Image via the New York Daily News archive
In October of 1929, the stock market experienced a devastating crash resulting in an unprecedented number of people in the U.S. without homes or jobs, a period of history now known as the Clutch Plague. While homelessness was present prior to the crash, the group was relatively small and cities were able to provide adequate shelter through various municipal housing projects. However, as the Depression set in, demand grew and the overflow became far too overwhelming and unmanageable for government resources to keep up with. Homeless people in large cities began to build their own houses out of found materials, and some even built more permanent structures from brick. Small shanty towns—later named Hoovervilles after President Hoover—began to spring up in vacant lots, public land and empty alleys. Three of these pop-up villages were located in New York City; the largest of them was on what is now Central Park’s Great Lawn.
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The Department of City Planning announced that although it shares residents’ concerns about the effects of the new crop of supertall towers rising near Central Park, it does not intend to lower the size limits on buildings in the dense Midtown district. Crain’s reports that department director Carl Weisbrod said in a written response to elected officials on August 12 that the slender structures may actually preserve historic buildings nearby and that they enhance the city’s iconic skyline.
Read more on the city’s response
Sure, pretty much everyone living in New York City is familiar with Grand Central Station, Central Park and some of our other more notable landmarks, but these well-known locations still hold secrets that even born-and-bred New Yorkers may be surprised to learn. We’ve gathered together just a few to get you started, but in a city this size, with a history this long, there are many more that await your discovery. How many of these secrets were you aware of?
Find out all about these hidden gems here
Those looking to build a behemoth along Central Park may have to look elsewhere. The Manhattan Community Board Five’s Sunshine Task Force has voted in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate, temporary moratorium on any new construction of 600 feet or taller that is not already undergoing public review, particularly with those threatening to cast shadows over Central Park in an area bounded by 53rd Street and Central Park South, and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The board voiced their concerns and outlined the ban in a policy brief (via DNA Info) which made its way to the desks of the Department of City Planning and the mayor last week.
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There’s a cute new listing available in this townhouse off Central Park West. This $2.55 million three-bedroom pad has tall ceilings and natural light from the north and south, along with prewar detail and a full view of the garden.
Take a look inside
- This Greenpoint artist uses discarded glass found on the street and McCarren Park turf to create mini sculptures [DNAinfo]
- Here’s what Central Park looked like in the 80s…a lot different than today. [Gothamist].
- What if Nike sold oranges and Apple made iMilk? An artist reimagines fashionable brands as they’d exist in the grocery store. [Fast Co. Design]
- You won’t think your apartment is so small after watching this video of people trying to live in a 112-square-foot “house.” [Buzzfeed]
- LES “farm to sandwich” favorite Black Tree is opening a chef’s counter in Williamsburg. They’ll even use local designers to deck out the space. [Bedford + Bowery]
- Wouldn’t it be nice to walk down the street and hear a tune from an organ grinder and his “regally outfitted capuchin monkey?” Here’s a history of the grinders’ sudden demise. [Ephemeral NY]
Images: Belvedere Castle in the 80s via Central Park Conservancy (L); iMilk via Peddy Mergui
A renovated duplex maisonette in the same building Barbara Walters once called home has been struggling on the market since it was listed earlier this year. Now, after eight months and a few price drops, the price has landed at $12.5 million. The opulent space has four bedrooms, parquet de Versailles floors, and imported French First Empire fireplaces, all just steps from the iconic Central Park.
Take a look inside, here
An influx of new property in Manhattan has made Liberty Travel founder Gilbert Haroche reconsider the hefty $95 million price tag for his 15-room co-op at the Sherry Netherland. Haroche had a similar change of heart a year ago, when he lowered the price to $88 million, however he quickly returned to his astronomical initial asking. Now, after sitting on the market for an entire two years, the sprawling simplex is available for a slightly less jaw-dropping $85 million.
Take a look inside, here
It’s easy to forget that Columbus Day is more than just a day off from work (which we’re not complaining about), but rather a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1942. But if you need reminding, look no further than these memorials scattered around New York City.
Take a tour of where to find Christopher Columbus monuments in NYC
On an average workday in New York, over 3.9 million people crowd onto the tiny island of Manhattan. That’s a lot of behinds needing a seat, and the city provides plenty of those in the form of benches. But not all benches are created equal. There are gems hidden in every borough – beautiful, funky, unique slabs for you to sit on this summer.
See more fantastic benches here