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  1. #16


    ^ Yeah, but they don't need full-size wire-frame models to know the difference between a project that's Ok and one that isn't. This is imperial government.

    Also, who says that nothing visible can enhance a view? There isn't a man-made vista that can't be improved; perfection eludes mankind.

    What can you really tell from this extravagant demand made by the powers-that-be. I'm supposed to be professionally equipped to extract information from incomplete documentation, but this tells me less than drawings.

    I could have told you in advance from drawings that the example you posted would be a piece of shit. And a wire-frame would have contributed not a whit to my ability to predict that. Now imagine that addition with appropriate detailing and ornamentation. Not so bad, huh?

    It has nothing to do with massing.

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    One problem has been that in certain projects (an example: the Kaufman fiasco on Pearl Street) architects / developers say they plan to do one thing and then after it's built it is found to be another thing entirely.

    So how do you watch out for that kind of BS?

    On a happier note, more on the approved proposal for the parking lot to the south of this site HERE

  3. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    One problem has been that in certain projects developers say they plan to do one thing and then after it's built it is found to be another thing entirely.

    So how do you watch out for that kind of BS?
    Well, wire-frames don't address this problem. If the developer is criminally-inclined he'll build something else anyway. If he does that, put him in jail like anyone else who breaks the law. Do that, and the problem will vanish overnight.

  4. #19


    Dean DeLuca's expensive, but you take your food home in nice bags....

  5. #20

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    495 Broadway / NEW ERA BUILDING (just north of Broome) newly restored (scaffolding came down today) ...

    How she looked pre-restoration ...

  7. #22


    I love all these pictures, they really capture the essence of the city.

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Coming soon to SoHo, a couple of doors to the north of the New Era Building at 76 Mercer Street ...

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
    Branches Out to New York

    August 14, 2008

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is coming to New York City.

    On a blocked-off street in SoHo on Wednesday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood with Billy Joel, the veteran music executive Clive Davis and officials from the hall, to announce that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which opened its flagship building in Cleveland in 1995, would open a New York annex in November.

    “This is where Ed Sullivan met the Beatles, where Lou Reed took a walk on the wild side,” the mayor said.

    Artifacts that will be on view at the annex flanked the mayor’s podium. On either side were guitars owned by Johnny Ramone and Eric Clapton, behind them was a phone booth from CBGB, and a few feet away stood Bruce Springsteen’s first car, a banana-yellow 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.

    The 25,000-square-foot annex, at 76 Mercer Street, will be the museum’s first expansion outside Cleveland and will include exhibitions on Hall of Fame inductees and on the history of rock in New York. It will also house temporary and traveling exhibitions from the Cleveland headquarters, museum officials said.

    Seth Wenig/Associated Press
    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in an item that will be on view at
    the Hall of Fame annex: Bruce Springsteen’s 1957 Chevy.

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was founded in 1983 by a group of music industry executives, and since 1986 most annual induction ceremonies have been at the Waldorf-Astoria, but the museum has never had a physical presence in New York.

    About half a million people visit the Cleveland building each year, the museum said. Its president, Terry Stewart, said the annex was part of a strategy to increase its visibility over all and drive tourist traffic to Cleveland.

    “The ability to establish these outposts in other cities,” Mr. Stewart said, “allows us to join the ranks of other famous not-for-profit institutions and museums like New York’s Guggenheim, the U.K.’s Tate and the Louvre out of Paris.”

    The speakers celebrated New York’s contributions to rock history, reminiscing about concerts in historic clubs and theaters, many of them — like CBGB, the Bottom Line and Max’s Kansas City — no longer in existence.

    Mr. Joel, who last month played the final two concerts at Shea Stadium, said that he had planned to donate the Mets jersey he had been given at those concerts but “that jersey is in a road case on its way to Hong Kong.” Instead, he brought a baseball bat given to him by David Wright of the Mets and a plaque celebrating Mr. Joel’s 12 sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in 2006.

    “New York gave me my words and my music,” Mr. Joel said, “and rock ’n’ roll gave me a place for that music to live.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  9. #24
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in SoHo

    Mayor Bloomberg's PRESS RELEASE

  10. #25
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex to Open in New York City

    Cleveland, OH- This fall, New York City’s love of music will hit a high note. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open a 25,000 square foot ANNEX location in the heart of Soho at 76 Mercer Street. This experiential, technologically advanced exhibition will focus on the greatest moments in rock history and will resonate with everyone from the casual music fan to the seasoned rock enthusiast.

    The Annex will take visitors beyond the typical museum experience, and engage people in a dynamic and immersive music journey that recalls some of the defining moments in rock and roll history through the artists that changed our world. Visitors will discover the moments ignited by music revolutionaries like John Lennon, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. The exhibits will highlight rock and roll’s impact on music, allowing visitors to discover, or rediscover, their connection to it all.

    “New York City has a longstanding reputation as the land of opportunity for aspiring artist and musicians, and as a result some of the most internationally-celebrated musical performers of this Century have had their start right here on our streets,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “It’s only fitting that the role our City has played in launching the careers of so many of the world’s most talented artists be recognized and honored with the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex.”

    The Annex will showcase selected artifacts from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast collection. The Annex will also extend the Museum’s mission to honor key cities that have helped shape the history of rock and roll.

    “Establishing outposts like these is becoming a strategy of other major institutions,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Terry Stewart, citing the Guggenheim Museum of New York, Britain’s Tate Modern and the Louvre in Paris as examples. “These projects allow museums to extend their reach, but also provide space to travel exhibits and allow curators to display some of our priceless artifacts for the first time outside of Cleveland.”

    The iconic Museum in Cleveland, designed by I.M. Pei, is the centerpiece and starting point for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s telling of the story of rock and roll. The 150,000 square-foot facility celebrates the history and impact of rock music with exhibits, films, interactive kiosks, education programs and public events.

    “Rock and roll is embedded in the history of our times and has changed the world around us,” said co-founder of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and editor and publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine Jann Wenner. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and now its extension, the Annex, help us to illustrate in a tangible way music’s impact on the cultural, social and political history of the modern era.”

    The experience begins as soon as visitors enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex.

    -- Hall of Fame: This initial area pays tribute to each and every artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and introduces, ignites and primes the audience.

    -- Immersive Theater: An engaging and dynamic movie experience that uses immersive audio and visual technology to highlight some of the most explosive performance moments in rock history including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Who and Patti Smith.

    From this point on, visitors will receive a set of high-quality PX200 Sennheiser stereo headphones and a state-of-the-art wireless audio system. As visitors walk freely around the exhibit, they will hear only relevant music specific to the gallery zones they are experiencing.

    -- Roots & Influences: A visual and musical discovery of how yesterday’s music legends have influenced the chart-toppers at the forefront of today’s music scene; bringing to life musical timelines of genres such as R&B, Hip Hop and Blues Rock. Hear how the best selling albums of 50 Cent and Notorious B.I.G. have been shaped by the genius of James Brown, and how Velvet Underground has guided Coldplay’s expressive style.

    -- Moments to Movements: This area within the Annex will take visitors on a journey of the musical moments that created and defined powerful movements, and showcases many exciting and rare rock items. Examples include a white Vox electric guitar from The Beatles that has never been showcased elsewhere, the necklace Jimi Hendrix wore at Monterey Pop Festival in one of the most notable live performances ever, and the handwritten lyrics to ‘U.S. Blues’ by The Grateful Dead. An electrifying soundtrack brings these items to life throughout this gallery.

    -- New York Rocks: As an ongoing homage to a city that has been so integral in music history, the Annex will have a permanent “New York Rocks” exhibition that will include an oversized interactive map to highlight key locations around Manhattan that have musical significance, including Studio 54 and The Chelsea Hotel. The gallery also includes the notebook in which Billy Joel wrote all the lyrics for “The Stranger” album, the ‘Big Suit’ worn onstage by David Byrne in Talking Heads, and many of the physical elements, including the front awning and cash register, from the recently closed CBGB, the infamous club that is so entrenched in New York rock history.

    -- Cleveland Rocks: The Annex will include special exhibits and displays that give visitors a taste of the larger experience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. These exhibits will showcase elements of the Cleveland Museum’s collection and engage in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame experience via visitation, membership, online participation and/or philanthropic support.

    -- Other highlights throughout include an untitled, handwritten poem by Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley’s motorcycle jacket, Michael Jackson’s velvet jacket from “We Are The World”, John Lennon’s Record Plant Piano, Bruce Springsteen’s 1957 Chevy and much, much more.

    About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC is proudly sponsored by Best Buy, Diesel for Bloomingdales, Citi and Gibson. Additional supporting partners include Sony, Sennheiser, Klein + Hummel, Kohler and Brocade Home.

    The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ANNEX NYC will open in November at 76 Mercer Street in Soho. Advance tickets will be available through in October.

    NOTE: Admission to the Annex will be a whopping $26.00 !!!!!

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    76 Mercer is within the grand old 5-story Cast Iron and brick building at 503 - 511 Broaday aka 74 - 82 Mercer Street.

    An Old Navy takes up the Broadway side (503 Broadway).

    There's a NYSC gym upstairs.

    According to DOB the CELLAR is being renovated for a MUSEUM (Permit Issued 8.04.08); they've been clearing it out for months (formerly it housed a rag trade wholesale business):
    The architect of record: VICTORIA BENATAR ARCHITECT PLLC

  12. #27


    Soho Activists Sore Over Apple Store Mania

    by Chris Shott | August 20, 2008

    aharon rothschild/metro

    Metro today reports on residents' backlash against the ever-popular Apple Store on Prince and Greene Streets:
    “We’ve been suffering ever since they moved in [six years ago],” said Sean Sweeney, director of the SoHo Alliance and Greene Street resident, who ticked off a litany of complaints ranging from noise from steam cleaning the façade in the middle of the night or from the HVAC equipment on the roof to the hordes of people who line up for new gadgets — and allegedly leave behind heaps of trash.
    The final straw — which prompted Sweeney to fire off a letter this week to elected officials — was last Tuesday’s Jonas Brothers concert held at the store, attracting thousands of screaming tweeners for several hours to Sweeney’s block “like it was Shea Stadium and the Beatles.”

    Read Mr. Sweeney's full letter after the jump.

    MBPO and elected officials, Apple SoHo management, SoHo Residents and Businesses

    Dear Manhattan Borough President Stringer,
    The residents and businesses of SoHo desperately need your help regarding constant problems we have with Apple SoHo. I contacted Shaan Khan, your Director of Community Affairs, and he has agreed to facilitate a meeting between the surrounding high-end stores owners, local residents and Apple SoHo representatives and other elected officials to find a solution to these problems.

    Since the Apple SoHo store moved in six years ago, it has become the worst neighbor in SoHo. No bar, nightclub or construction site comes close to ruining continually our quality-of-life like Apple SoHo has. This is very disappointing since the many Mac users in SoHo initially welcomed the store.

    Even before the store opened, the SoHo Alliance was receiving construction complaints from residents and businesses, and there have been over a dozen complaints filed with the Department of Buildings since then.

    However, the final straw occurred last Tuesday, August 12th with an in-store performance by the Jonas Brothers, who recorded "Jonas Brothers Live" for Apple's i-Tunes. This concert attracted thousands of young teenage girls who SCREAMED INCESSANTLY on the street for hours for their idols, blocking traffic, injuring one resident in the crush, and inconveniencing scores of other people and businesses;

    This concert for the Jonas Brothers was like the Beatles at Shea Stadium. The screaming was that loud. However, residential Greene Street is not Shea Stadium.

    To see what a mob scene this was, visit:

    A commenter on that blog writes:
    I waited 17 hours in line, to be mobbed by millions of girls.
    We left crying because my friend couldn't breathe and had a panic attack.
    The whole thing was stupid and disorganized.

    To get an idea of the screaming, check out:
    Now please imagine this on the public street, constantly, for hours and hours when people are trying to work, rest or relax!

    Another blogger notes the 'huge, insane, loud' line of screamers:
    These regular music performances by Apple may violate the Zoning Resolution, the Certificate of Occupancy, and the Public-Assembly-permit requirement (they have no P.A.). There is a 68-seat theater on the mezzanine level, but I could find no C of O permitting such a use on the
    NYC Department of Buildings website. However, USA Today reported ( ) that 450 people 'mobbed' inside the store (not to mention the hundreds and hundreds left outside all day screaming and blocking pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the street). This is clearly a Pubic Assembly violation as well as a fire-safety hazard.
    Perhaps a call to the FDNY during the next concert, bringing it to an end mid-performance, is in order. Nor would Apple welcome a lawsuit if one of these young girls were struck by a car while blocking vehicular traffic.

    However, there are many other examples of irresponsible corporate behavior by Apple SoHo:
    - construction occurring after midnight on the public sidewalk with loud power machinery several times in 2006;
    - illegal night-time construction without a permit, keeping neighbors awake in 2002, 2006 and 2007; (see the numerous DOB complaints: 985 )
    - lies to me and the Manhattan Borough President's Office by the manager, Paul Fradin, that Apple SoHo had night permits for this work when in fact it didn't;

    - crowds for Apple SoHo on a regular basis that necessitate police barricades, adding to pedestrian crowding, preventing access to high-end businesses on Greene Street and subsequent diminution of income, as well as restricting residents access to their homes;

    - subsequent litter left by these crowds who often number in the hundreds, and who line up and even camp out overnight on public sidewalks, giving SoHo the appearance of a homeless encampment;

    - Apple employees during their breaks lounging, eating, smoking, littering - in effect, trespassing - on nearby people's stoops;

    - a newly installed HVAC unit with little or no sound mitigation or baffling with very loud noise emanating into residences. Possibly you can see if an inspector from the Department of Environmental Protection can do a sound-meter reading, since the new Noise Law severely restricts noise coming into people's homes.

    - flood lights on the roof often kept on all night, glaring into people's homes;

    - etc, etc.

    Everyone in the vicinity of Apple SoHo has been contacting me for a solution. We need assistance to curb this egregious corporate behavior. It is gratifying that your office is willing to initiate a facilitation of these problems.

    Thanks for your office's offer, looking forward to working to alleviate these problems.

    Sean Sweeney, Director
    SoHo Alliance
    Martin Connor, NYS Senate
    Deborah Glick, NYS Assembly
    Shaan Kahn, Office of the Manhattan Borough President
    Brad Hoylman, Chair, CB #2, Manhattan
    Bob Gormley, District Manager, CB #2, Manhattan
    David Gruber, Chair, Business and Institutions Committee, CB #2, Manhattan
    Arthur Kriemelman, president, SoHo Alliance
    Robert Riccobono, president, 150 Greene Street Corp.

    Sean Sweeney, Director
    SoHo Alliance

    © 2008 Observer Media Group,

  13. #28
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Just wait until the R 'n' R Museum opens around the corner and a couple of blocks down -- on a stretch of Mercer that has been quiet for years.

  14. #29


    A Clothing Shop Moves Up, and a Dance Company Must Move Out

    Published: October 6, 2008

    They are two classic New York stories.

    Josh Haner/The New York Times
    Above, 552 Broadway, between Prince and Spring Streets, where the company of Paul Taylor, top, must leave its second-floor home.

    Times Topics: Paul Taylor
    Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
    Paul Taylor with his company.

    One is the young dancer who came to the city, worked with the creative legends of the 1950s and ’60s and become a cultural lion. The other is the Holocaust survivor who arrived after the war, ran a clothing factory and took a real estate gamble that paid off.

    For 20 years their lives have intersected at a building at 552 Broadway, in
    the heart of SoHo. The dancer is Paul Taylor, whose company has its home on the second floor of the building. The businessman is Milton Steinberg, who owns it.

    Now other forces of New York — neighborhood metamorphosis and the insane rents that can come with it — are driving them apart.

    A Banana Republic store on the first floor wants to expand upward, and Mr. Steinberg has agreed. The Paul Taylor Dance Company has lost its lease and must be out by April 15.

    “How can we compare the money they paid?” Mr. Steinberg, 84, said in a recent interview. “I feel we should get market rent, which is available.” As SoHo has been transformed from a neighborhood of lofts and manufacturing concerns into a major retail grazing ground, not just ground-level spaces but also upper stories are becoming prime rental properties.

    “I have my children,” Mr. Steinberg said. “I have a partner who’s very sick. Everything is on my neck.”

    Mr. Steinberg fretted that he would be seen as the evil landlord but said that he had refrained from raising the dance company’s rent for at least five years and was a regular contributor to the company (as Taylor officials confirmed). “Things change,” he said. “I feel very bad.”

    Change is an understatement. Stores like Best Buy, Adidas, Urban Outfitters, Levi’s, Steve Madden and Sephora have come to dominate the stretch of Broadway near Mr. Taylor’s headquarters, sending rents skyward. When the dance company moved in 20 years ago, said John Tomlinson, its general manager, “this was where work got done, not where people shopped.”

    Now, he added, it is “the world’s largest outdoor shopping mall.”

    The company is scrambling to find new space that a nonprofit organization can afford. The search is complicated by the special needs of a dance company. Dance studios need to have wide-open areas without columns, and the ceilings must be at least 14 feet high, to preserve the foreheads of dancers being lifted into the air. Mr. Taylor, 78, who did not respond to several messages left with company officials, is said to have looked at seven or eight sites, none perfect.

    “I don’t have the option of being pessimistic,” Mr. Tomlinson said. “It’s got to happen.” The company has several leads, he said. “One of these things will break through.”

    Adding to the problem is Mr. Taylor’s insistence that the company stay in Manhattan rather than find a cheaper rent in Brooklyn, where many small dance companies and studios have found refuge. “He feels very strongly he should be able to succeed in his hometown,” Mr. Tomlinson said, “and his hometown is Manhattan.”

    The company’s real estate efforts are overseen by a board member, Elise Jaffe, who well understands its plight. Ms. Jaffe is the senior vice president for real estate of Dressbarn, another national clothing retail chain. “The correlation is there, that I do deals like Banana Republic does to expand the chain,” she said. “This is a unique situation. Paul Taylor only needs one home.”

    The Taylor company took a lease on the floor in 1987, spending about $1 million on a major renovation. The space houses two studios,
    administrative offices, changing rooms, an archive and storage.

    A lease extension was negotiated in 2002, with rent of about $36 a square foot for 10,000 square feet, or about $360,000 a year, said Edson Womble, the company’s finance director. While Mr. Steinberg declined to say what Banana Republic had offered him, second-floor space on Broadway can now go for well over $100 a square foot, real estate brokers said. Banana Republic officials did not respond to several phone messages.

    Mr. Steinberg said he came to New York in 1946 after spending a year in concentration camps, including Mauthausen in Austria. He started a sportswear manufacturing company at 611 Broadway and moved the business several times before ending up at 15th Street near the West Side Highway.

    He bought 552 Broadway, which is between Prince and Spring Streets, in 1966. “Somebody came and offered us a deal to make an investment,” he said. “My wife took out the last dollar from what she saved up.” They paid, he recalled, about $435,000. For years the property provided little income. Now, he said, “the sky’s the limit, what they offer me lately.”

    While Mr. Steinberg was building his clothing business, Mr. Taylor arrived in New York in 1952 to study dance. He was soon performing for Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine, and he began choreographing for himself and other dancers two years later. The company is now an established fixture on the international dance scene.

    Few of the shoppers at Banana Republic one day in late September were likely to have known that as they nosed about the little black dresses and trench coat styles of the chain, which proclaims that its inspiration is “the buzz of the city.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  15. #30
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    So sad ^ especially considering that places like Banana Republic will see sales drop in the coming months and therefore the expansion will be found to be unnecessary.

    Meanwhile the neighborhood loses another core creative entity.

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