The Loud Drone of 60 Hudson

I was at home last night when a car alarm began honking and honking and honking, continuing for at least 10 minutes. On the verge of losing (more of?) my mind, I headed out for a drink before Adeline Adeline‘s party celebrating the arrival of Bobbin Bicycles from the U.K. (They’re cute.) Naturally, as soon as I got outside, the honking stopped. I wandered around, trying to decide where to go by myself on a Thursday night, when I found myself at Hudson and Worth. Holy cow! I had long heard about complaints about the noise coming from 60 Hudson (the old Western Union building), but I had never heard it myself. It was an insanely loud drone, audible for blocks. I took this short video—sorry, I forgot that I shouldn’t shoot vertically because I can’t rotate it later—and it definitely comes through over the traffic and ambient noise. Then I headed up to Tamarind, where the drone even seeped into the civilized bar area.

Here’s some background on the issue, and a link to Neighbors Against Noise, a community group, including how to make a complaint.



  1. It’s the backup power generators..

  2. so when you say it’s the backup power THE NOISE always that loud? or is that the norm?

  3. The FRESH DIRECT truck was out there again. What the _____?

  4. I hate to be the only hater, but it’s 8:50pm and the FRESH DIRECT truck is still sitting on Hudson & Jay just droning away? COME ON!!!!

  5. welcome to our world. I live across the street. it’s a nightmare. why the city has allowed this is beyond me. why it made sense to fill up this entire building with telecommunications farms is beyond me. (what’s wrong with Nebraska, or the Meadowlands?)

    one of the smaller tragedies of the repurposing of this building is that, because it’s full of telecommunications equipment, you can’t, since 9/11 go through the lobby, which, according to the AIA guide, is the most beautiful brick Art Deco lobby in America. I used to walk through it late at night coming home from Soho.

    never mind the immense diesel fuel storage tank for the emergency generator.

  6. I remember when it used to be dead quiet around here when the traffic was still. But the noise is just the tip of the iceberg as to why this use of that building needs to be actively opposed.

    What is even more important than the noise though is those tens of thousands of gallons of emergency generator fuel that are stored in that building. Were a plane to fly into that building or a truck bomb or just the wrong electrical short to spark, this whole neighborhood could be flooded with blazing fuel, a horrendous inferno.

    This installation has absolutely no place in a residential neighborhood. It is a clear and present danger as well as a major noise nuisance that is detrimental to concentration, peace, health and general quality of life.

  7. The generator in question was so loud that night (a constant 82 db!) that I called the Department of Enviromemtal Protection, which issued a violation.