Seen & Heard: Taylor Swift Is Building a Mantrap

••• The Scott Jordan Furniture store at Spring and Varick is closing soon, in advance of Disney tearing down that entire block for a new headquarters. (It’ll reopen in Brooklyn.) And so a big sale starts Friday at 10 a.m. There are more details on the company’s website.

••• Milo Hess is featured in a show this weekend at Anderson Contemporary in the Seaport.

••• There’s a ribbon-cutting tomorrow for the Department of Buildings “customer-service atrium” at 280 Broadway. Let’s hope this means the people waiting in line don’t have to stand out on the sidewalk….

••• The construction of what we thought would be Taylor Swift’s garage appears to be commencing. As per Landmarks Preservation Commission filings, the work will be this: “at the ground floor along the Franklin Street façade, replacing modern infill, including six single light wood doors and fixed multi-light transoms at both bays with two gray-painted metal clad, wood, paneled vehicular doors in the east bay, and three gray-painted single-light metal clad wood pedestrian doors and fixed multi-light transoms at the west bay; at the roof, installing a roof hatch and vent; and interior alterations at the cellar, first, second, and third floors, including the demolition and construction of nonbearing partitions and finishes.” While that sounds like a garage, the Department of Buildings filing clarifies that it’s “an interior proposed accessory load area at the 1st floor […] with required curb cut. […] The loading area as shown on the plans filed herewith, would be used solely for unloading within the building. The vehicle would then be removed from the building and parked off site.” So it’s more of an airlock (also called a mantrap!)—”a physical security access control system comprising a small space with two sets of interlocking doors, such that the first set of doors must close before the second set opens”—where Swift can get in or out of a car without being seen. And, indeed, the Department of Buildings also says there will be “interior access to the adjacent 155 Franklin,” where Swift owns the penthouse and a second-floor apartment.

••• Walking by the Spring Street Salt Shed the other day, I was reminded how much I love it—and how grateful I am that the DSNY and/or the city hasn’t crapped up the facade with reminders to recycle or drink less soda or whatever. But the glass tiles around the perimeter aren’t holding up well at all. These were just two of many that have shattered.

••• A few notes on the World Trade Center mall…. First, Under Armour is returning. The previous incarnation was more of a brand showcase than an actual store—there was remarkably little merchandise—and when I went in looking for something, I wandered around for five minutes without ever being acknowledged by a staffer. So perhaps the company is working on those two things.

••• Gloveworx boxing studio is indeed overlooking the PATH entrance, in a space I hadn’t realized existed. There might be even more empty retail at the mall than we suspected.

••• The ad screens are showing film footage by artist Alex Prager. I caught a glimpse of it, but by the time I raised my phone to snap a photo, it was over.



  1. I understand that the expression “mantrap” may be used in construction. I run a company that has some of these at our residences, and we have always called them, “sally ports.” Regardless, I think your headline with regard to Taylor Swift and her safety precautions was the worst kind of click bait, and was unnecessarily sexist and inflammatory.

    • I agree completely with Elizabeth. This was a very pointed and sexist comment aimed at Taylor. With all going on socially, you should really think before writing things like this.

      • To totally insensitive. Up there with the Plascos. Can’t believe the neighborhood is devolving into a purveyor of hate and roughness. Hugs people…we need hugs.

      • Sure hope that you are more concerned about the new JAIL that will be placed in your backyard than Erik’s comment. Shocking that the placement of a bunch of rapists and other criminals that will endanger our daughters, wives and girlfriends does not get the attention of the social justice warriors. But, the PC police comes out in force to MIS-interpret a very appropriate comment by Erik. Let’s hope to see you at the anti-jail protests so that we can focus on what matters for women’s safety in the area. Just saying…

        • You do realize there has been a gargantuan jail there since the beginning of the 19th century, which today houses a thousand inmates, and that, in these past two centuries, has never allowed any to get out and run amok, don’t you?

    • That’s not even close to the worst kind of clickbait, and as you noted, “mantrap” is an entirety accurate word for the situation. Are there other phrases that would also work? Sure. I chose the one I thought was funny. Judging from “Blank Space,” Swift has enough of a sense of humor about her reputation that I doubt she’ll be much offended.

    • I thought it was funny. Surely someone would have taken offense at the word “sally port” also.

  2. The linked DOB AI-1 notes that this alteration plan needed approval from the DOB Manhattan Borough Commissioner, who granted it “for security concerns.”

  3. Jeez Louise…We all enjoy this site and all the work Erik does…enough with the virtue signaling.

  4. If I’m not mistake Gloveworx will have that entire space above the PATH elevators. That should be the only retail space that was built up there. I’m wondering where Market Lane is. Last time I was there it still wasn’t open despite Westfields website stating otherwise.

    I also hear Breads Bakery pulled out of its space at 4 WTC but that remains to be seen.

  5. It’s hard for me to imagine what would cause so much damage to those tiles. Temperature or structural stress are the usual candidates, but both seem unlikely.

  6. RE: Salt shed. Rackstraw Downes made a beautiful painting of it.

  7. I don’t think it is fair to call people “haters” who just didn’t find Erik’s “man trap” funny. Everyone calm down. I, for one, prefer the news minus Erik’s comments most of the time as it is. To quote Louis C K…just sayin’. Ouch.

  8. RE: SALT SHED: I share your love of the Salt Shed and I’ve noticed the exact thing about the many shattered glass tiles. I’m not an architect or engineer, but pondering possible causes, it seems that many of the breakages appear to be the result of impacts, as if someone was intentionally vandalizing the most fragile part of the site. Wonder if DSNY has any knowledge/theories (they have done hasty and jenky patchwork repairs) and if they have reviewed their CCTV tapes.