Crossing the East River on the ice bridge (1871) via NYPL
While New York City is getting hit by a blast of arctic temperatures this week, New Yorkers of the mid- and late-1800s experienced even colder conditions. During the 19th century, the East River froze over at least seven times, shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge and preventing any ferries from crossing over. But, like today’s New Yorkers, the frozen river never stopped commuters from reaching their destinations. Instead of staying home, people would walk across the frozen East River, skating and slipping along their way.
More this way
Chapel of the Holy Comforter (1846-1856), courtesy of NYCago
While New York City’s waterways have featured both floating pools and floating parks, they also once held floating churches. The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey (SCI) first built a floating house of worship in 1844, designed for sailors. According to Untapped Cities, the group’s first big project included building the Church of Our Savior, which floated in the East River off of Pike Street in downtown Manhattan.
Find out more
Remember 6sqft’s post about a madcap engineer who wanted to pave over the East River in 1911 in order to create a “Mega-Manhattan?” Well, 13 years later, John A. Harris, deputy police commissioner in charge of traffic, came up with his own proposal for incorporating the river into the streetscape of the city: draining it entirely.
Published in Popular Science, the never-realized scheme addressed New York’s growing traffic congestion problem, said to have been costing the city $1.5 million a day. It would have transformed the waterway into “a five-mile system of automobile and motor-truck highways, subway lines, parking spaces, and city centers.” Two concrete dams were to be erected, one near the Williamsburg Bridge and one near Hell Gate, and the riverbed would be “bridged with levels supported by steel uprights,” thereby connecting the four boroughs.
More on the idea and the full drawing
Oh, how the times change. In the late 19th century, developer John C. Henderson began constructing an enclave of townhouses, designed by architectural firm Lamb & Rich, and intended for “persons of moderate means”. Today, one of those Yorkville homes is available for rent, asking $25,900 per month… or if you’d like to purchase it outright, $7.495 million.
If you’re looking for remnants of 146 East End Avenue’s low-income housing past, you’re in for a disappointment. The result of a “painstaking” two-year gut renovation, this desirable dwelling only speaks the language of luxury. However, if there’s any city that knows how to preserve its history while providing modern amenities, it’s New York. The final result is a beautifully updated home that pays homage to its honorable past.
Take a look inside this historic home, here
Dune Realty CEO Daniel Neidich has just sold his gorgeous six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath Yorkville apartment for $10.25 million to David Steinhardt, the son of “Wall Street’s greatest trader“, Michael Steinhardt, according to city records filed yesterday. This Austere apartment is certainly a sight to behold with its spectacular finishes and expansive views. Designed by such notable names as Jed Johnson, along with Alan Wanzenberg and Thad Hayes, its no wonder this home is the perfect blend of formal entertaining and luxurious living.
Trust us. You want to take a look inside this home…
What kind of apartment needs custom blinds from the Shade Store? The kind with floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the unit with light! And we’re not talking any standard floor-to-ceiling windows. Architect Michael Muroff decided to throw us a beautiful curve ball by designing a wall-sized window in the living room accented with a giant, skylight – or more appropriately, an angled ceiling of windows. The result is a living space you could practically sunbathe in.
An abundance of light isn’t the only thing 149 Skillman Avenue #4B has to offer. The 1,070-square-foot, 2BR/2BA unit has a few other surprises, including a steam shower and a private roof deck with a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline. That means a spectacular show for the apartment’s residents when the 4th of July fireworks return to the East River for summer 2014.
See what else this beautiful condo has to offer here
Wouldn’t it be nice to live on top of the world? Well, somebody is in luck because a spacious 3BR/3BA apartment just opened up at the Residences at Mandarin Oriental.
This luxurious Columbus Circle pad rests on the 71st floor, with gigantic windows that overlook Central Park, as well as both the East River and the Hudson. The 3,168-square-foot apartment has ebonized oak floors and black granite accents. It also features a large eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a sub-zero refrigerator, and a wine cave.
Whoever purchases this impressive, recently renovated home will not only have bragging rights, but access to all of the amenities of the Mandarin Hotel. So yeah, this person will basically be living in a hotel. Jealous yet?
See photos of the lavish pad here
Last year, a Kickstarter crowd funding project for an ambitious public pool in the East River passed its $250,000 goal. This month, the project entered its first phase by dropping a miniature version of the pool called Float Lab into the river, testing the water quality and concept of the pool. If all goes according to plan, Gothamites will be splashing in this river pool in 2016!
See more renderings of this amazing design here