In the News: Landmark Disgrace

••• A metal gate on the landmarked—for what that’s worth—502 Canal finally fell down. What a disgrace. By the way, I take issue with a nearby resident’s contention that “the whole neighborhood just wants this building gone.” I want it fixed up, not demolished. —DNAinfo

••• The New York Times says that Seaport restaurant Barbarini isn’t reopening, unless there’s wiggle room in the word “fatality.” Of course the same roundup also lists Benares under “Opening.” UPDATE: A reader points out the gofundme page for two of Barbarini’s owners: “In the month since Sandy hit, they have come to realize that, with all the damage and limitations, it is impossible for them, in the near term, to move forward in their old location. In order to begin supporting their family again, they hope to open another restaurant soon, on slightly higher ground but still in lower Manhattan. While they are currently in search of a space, they have a name: Da Claudio.”

••• Intriguing rumor from Downtown Lunch that “the former home of Backyard Chicken on Pearl St. btw. John & Fulton is turning into another branch of Mooncake Foods.”

••• Tribecan Ethan Feldman has scored more than 1,000 points in his high school basketball career. —New York Daily News

••• “Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, longtime inhabitants of Manhattan, have relocated to Los Angeles. […] The bicoastal duo, who are often seen biking with their kids downtown, were at a public school on LA’s west side the other day, enrolling their son Sasha in kindergarten.” —New York Post

••• “Bethenny Frankel packed her bags on Jan. 11 and moved herself and daughter Bryn out of the downtown dream home she shared with her estranged husband, Jason Hoppy.” —Life & Style



  1. I take umbrage with Mr. Lopato’s statement that the neighborhood would like to see 502 Canal Street, and presumably its neighbor(s) of similar vintage, torn down. We have all watched with dismay as the owner’s promises of repair have gone unfulfilled –evidently the Landmarks Preservation Commission was fooled by the owner’s lip service, but we were not. Indeed, this disrepair is a result of blatant neglect; broken windows were not repaired, allowing rain and snow to permeate the structure, roofs not patched, structural issues not addressed. Sad as it sounds, Sandy was probably welcomed by the owners of 502 Canal as it hastened the destruction of a building that has stood for nearly two centuries. Shame on you.

  2. The quote from the neighbor is not reflective of the broader view. Many people think Ponte Equities should have done the right thing a long time ago. Obviously, the Landmarks Preservation Commission needs more political will to deal with situations like this as well as the ability to levy larger, more motivating fines. Those concerned with our historic districts need to join forces to make this changes happen. Otherwise, this kind of tragedy will just be repeated elsewhere. Lynn E.,

  3. You guys have the wrong info. Barbarini isn’t reopening. The two partners (my husband Stefano Barbagallo one of them), split up and each of them is opening a whole new restaurant. We haven’t announce it in our FB or website, but I’ll work on it. Thank you for your input.
    Adriana Barbagallo