Seen & Heard: Historic Signage at Risk

49-51 Chambers Emigrants Industrial Savings Bank west facade••• I find this upsetting, although not surprising. The Chetrit Group, developer of 49-51 Chambers—it’s going condo, natch—want to pop windows into the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank murals (which are done in brick, not paint) on the east (below) and west (above) sides of the building, according to an addition to the September Community Board 1 Landmarks Committee agenda. (“Application for modification of entrances for ADA compliance and addition of canopy, new window openings on east and west facades, and new railing on rooftop.” It’s possible they only want to add windows to the perimeter, but I wouldn’t take that bet.) I have a vested interest—by which I mean a view of the western side—but come on. That stuff lends so much character to a city that’s rapidly being overwhelmed with generic new architecture. And of course they’ll end up touting how fantastic it is to be in a landmarked building, surrounded by landmarks….

49-51 Chambers Emigrant Savings Bank murals••• More shoot permits:

—On upper Church for “Joey Smuggler,” filming yesterday. There’s nothing online about it.
—Around Broadway and Chambers for “Law & Order: SVU,” filming Tuesday.

••• As a way to “remember together,” Barre Tribeca is offering free classes on September 11. I wonder if Raccoon Lodge will post its 9/11 commemorative Coors Light banner….

••• Upcoming performances by New York Theatre Ballet at Pace University’s Schimmel Center: “On Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, New York Theatre Ballet will present four ballets in an unforgettable evening. The program will include ballets by Agnes deMille, Nicolo Fonte, Merce Cunningham, and Pam Tanowitz.” Also: “On Sunday, September 20, New York Theatre Ballet will present their children’s ballet, Cinderella. […] Ticket prices are $10 for children and $20 for adults.” Tickets at

••• Proof of the Nish Nush opening at 41 John, thanks to a reader. Let’s hope this turns out to be a second location of Nish Nush, and not a replacement one. I hear that a developer is sniffing aggressively around 88 Reade, the two-story building that’s home to Nish Nush….

Nish Nush FiDi by K



  1. Change is good. The signage means nothing.

  2. PerryR – I assume you’re being deeply, painfully ironic?

    I walk my dog that way just so I can look at that building and that sign. If the developer wants to destroy the sign, I shudder to think what they’ll do to the rest of the building.

    So much beauty, quality, history being destroyed for so much banal cheese.

  3. The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, established in 1850, was an important aid to Irish immigrants settling in New York during the second half of the 19th century.

    Like the Statue of Liberty and the Irish Hunger Memorial, the historical signage of Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, has significance as a memorial to the enormous immigrant populations of the 19th and 20th century in lower Manhattan.

  4. alas, the brickwork may be doomed. the interior has an amazing illustrated ceiling that you can see lit up at night from the reade st side. how is that going to work with a condo?

  5. Please show up to voice your opposition at the Landmarks Commission Meeting Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m.

  6. In addition to the Tribeca Trust posters urging “Stop Demolishing Tribeca” we should consider, IMHO, the slogan “Save Tribeca’s Soul.” Yes, they’re keeping the building, but its soul?