The Ear Inn is a little gem. It's almost as beautiful as Christie Brinkly's vag when she was in her prime, and that's pretty amazing!!!!
After working down there for a while and visiting regularly about 2X a month (great burger/Guiness), seeing the neighboring building going up without the proper underpinning and seeing the Ear settle and being forced to put in "temporary" timber shoring was disconcerting.
Guarantee that $100K came from the neighboring developers.
Some interesting info from a Preservation Tech Notes report [pdf] on cast iron vault lights seen along sidewalks throughout SoHo, specifically related to recent restoration work outside 542-544 Broadway.
Note the use of these round glass lens inserts:Imagine if all these vault lights above subway platforms were still in place and functional, and how much that would improve the underground experience.
"Prismatic pendant (or "saw-tooth") lenses were often used in place of the basic lenses because the angled projections
on the underside of the prism bent light rays, directing them to the inner reaches of the lower levels."
Repair and Rehabilitation of Historic Sidewalk Vault Lights
Cas Stachelberg Higgins & Quasebarth Historic Preservation Consultants
Chad Randl Technical Preservation Services National Park Service
In 1897 the building at 554 Broadway was joined with the neighbor to the south at 552 Broadway. The two-story cast iron front topped by a four-story masonry facade was installed at that time and can still seen there now (if you look beyond the signs for Banana Republic):
Prior to that the building at 544 Broadway housed a purveyor of furs, L. Zichiel, who specialized in Sleigh Robes.
Back then the cast iron fronted lofts of SoHo were filled with furriers of all sorts, supplying NYC with a wide assortment of pelts as dictated by the fashions of the times. The business of fur was chronicled in the Fur Trade Review. Some clips from 1887 ...
In 1863 the building at 554 Broadway was home to C. H. Covell & Co. "Manufacturer of and Dealer in Patent Duplex Lamps, etc. Importer of Bisque and China Novelties." In the mid-1870s Covell moved north, to what was becoming the more fashionable stretch of Broadway near Madison Square.
A Covell advert from 1870:
In 1870 Covell bought out the Arion Piano-Forte Company and added those to his inventory at 554 Broadway...
Arion Piano-Fortes were built in a succession of factories farther uptown:The Arion / Estey Factory (1885-1886; later enlarged):
The pioneer was the Arion Piano-Forte Company. Begun by George Charles Manner who patented an invention he called “arion,” the company was sold to New York piano manufacturer J. Simpson & Company which moved the factory to 149th Street and Third Avenue in 1872. Two years later, it opened another plant at 150th Street and St. Ann’s Avenue. Simpson and Arion Piano-Forte was sold to the growing Estey Piano Company in 1885. In 1888, Estey built a large factory on Bruckner Boulevard at the corner of Lincoln Avenue.
The Estey Piano Company Factory in Mott Haven was designated a NYC Landmark in 2006.
From the Designation Report [pdf]:
ESTEY PIANO COMPANY FACTORY, 112-128 Lincoln Avenue (aka 15-19 Bruckner Boulevard and 270-278 East 134th Street), Borough of the Bronx. Built 1885-86; A.B. Ogden & Son, architects; additions: John B. Snook & Sons, 1890; Hewlett S. Baker, 1895; S. Gifford Slocum, 1909; George F. Hogue, 1919.
^ Shame they always seem to routinely remove cornices from beautiful old buildings. Even if damaged/dangerous, whatever happened to restoration? (yeah, yeah, I know, the cost)
\/ Quite nice.
Stepped Up Condo Set to Rise at Soho's 182 Spring Street
by Pete Davies
182 Spring Street.
The 1920s taxpayer now on the SW corner of Thompson and Spring.
What Nordica will bring to the South Village and Soho.
182 Spring modeled.
A little 1920s taxpayer sitting on the southwest corner of Spring and Thompson at the edge of Soho will soon be coming down to make way for a 7-story mixed-use plan from the Canadian development team at Nordica Soho, who bought the plot earlier this year for $10,100,000. What will rise at 182 Spring Street are two floors for retail and an ambulatory care facility, all topped by five tiered floors of residential condos. The plan, featuring a set-back balconied duplex penthouse and a third floor terrace overlooking Spring—all perfectly positioned for eyeing handball tournaments across the way—comes from the creative team at Currimbhoy & Co. and Gruzen Samton Architects.
Pre-cast concrete will be used for the exterior, the paneling provided by the Canadian crew at BPDL, the same team who did the exteriors at the new Fiterman Hall for CUNY. Detailing will surround the setbacks, and the penthouse will be topped by rings of Jaisalmer limestone from India, carved with images inspired by the Tree of Life. Floorplans for the three 2BR full-floor units offer open living, and the roomy duplex penthouse displays over 100 feet of wrap-around terrace topped by two big bedrooms, each with a balcony. The 2,845-square-foot plot is in the hoped-for South Village Historic District and the proposed demolition at 182 Spring Street is cited by a whole list of political preservationists pushing for protections around the old neighborhood. There are some zoning issues still pending, but signs for this project point to a "go" in 2012.
Project Soho NY [Nordica Soho website]
Projects - Spring Street [Currimbhoy & Co.]
All the glass at the 2nd floor is odd. The Schedule A shows that will be used for "RETAIL SALES AND AMBULATORY HEALTH CARE FACILITY" aka medical offices. Seems the last thing you want for that type of business are picture windows overlooking a street crowded with wandering pedestrians. Unless what they're planning is for yet another pseudo medical facility aka a "spa" for botox and other beauty regimens.
Soho is under siege
Maddening crowds, vendors push historic neighborhood to the brink
By SUSAN EDELMAN
May 13, 2012
SoHo has become NoGo.
YoGo trucks, Halal food carts, and companies promoting hair gel to online hookups have invaded the sidewalks, straining the historic enclave to a breaking point.
Hawkers squeeze in tables, chairs and wares along a stretch of Broadway illegally lined with shops from Hugo Boss and Steve Madden to H&M, and Old Navy.
Peddlers and pedestrians spill onto the Prince Street bike lane the community never wanted. Smoke from grills wafts into fancy stores. Trash and cigarette butts blanket the streets as bins overflow.
And residents are angry that the city is doing nothing to stop it.
“It’s a horror. Everybody wants to make money down here, like we’re whores,” said resident and filmmaker Camille Billops, 78.
Adding to the crush, the mayor’s office gives fee-producing permits for special events and promos — 22 in SoHo so far this year.
Kate Spade sent a hot-pink bus with fashion models, a diesel generator — and music blaring. Pantene bought a glass-enclosed truck, spread furniture on the sidewalk, and offered blow-outs. Badoo, a social Web site, held a three-day photo shoot on Mercer Street.
Street traffic clogs, too. Bike and bus lanes leave single lanes for cars, which bottleneck when someone turns.
“It’s a mess,” a resident said.
Sean Sweeney, a local activist, said SoHo, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, rings up among the city’s highest property and sales tax revenues, but is treated like “a playground.”
“SoHoland — where tourists walk five abreast, peddlers rule the sidewalks, and residents are captives in their own homes,” he said.
Tension can be thick. Last Sunday, a YoGo seller with his truck parked alongside the Prince Street subway stop and on the crosswalk — vendors must be 10 feet from both — shoved his iPad camera in a resident’s face and ranted about “harassment.”
The sidewalk was so clogged last Thursday, a 52-year-old New Jersey man in flip-flops bumped into two women going the opposite way. They exchanged words. The women punched his face, causing a cut below an eye, knocked him to the ground, and kicked him.
Three plain-clothes cops jumped in to bust the women.
The crowds make perfect prey for pickpockets. One of the artists who live in their SoHo studios said a thief lifted his teen daughter’s wallet and keys on her way home two weeks ago: “She was caught in the maelstrom.”
On weekends, residents have counted more than 79 vendors just on the three blocks on Broadway between Houston and Broome streets alone.
But city Department of Consumer Affairs rules — which bans them within 20 feet of a building entrance — leave legal spots for only about three on each side of each block.
“The biggest problem,” said a cop, “is that you write them a ticket, and the next day they’re back.”
Residents call enforcement, especially on weekends, lax because the 1st and 5th precincts are spread thin and diverted elsewhere, such as Occupy Wall Street protests.
Vendors complain about a “crackdown.” Fines start at $50 and escalate to $1,000 for the sixth violation.
“Why do they want to prevent people from making an honest living?” asked tobacco pipe peddler Willie Davis, who beat a ticket by arguing the cop wrongly measured his distance from a door. Davis noted that alert vendors foiled a terror attack in Times Square in 2010.
But SoHo is stretched beyond limits, said Bob Gormley, district manager of Community Board 2.
“It’s overwhelming congestion,” he said. “Eventually, someone is going to be forced out onto the street, and get hit by a car or killed.”
I would like to see street parking removed from Broadway in Soho and the sidewalks made wider and landscaped. The sidewalk vendors, but for artists, should go to.
The problem with removing street parking along Broadway is the on-street space needed for deliveries & service vehicles for retail, residences and businesses. The law already states "No Standing" all along this stretch and signs are clearly posted. Tickets are given out all day long, but it doesn't keep cars -- many of which are vehicles for vendors -- from clogging the curb.
So, lemme get this strait.
The ticketing police force is stretched thin because of OWS?
The clue here is simple. If vendors are getting up to $1000 in fines in a day and STILL come back, that must mean that the spots are worth MORE than that for the ones that return.
Also, someone coming in with a little hot dog cart (as much as I really do not like them) is much less of a disturbance than these "look at me" trucks doing the makeovers and such. These guys are spending boku bucks for the promo to begin with, it is like they already plan on the $1000 as a space rental. Maybe additional stipulations like square footage should be brought into these regulations?