, Thu, September 19, 2019
A man wearing a fez selling drinks in Little Syria in the early 1900s (Bain News Service, 1916), via Wiki Commons/Library of Congress
The Lower West Side is not a common neighborhood name used, mainly because much of what made this enclave notable has since been forgotten. As 6sqft previously explained, “encompassing the area west of Broadway from Liberty Street to Battery Place, it was originally home to Irish and German immigrants, followed by Little Syria, the nation’s first and largest Arabic settlement, from roughly the 1880s to 1940s.” The neighborhood all but disappeared during the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and World Trade Center, but several vestiges and stories remain, which will be explored in a walking tour on October 6th with historian Joe Svehlak for the Municipal Art Society.
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The skylight atop the $3.9 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus won’t open this year on September 11, according to the Port Authority. It was announced this week that the skylight–comprised of 224 panes of glass on 40 motorized panels designed by Spanish starchitect Santiago Calatrava–has a leaking problem and will remain closed for this year’s anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The skylight was intended to open and close, releasing a beam of light into the Oculus space at precisely 10:28 A.M. each year to mark the moment the north tower of the World Trade Center fell.
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Photo courtesy of the Battery Conservancy
It’s your chance to have a free quintessential summer experience, albeit not typical a New York City one. The Battery Conservancy on Thursday will open a lottery for free tickets to camp at the historic 25-acre public park. As part of the Battery CampOut, families are provided with tents, campfire singalongs, s’mores, and a lightning bug show. But remember to bring your own sleeping bag.
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Image via Flickr
Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo put out a request for proposals for 5 World Trade Center, the last remaining site at World Trade Center’s southern end and the former home of a Deutsche Bank Building that was severely damaged during the September 11 attacks. The RFP seeks commercial or mixed-use proposals for a roughly 900-foot-tall building, that may include a residential component. As the process continues to unfold—and rapidly, with a site tour for interested developers scheduled on July 22—local residents worry that their voices are being left out, as Daily News reported.
Images courtesy of Silver Art Projects
As rents and costs of living continue to rise in the city, artists have an increasingly hard time finding affordable studio space—particularly in Manhattan. In an effort to help struggling artists, a new artist residency is launching at 3 World Trade Center this fall. Funded by developer Silverstein Properties, Silver Art Projects is a “corporate social responsibility initiative” that will host 30 artists every September for up to eight months, providing them with 44,000 square feet of free studio space on the 50th floor of the building.
Image via flickr cc
Earlier this month, the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation arrived at a deal to release a request for proposals for the development of 5 World Trade Center, Crain’s reported. The two state agencies had been locked in negotiations over how to develop the last site, which lies at the World Trade Center‘s southernmost end, surrounded by Washington, Albany and Greenwich streets, for years; as a result, the site has remained in limbo. Today, Governor Cuomo officially released a Request for Proposals for the site, which allows for either commercial or mixed-use proposals for a roughly 900-foot-tall building. Any proposals putting forth a residential component must include “onsite affordable units that comply with New York City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program,” according to a press release.
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Since 2016, the skylight of the World Trade Center’s Oculus has reopened on each anniversary of September 11 as part of the “Way of Light” ceremony. But the annual event may not happen this year. The skylight, which has been leaking since last fall, may not be repaired in time for this year’s anniversary, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
A man wearing a fez selling drinks in Little Syria in the early 1900s, via Wiki Commons
Three structures on Lower Manhattan’s Washington Street–St. George’s Syrian Catholic Church at 103 Washington Street, The Downtown Community House at 105-107 Washington Street, and the block’s sole surviving tenement at 109 Washington Street--are the last standing architectural vestiges of the once-thriving community of Little Syria. The area served as home to immigrants from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Moravia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany and Ireland that flourished on the Lower West Side in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries. Before that surviving history is lost, local preservationists are calling for the structures to become part of a mini historic district, citing a “landmarks emergency.”
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Photo by Monika Graff for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s new monument honoring first responders opened Thursday, on the 17th anniversary of the official end of the recovery effort at Ground Zero. The 9/11 Memorial Glade monument recognizes first responders who are currently sick or who have died from illnesses caused by toxins following the September 11 attacks. Located at the World Trade Center site, the memorial consists of six stone monoliths that point skyward to “symbolize strength and determination through adversity.”
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Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York outside 54 Pearl Street on opening day. Taken from Broad Street facing east. 1907. From the archives at Fraunces Tavern Museum. Courtesy of the Fraunces Tavern Museum
Fraunces Tavern is breaking out the champagne this year to celebrate its 300th birthday. Called “the oldest standing structure in Manhattan,” the building you see today at the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets owes much to 20th-century reconstruction and restoration, but the site has a storied and stately past. In fact, any toasts delivered to mark the Tavern’s tri-centennial will have to stack up against George Washington’s farewell toast to his officers, delivered in the Tavern’s Long Room, on December 4, 1783.
Named for Samuel Fraunces, the patriot, spy, steward, and gourmand, who turned the old De Lancey Mansion at 54 Pearl Street into 18th century New York’s hottest watering hole, Fraunces Tavern connects New York’s proud immigrant history with its Dutch past, Revolutionary glory, maritime heritage, and continuous culinary prowess. Dive into the building’s unparalleled past and discover secrets and statesmen, murder and merriment – all served up alongside oysters as big as your face.
Learn the whole history