Post tagged with


Days Before Class, 46 Cooper Gets an Edgy New Awning

IMG_0015Stephen Rex Brown
IMG_0014Stephen Rex Brown

Today construction workers were installing a new awning above the entrance of 46 Cooper Square, which will welcome the Grace Church School’s inaugural class of high school students next week. According to the school’s Web site, 59 students will be in the first ninth grade class. In four years, the school hopes to have maxed out enrollment with 320 students. Next year, the school will expand into the adjacent Village Voice building when the alt-weekly’s lease expires.

Action Near Astor: As Building Goes Up, Another Business Bites the Dust

IMG_0080Melvin Felix New signage at the site of 51 Astor Place.

A little over two weeks ago The Local gave an overhaul update on the many changes underway at Astor Place and Cooper Square. It’s already time to check in again.

Norman's Sound & Vision closedMelvin Felix Another record store has shuttered.

A spokesman for Edward J. Minskoff Equities, the developer of 51 Astor Place, said that an announcement regarding tenants in the 12-story office building will be made within the next 45 days. The spokesman also confirmed that “a significant portion” of companies considering moving into the building are in the technology industry, as has been previously reported. The black glass tower is expected to open in spring of next year, as new signage at the construction site indicates. Read more…

Overhaul Update: The Latest on the Transformation of Astor and Cooper Square

IMG_0003Sarah Darville Water main construction at Cooper Square.

The steel beams of 51 Astor Place now loom over the entrance to the 6 train. High school students will soon be attending class at Cooper Square. And city contractors are still tearing up asphalt to repair a vital water main.

Here’s a roundup of the latest news on four projects that will transform the gateway to the neighborhood.

New 51 Astor Place BuildingCourtesy of Sciame Construction Corp A rendering of 51 Astor.

51 Astor Place

In May, Commercial Observer reported that Hult International Business School was negotiating to take the second floor at the black-glass tower being built at the corner of St. Marks Place and Fourth Avenue. But William Lyman, Vice President of Global Development at the school says it is no longer pursuing the space. That deal would have satisfied a requirement that the building host at least one educational institution. Who will occupy the rest of the space remains a mystery. Microsoft and IBM have previously been rumored to be interested in moving in. Read more…

Police Car Involved in Early-Morning Crash

At Sixth St. and Cooper SquareDaniel Maurer A damaged police car near Cooper Square.

The Local spotted a damaged police cruiser being hauled away on a truck bed this morning at Cooper Square and Sixth Street. The side air bags had been deployed, and the passenger-side of the car was dented. A spokesman for the police department said that the car was involved in a crash with a black car at around 5:20 a.m. There were no major injuries from the accident, and no one was arrested. The spokesman had no further information. Do you? <a href=””>E-mail The Local</a> whenever you see something like this and give us the what, who, where, and when.

Flaming Cactuses May Stay a Year


How long will the Flaming Cactus display remain in Cooper Square? Possibly until June 2012. According to a City Room post, that’s how long the city has given the Animus Arts Collective (which first pitched the art project back in 2009) till they have to take down the colorful zip ties.

Water Main Project Behind Schedule

overheadKyle Terwillegar After initially announcing that a water main project in Cooper Square would be finished by the winter, city officials now say it won’t be completed until spring 2012 at the earliest.

If you’ve walked around Cooper Square for the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen how it’s been turned into a labyrinth of construction barricades and detoured traffic due to the replacement of water mains in the area.

Well, the excavation overtaking much of the intersection of the Bowery and Fourth Avenue will not be finished anytime soon. After originally announcing that the project would be finished this winter, officials now say that the work won’t be completed until spring 2012 at the earliest.

Ray Martin, the operating engineer at the site, which stretches from Cooper Square to East Fourth Street, said on Thursday that the work wouldn’t be finished until summer of next year.

“The timeline changes all the time, there’s a lot of utilities in the ground,” Martin said.

A spokesman for the Department of Design and Construction, Craig Chin, took a more optimistic view, saying that work could be completed by spring 2012. But he did not dispute that the $10.8 million job, which involves replacing antiquated water mains up to Astor Place, is a tough one.

“If you look at the open trench, it’s a tangled web of wires,” Mr. Chin said. “Things have to be moved from one side to the other so they can put in water mains. It’s a painstaking process.”

Kyle Terwillegar contributed information to this post.

The Day | Paying Taxes, Dodging Taxis

Old Man in LoafersRachel Citron

Good morning, East Village.

It’s tax day. If you haven’t filed yet, better get down to the post office quick sharp. If that’s not encouragement enough, an EV Grieve reader spotted this friendly warning.

In better news, Passover begins at sundown. Last week, The Times reported on the growing trend of eating out for the traditional Seder meal. East Village spots JoeDoe and Octavia’s Porch will be offering their take, and JoeDoe co-owner Jill Schuster put together a playlist to remind guests of a old-fashioned family Passover.

Hot on the heels of incredibly popular Tompkins Square Park ping pong table, which has seen action from all ages, DNAinfo reports that the planned facelift for Dry Dock Park will include domino tables. The $1.2 million restoration will also repair dilapidated basketball courts and install better lighting.

EV Grieve notes that traffic lights on Cooper Square are new, after originally wondering if they had been covered as part of a prank. That will probably come as welcome news to anyone used to madly dashing across the Square in the face of buses and cabs coming from all directions.

And finally, The Times reported on Friday that the Hot Chicks Room sign that had so irked some residents will find a new home in a Governors Island chicken coup.

After a blustery weekend, things are looking up: highs of 60 degrees are in the cards today with a few spots of cloud. Have a good week.

Tribes of New York

Native American TrailAn early photo of a Native American trail from the Inwood section of Manhattan Island. Photo by W.L. Calver, originally published 1922.

Plans to pedestrianize Astor Place and expand Cooper Square Park, which were presented to Community Boards 2 and 3 on January 6th, are moving toward approval from the city’s Public Design Commission. A few wrinkles must be smoothed out, however, before the blueprints can be handed over to a contractor. Perhaps the most interesting community petition made thus far is that an old Native American trail, which ran through the area, be memorialized in the new design.

The Local thought that in light of the request, this might be the perfect time to look at the oft-forgotten historical presence of Native Americans in the East Village.

Once upon a time, Manhattan was a remote offshoot of North America with dense forests full of wildlife, open fields overgrown with rich grass, and bountiful harbors teeming with oysters, lobsters, and fish.

According to Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, tribes of Lenape Indians set up camp on this bountiful land, which they called Lenapehoking or, “where the Lenapes dwell,” more than sixty-five hundred years ago. They moved about frequently in groups of roughly 200 people at a time, hunting deer and wild turkeys, fishing, and foraging for nuts and berries.

Some fifty-five hundred years later, they had established more static communities thanks, in large part, to agricultural advancements. When Europeans arrived in 1524, approximately 15,000 Lenape Indians of various tribes lived in what is now New York City.
Read more…

In The East Village, Kicking The Habit

After years of drug use, Acacia Cruz decided it was time to kick her heroin habit. Ms. Cruz is currently a regular client at the Cooper Square methadone clinic, and she hopes to complete her program soon.

NYU Journalism’s Sarah Tung reports.