Seen & Heard: Free Cass Gilbert Courthouse Tour

••• Ever wanted to poke around the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at 40 Foley Square? Woolworth Week is offering a free self-guided tour: “This is an extremely rare opportunity to view one of Cass Gilbert’s last design projects, as portions of the building are not usually open to the public. Visitors are welcome to arrive anytime between 5:30 and 8:00 pm on Tuesday April 23, 2013 for this event. Docents will be available to answer questions in the various rooms that will be open for viewing. Pre-registration is required. The Federal Courthouse Security Officers will only allow admission to people who have pre-registered. There is no charge to attend this event [….] Please visit for more information and to pre-register.” I’ll be there! (Photo courtesy The Masterpiece Next Door, a wonderfully opinionated—and now apparently on hiatus—architecture blog.)

••• Sure enough, the Organic Modernism furniture store on Broadway has closed.

••• Marshall Crenshaw plays City Winery on May 8; Joan Osborne on May 12.

••• The townhouse at 246 W. Broadway (the one that’s home to Nirvana International) is on the market for $3.7 million—and more than $300,000 in annual taxes.

••• If François Payard Bakery has any more of its chocolate-covered matzoh (for half off, no less), buy it. Crackiest stuff ever.

••• Besides a MAC cosmetics shop and “a glass-enclosed event space on the roof,” Century 21’s expansion plans also include a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café, says the Downtown Alliance.

isabella••• The Isabella Rossellini will be at 92YTribeca on May 5 for a “discussion and sneak peek” of her new series, ” Mammas”: “Featuring fantastical costumes and weirdly delightful enactments, the actress writes and directs nine episodes—slipping into the role of a range of creatures. From cuckoos who willingly hand their young to another mother, to fiercely loving wasps who bury animals alive for baby food, Isabella’s entertaining and educational portrayals will show varying ways mothers provide for their offspring.”

••• Whole Foods had watercress! It was by the tamarind, for some reason, and not in water. But still!

••• Forgot to mention this in yesterday’s Federal Plaza post, but when I was checking out the GSA’s website, I noticed a page about a time capsule found on the site: “When the project team removed the cornerstone of the federal building as part of the renovation, they were surprised to find the small, tightly sealed copper box. Realizing they had discovered a time-capsule buried more than 40 years earlier, Project Manager Ali Tabar said, ‘We felt like we had found a national treasure.’ When it was opened the box revealed documents, pictures and newspapers from 1968, the year the building was completed. Included in the capsule were:

• Black and white pictures of the construction of 26 Federal Plaza
• Copies of newspaper articles that chronicled the construction of the building
• A letter from the Regional Administrator commending the project team
• An organizational listing of the GSA Public Buildings Service leasing division
• The 12-page leasing contract for the space
• Front pages of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and New York Daily News, each dated April 30, 1968.
A tab of acid

“The team decided to bury a new time capsule with the older one. Consistent with the contents of the 1968 time capsule, the second provides insight into the life and times of GSA employees in 2012.” The scintillating details are here.


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