Image courtesy of NYPL
New Yorkers today know Castle Clinton, in Battery Park, as a national monument and departure point to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. But the circular sandstone fort dates all the way back to 1811–and has served as everything from an immigration station, exhibition hall, theater, and public aquarium since. One forgotten fact of the historic structure is that it’s considered the site of America’s first beer garden, which opened as Castle Garden on July 3rd, 1824. The illustration above shows the beer garden–which also had a grand theater–featured in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in the 1800s. The open-air space, which eventually got a roof, was considered one of the premier attractions in Manhattan.
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Photo courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Construction company Skanska USA stopped work at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church this month after the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America failed to make payments on the project. The cost of rebuilding the church, which was destroyed in the terror attacks on 9/11 more than sixteen years ago, increased to an estimated $78 million from a 2013 estimate of $20 million. While the archdiocese raised $37 million in donations, it was still unable to pay its bills, prompting an independent investigation of the church’s financial mismanagement, as the New York Times reported. Since learning of its deficit, the archdiocese has cut 25 percent of its staff and 25 percent of its expenses. A new treasurer and a chief financial officer have also been hired.
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With little surprise, Manhattan comes in first for the highest apartment rents in the country, with Battery Park City leading the way for the most outrageous prices. According to data collected by RentCafe and assembled into an interactive map, the average rent in this downtown ‘hood is about $6,000 per month, followed by the Upper East Side averaging $4,898 per month and the Upper West Side $4,892. Other pricey Manhattan zip codes that made the top ten include the Lower East Side, Soho and Clinton.
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The star actress of the long-running TV show, “How I Met Your Mother,” Cobie Smulders, and husband Taran Killam, Hamilton actor and SNL veteran, have listed their apartment at 2 River Terrace in Battery Park City for $3.995 million. As first reported by Luxury Listings NYC, the 1,580-square-foot-condo has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and boasts a private landscaped terrace. Other celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyra Banks have also lived in the building, and filmmaker Oliver Stone just bought an apartment there.
Check out the Battery Park City pad here
Award-winning screenwriter, film director, producer, and New York native Oliver Stone is moving to Battery Park City. As the New York Post learned, Stone is buying a 24th-floor condo at Riverhouse at 2 River Terrace, a building home to Leonardo DiCaprio and formerly, Tyra Banks (whose duplex hit the market last month for $17.5 million). The $4.35 million apartment boasts 1,982 square feet and floor-to-ceiling windows.
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Two years ago, Tyra Banks put her gigantic Battery Park City pad on the rental market for $50,000 a month, but the Times now reports that she’s decided to part ways with it completely, listing the 7,000-square-foot Riverhouse duplex for $17.5 million. Banks, who welcomed her first child last year, is spending most of her time at her homes in Los Angeles and Northern California since her new makeup line is headquartered in LA and both of her hosting gigs–for “America’s Got Talent” and “America’s Next Top Model”–also film there. She did, however, tell the Times that she’ll miss “the feeling of having a home in the sky.”
Read the apartment’s drool-worthy description
Images st_nicholasshrine Instagram / WTC Progress Facebook
It’s been a long and arduous process rebuilding the St. Nicholas National Shrine, a Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on 9/11 when the second trade tower toppled on it. Only last year was the foundation poured, and only two weeks ago were the steel ribs of the structure’s defining dome installed. But despite construction moving forward at a glacial pace, officials yesterday celebrated a major milestone with a “topping out ceremony” at the church’s new site at Greenwich and Liberty streets. The touchstone event was notably marked by the addition of a temporary 6-foot-3-inch Justinian cross, reports the Times.
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A report released Monday by the Downtown Alliance shows that the area south of Chambers Street in lower Manhattan is chock full of young New Yorkers with plenty of disposable income; the development advocacy group hopes the news will result in the creation of more options for them to spend it. Crains reports on the survey, which found that 60 percent of apartments in a growing residential sector that includes the Financial District, Battery Park City and the South Street Seaport are home to single tenants and roommates with no children, one of the highest concentrations of young singles–defined as 18- to 44-year-olds, in the city. This spendy demo hits the town every other night on average, blowing about $1,000 a month, adding up to $356 million a year. But according to the report, half of that is spent in other neighborhoods due to a lack of “appealing options” in the area.
Tap a keg, stat
He’s been called the King of FiDi with over 2200 apartments under his management. The founder and principal of Metro Loft Management, Nathan Berman specializes in transforming landmark office buildings into luxury rentals. He recently acquired the leasehold for 20 Broad Street, the former New York Stock Exchange building, and plans to convert it to white-glove rental apartments. Other properties include 20 Exchange Place, a 1931 Art Deco office building that used to be the City Bank-Farmers Trust Building, and the former Munson Shipping Company headquarters at 67 Wall Street. Both buildings were converted into luxury rental apartments with condominium finishes and features.
Over the years, Berman has developed a profitable formula that’s yielded some of the most architecturally distinguished rental buildings in lower Manhattan. Ahead, Berman explains his focus on the rental market, as well as his first foray into the world of condos with the uber-luxe 443 Greenwich Street.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE…
Construction image via Port Authority
The city will cut the ribbon on another landscaped elevated this park this summer with the opening of the World Trade Center‘s Liberty Park—although no exact opening date has been pinned down, reports DNA Info. The park, which will measure just over an acre and rise 25 feet, is sited next to the Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine (still under construction) and will provide an overhead view of the 9/11 Memorial and a leafy pocket of respite for FiDi workers, dwellers and tourists alike. But more practically, the park will give way to a pleasant pedestrian connection across West Street, on top of hiding the entrance to the WTC’s security hub that sits beneath.
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