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Thread: Endangered NYC - Lost & Threatened Treasures

  1. #256
    Senior Member
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    I agree about converting the Women's prison. Boston's old jailhouse was recently and successfully converted into a hotel:


    The old NY Tombs was an imposing building as well:

  2. #257

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    Wow, looking at that old photo of the prison really seem like this area has in fact de-urbanized over time. It seemed much, much denser back then, and maybe even significantly more lively.

  3. #258
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    I actually meant to put this post in this thread.

    Oh well, it's relevant in both.

  4. #259
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    That's great stuff.

  5. #260
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    I wonder what's happening at 201 E. 57th St...a gorgeous old building (1874!)on the corner of 57th and 3rd whose businesses have been cleared out. The air rights were sold to the new tower next door, so I thought it was safe.
    I've always admired it every time I walk by. I'll get pictures.
    Here's an interesting article about it:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...639C8B63&fta=y

  6. #261
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Have they taken down the big red plastic "LIBERTY TRAVEL" sign yet?

    From the same NY Times article, 201 East 57th Street:



    An old shot of the site from bridgeandtunnelclub.com:


  7. #262

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    What a shame. This is quite sad. The building on the Northeast corner of 57th and Lex are crap, as are many other buildings in that area, yet these schmucks choose to raze this? NY is a city ruled by swine.

  8. #263
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    What makes you think it's being razed?

  9. #264
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    Yes, all signs have been removed. The upper units all appear empty as well.

  10. #265

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    What makes you think it's being razed?
    Midtown Guy's description.

    Do you think that it's simply being gutted? I hope so.

  11. #266
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    It seems the air rights for the nice old corner property were sold off, so I doubt they can go any bigger there. Wouldn't make much sense to tear it down.

    But, as we all know too well, in NYC "sense" has little to do with how things proceed.

  12. #267

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    DOB brings up nothing.

    I read something about this one recently, I just don't know what...

  13. #268

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    It seems the air rights for the nice old corner property were sold off, so I doubt they can go any bigger there. Wouldn't make much sense to tear it down.

    But, as we all know too well, in NYC "sense" has little to do with how things proceed.
    That's reassuring. That building is beautiful. The 50's one north of it on 3rd is really nice too. It would be nice if the owners cleaned the white brick though.

  14. #269
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    I hope they're not going to tear #201 down to replace it with one of those short all-glass structures that have gone up on similar corners around town.

  15. #270

    Default The old Army Building at 39 Whitehall Street

    Streetscapes | 39 Whitehall Street

    Look Familiar, Men? Maybe You Were There

    Konrad Fiedler for The New York Times
    REDEPLOYED The old Army Building at 39 Whitehall Street, below, is temporarily shedding a bit of its modern glass skin, left, exposing the original granite on the ground floor.

    By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
    Published: May 7, 2009

    IN the 1980s, the old Army Building, at 39 Whitehall Street, disappeared under a glass skin as the building was enlarged. But the architectural peeping Tom may now find furtive pleasure in visiting the site, because several panels have been removed, exposing the original chunky masonry for the first time in two decades.

    Konrad Fiedler for The New York Times

    New York Historical Society
    U.S. Army Building, 39 Whitehall Street, ca. 1887.

    Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
    An antiwar protest at the entrance in 1966.

    The Department of the Army began work on a new structure on the near-square block bounded by Whitehall, Pearl, Water and Moore Streets in 1886. Stephen D. Hatch designed a near-fortress, eight stories of red granite, sandstone and red brick. The ground floor was marked by slit windows, as if to fend off mobs.

    When Mr. Hatch’s homely exterior was finished by the fall of 1887, an anonymous critic for The Real Estate Record and Guide lambasted the government’s efforts. The front was described as “vulgar and offensive”; a particular insult was the decorative granite panel over the entranceway, carved with a cannon, a mortar, a chain-mail shirt, cannonballs and a spear.

    The critic said with evident sarcasm that the display would no doubt “strike terror into the heart of the Anarchist” even though no better executed than “a boy operating upon snow or plastic mud.”

    Inside the new Army Building were offices for the payroll, medical, engineering, recruiting and other departments. In 1911, the War Department staged a display and sale there of the last coats made of buffalo hide. The New York Times reported that there were more than 4,000, made during “the old days when the Army was warring with the fierce tribes of the Northwest.”

    In 1917, during World War I, a man in an officer’s uniform identifying himself as “Lieutenant Krohnengold” came into 39 Whitehall and saluted soldiers on duty — with his left hand. Arrested, he told The Times, “I did it to stimulate recruiting.”

    On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, 39 Whitehall was flooded with men wanting to sign up. The Times interviewed a lieutenant in the Fire Department who refused to give his name but said the country had been good to him and nothing he could sacrifice in return would be enough.

    The Vietnam War generated different impulses, and in the 1960s protests often focused on the Army Building. In 1967, Dr. Benjamin Spock and the poet Allen Ginsberg were arrested in an antiwar protest outside, along with 262 others.

    Many young men received their Army physicals at 39 Whitehall. It was a democracy of underwear, and lines and lines of draft-age men snaking through an interior of pea green paint, each one at some point being instructed, “Turn your head and cough.”

    The process was strangely silent, although on one occasion a draftee’s unusual tattoo provoked a sergeant to exclaim, “Oh, boy, that’s out!” Its four-letter word was considered disqualifying for combat.

    In 1967, Arlo Guthrie described the Army Building in his song “Alice’s Restaurant” as the place where you got “injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected.” Except that, as the lyrics explain, Mr. Guthrie was not selected: "Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send your fingerprints off to Washington.”

    In 1968 and 1969, terrorists set off bombs at the building, although in 1972 The Times observed that the damage had been superficial. That was the year the Army retreated from its obsolete fortress to new offices on Varick Street.

    In 1978, Fraydun Manocherian, a member of a family notable for renovation projects in an era of new construction, bought 39 Whitehall and planned to cover the 1887 facade with a glass skin, extending the building to 17 stories, with a health club on the lower floors and offices above.

    Construction had not started by the summer of 1983, when the Landmarks Preservation Commission proposed the Army Building for landmark status, with a hearing scheduled in November. But the renovation project went ahead at the same time, and by October the Landmarks Commission found the building fatally altered.

    In an e-mail message, Mr. Manocherian said he had discovered that, years after the first blast, much of the facade had been irreparably damaged.

    Now the Manocherian family is converting the office portion into rental apartments, and parts of the glass facade are being replaced. But at the moment, only a few panels are being changed at a time, and several of Mr. Hatch’s small half-round windows on the second floor are visible on the Water Street side.

    The Nosy Parker who is curious to see other parts of Mr. Hatch’s “vulgar and offensive” work now has a rare opportunity.

    Half a dozen panels at the ground floor level are also off, exposing the granite base, and even a slit window or two. The added glass wall is thrust out from the original facade by about a foot, and, with a strong flashlight or a camera flash, it is possible to see up two or perhaps three stories, at a building that has, truly, been through the wars.

    E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/re...ref=realestate

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

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