In the News: Tribeca Buildings at Risk

143 Chambers••• The more I think about the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s proposal to “decalendar” all the buildings it just hasn’t been able to get to yet—this is brought on by the New York Times article about it—the more it stinks. Since when does a city agency value efficiency more than the work it has already done? If we can then assume the LPC didn’t come up with the idea on its own, the mayor’s office must be leaning on it. Why? So it can make deals with developers for affordable housing elsewhere? (The only reason we learned about it in advance is because it got leaked. Really, the LPC is going to decide this on a week’s notice? Someone wanted this done as quickly and quietly as possible.) Related: Tribeca Trust says that the two Tribeca buildings at risk of being decalendared (in other words, they’d have to start the consideration process from the beginning, and good luck with that) are 143 Chambers (at top) and 315 Broadway (above right). All you have to do is look at the McDonald’s logo on the horrid little building next door to 315 Broadway to see a cautionary tale about what happens when you don’t protect your architectural heritage.

••• From a thorough New York Times article on “How Costs Soared at the $4 Billion Train Station for the World Trade Center”: “whatever its ultimate renown, the hub has been a money-chewing project plagued by problems far beyond an exotic and expensive design by its exacting architect, Santiago Calatrava, according to an examination based on two dozen interviews and a review of hundreds of pages of documents. The soaring price tag has also been fueled by the demands of powerful politicians whose priorities outweighed worries about the bottom line as well as the Port Authority’s questionable management and oversight of private contractors.”

••• “Woman Mugged at Chambers Street Subway Station.” It was Sunday at 11:30 p.m. at the 1/2/3 station. —DNAinfo

••• The Italian restaurant at the Thompson Hotel (formerly 60 Thompson), where Kittichai was, will be called Sessanta Ristorante. (“Sessanta” means sixty.) It’s shooting for a mid-February opening. —New York Times

••• Garance Doré offers a glimpse of designer Nili Lotan’s Tribeca home and studio.



  1. Re the NYT transit hub article:
    I think a lot of the explanations here (too many politicians and PA bureaucracy) also apply to WTC1 rather than what was said in the NYT article link that was posted here the other day and which I thought had some inaccuracies as I remember things. I still have 2 questions about the hub. Does anybody know:
    *those ugly joints in the beams in the west corridor that is now open–are those part of the original design or part of a budget-cutting process?
    *are they going to paint the wings or are those rust-colored parts going to stay?

  2. Bravo on your assessment of the LPC ‘decalendaring.’ The mayor’s housing plan seeks to require developers require affordable units. How to make developers happy with that? Free up space for more development.

  3. Hudson River…..everything will be white!!!! :-) It will be beautiful.

  4. The city is brilliant. When they remove landmark status on the buildings they can jack up the real estate tax. We saw this on our building where taxes nearly doubled. Old buildings and long time residents will be F’d. The new buildings/residents however will benefit from tax breaks for years.
    Down with the city mafia and their back door taxes!

  5. The New York politicians and government agencies make the mafia look like choir boys. Lpc “decalendering” and gross misuse of money at transit hub are just revolting to contemplate, much less live with.

  6. The wings on the transportation hub’s Oculus do look dirty, don’t they? Is there some plan for keeping those clean? It’s not like you can just send up a window-washer.

  7. Luis, thanks for all the information you impart, here and elsewhere. I can stop obsessing about whether it will be beautiful and obsess about whether it will ever be finished.