy would likely have been difficult and costly to fill.

Citi had considered several locations in its search for space, including Hudson Yards and the World Trade Center site, where it had contemplated anchoring a new skyscraper. It turned away from that plan because it was too expensive sources say.

Citi was represented in the deal by a leasing team from CBRE Group Inc. and by a legal team from the law firm Fried Frank.

December 20th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Any ideas who will move into the old Citi building?

December 21st, 2013, 12:49 PM
Law firms, private equity firms, etc. Doubt it will be a single large tenant.

December 21st, 2013, 05:05 PM
Any ideas who will move into the old Citi building?

Hopefully, it will be razed if the rezoning occurs.