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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…

At Grace Church, A Melodious Legacy

Since the early 19th century, locals and visitors alike have gazed at the striking Gothic architecture of Grace Church, located on Broadway and 10th Street. However, if visitors were to venture through the church’s doors, they are also likely to encounter a rich crescendo of organ music.

Grace Church’s artist-in-residence and concert organist, Stephen Tharp, helps to maintain Grace’s musical legacy alongside its master of choristers, Patrick Allen.

Today, Grace Church is undergoing a massive restoration process. In addition to stained glass windows and ornate woodwork, Grace will fit the colossal building with a world-class organ by 2012. Besides Mr. Tharp’s career accomplishments as an organist (touring around the world, composing his own music, and performing for the pope), he is eager to fortify Grace’s musical legacy on its brand new organ.

The Local speaks with Mr. Tharp about his current position as artist-in-residence at a church that is evolving both architecturally and musically.

NYU Journalism’s Stephanie Buck and Kristin Buettner report.

The Day | 4th St. Development Details

glass tower over Salvation Army, Bowery at East 3rdMichelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

On Friday, we wrote about how – despite the efforts of preservationists – permits were issued that would allow for the re-development of two townhouses at 326 and 328 East Fourth Street. EV Grieve has more details about what changes are expected to occur at the properties, including a look at the work plans.

In other neighborhood news, we’d like to offer congratulations and commiserations to Marc Canora, chef at Hearth restaurant on the corner of East 12th and First Avenue, who made it to the finals of “Next Iron Chef” before finishing as runner-up to Tribeca-based chef Marc Forgione.

There are two interesting historical looks at the intersection of Broadway and East 10th Street. Ephemeral New York has a then-and-now post featuring photographs of the intersection in 1911 and today. And EV Transitions examines the growth of Grace Church and the origin of the bread line that used to stretch from the old Fleischmann’s bakery nearby.

And The Villager has an update on Ray’s Candy Store, including details on how it fared with the Health Department’s revised sanitary inspection grades for restaurants.