Nosy Neighbor: What’s the White Stuff All Over Northwest Tribeca?

Any idea what the coarse white powder all over Northwest Tribeca for the last week is? It’s in every crack and corner and floating in the sky. Looks like Styrofoam. My wife thinks it came from a photo shoot or something, maybe fake snow. I think it’s particulate from the white insulation they are installing on the back of 70 Vestry. —N.

I walked over to check it out: The stuff is indeed everywhere, nearly as far east as Hudson Street, with random pellets drifting through the air. A bunch of 70 Vestry construction workers on a break confirmed that it’s Styrofoam (“like in a cooler”) and that it’s from 70 Vestry, but they couldn’t say what its purpose is. (“We’re not working on that.”)

I’ve sent an email to Robert A.M. Stern Architects to see if we can get an official explanation. A local who works in contracting said that it’s probably part of the EIFS, or exterior insulation finishing system, which Wikipedia defines as “a general class of non-load bearing building cladding systems that provides exterior walls with an insulated, water-resistant, finished surface in an integrated composite material system.” And there’s more about EIFS on this website.

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1 Comment

  1. This stuff is not only in the streets, but in the river directly adjacent from 70 Vestry. It has been floating down every day as they finish the edges of insulation. Entirely irresponsible and such a mess. Pretty sure birds aren’t happy about it either.