Nosy Neighbor: What Are Those Things on 65 Reade?

“On top of 65 Reade there are two new gizmos (a technical term) on the roof. They don’t appear to be cell towers since they are angled downward. They aren’t satellite dishes either. I was wondering if you had seen these here or anywhere and what they’re possibly used for.” —A.

Heck if I know! Heck if I even know whom to ask! I tried a few folks, and I got nowhere. My super said he thought they were satellite-TV antennas, but I couldn’t find any online that matched. (And they don’t look like any cell-phone antennas I’ve ever seen.) Does anyone out there either have a clue what those are or whom we might turn to? Email me at Sometimes it takes a village, folks.

By the way, the gizmos are on a few buildings around there, including 78 Reade and 122 Duane. I think the photo above is the Church side of 122 Duane.

UPDATE: On Facebook, Rohin Hattiangadi suggested they might be motion or vibration sensors: “Sometimes they’re placed on buildings next to construction areas to monitor vibration and stress loads and prevent damage to the surrounding buildings. They are usually up on top as this is where the maximum effects of ground vibration are felt.” I thought that was intriguing, seeing as how that block on Reade had a building fall down a couple of years ago, possibly as a result of 57 Reade being built. Then I got an email from a reader who said she lives in one of the buildings in question: “When they installed them, I asked people who was working on the roof. Not sure who they were, but they said they bought the roof rights from the landlord and were installing wi-fi equipment.” My partner thinks this is more likely; when we signed up for Verizon, for instance, we were told that we’d be able to access wi-fi hotspots here and there around the city. I’ll see if anyone at Verizon knows anything….

UPDATE #2: My contact at Verizon said if it’s wi-fi it’s not theirs. He passed it to the Verizon Wireless folks to see if they knew, and they said they thought it could be a microwave device of some kind. I’ll keep trying….

Got a question? Email it to

Recent “Nosy Neighbor” posts:
What’s going on at 172 Duane?
Where is Compose’s pastry chef cooking now?
What’s up with those Verizon carts?
Where was the original Blues Bar?
Who are the guys in the geeky pants?
Why are the windows above Ponte’s boarded up?
Can we walk on the West Street medians?
What’s going on in 157 Hudson?
What’s the new painting at 153 Hudson?
What’s up with 55 Warren/55 Murray?
What is this P.C. Richard & Son Theater I keep hearing about?
What’s the story behind the lights at 289 Church?
What’s the Dream House at 275 Church?
How come every every film and TV shoot seems to have a trailer with doors marked “Lucy” and “Desi”?



  1. Security cameras?

  2. I walked by the other day and saw Captain Kirk get beamed up…… and i thought Scotty was dead