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HOTELS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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HOTELS

Garage Might Be Demolished Next to Merchant’s House? Nobody Told Me, Says Garagekeeper


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cart ali tousirSasha Von Oldershausen Ali Tousir at his hot dog cart.

Just about everyone in the neighborhood knew about the plan to build a nine-story building next to the Merchant’s House Museum – that is, everybody but the guy whose business was in jeopardy because of it.

Nadir Ayub runs his storage business, Al-Amin Food Inc., out of the one-story garage located on 27 East Fourth Street. The lot, which currently houses 26 carts belonging to local food vendors, is also the site of a contentious development plan that has provoked the ire of many East Village residents.

And yet when The Local approached Mr. Ayub a day after the proposal was reviewed at a Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting last week, he seemed surprised to hear of it. He said he had signed a five-year lease with the garage’s owner in May, around the time he took over the storage business. That same month, unbeknownst to Mr. Ayub, representatives of the Merchant’s House, along with City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, were complaining to Community Board 2 about a plan to demolish his workplace.  Read more…


At Landmarks Hearing, Outcry Against Hotel Adjacent Merchant’s House Museum


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LPC Merchant's House MeetingSuzanne Rozdeba

Preservationists, politicians, and neighborhood residents asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday to nix, or at least limit the height of, a proposed hotel that they fear will damage the historic Merchant’s House Museum.

Speaking to about 70 people at a public hearing at One Centre Street, City Council member Rosie Mendez, who said she had allotted close to a million dollars for museum renovations, asked that the nine-story, 32-room hotel be scaled back to three and a half stories, to match the height of the neighboring museum. The commission must approve the application because the proposed site is within the NoHo Historic District Extension.

“In this city, when we have great buildings, and it tells something about our history, and our communities, we landmark them,” she said. “And the Merchant’s House Museum is one of those buildings.” The councilwoman asked for a protection plan that would require the developer to pay for any damage as well as for the expense of moving artifacts during construction. Supporters of the national landmark, built in 1832, believe that any construction could cause damage to its interior Greek Revival architecture and its Federal-style brick exterior.

Edward Carroll, the project’s controversial designer, argued that the Bowery was already home to buildings that were taller than the hotel proposed for East Fourth Street, and said it would have a “tri-part design” that would “put it in context with the loft buildings that are typical to the late 1800s and early 1900s in this particular neighborhood.” He also pointed to Great Jones Street, one block south. “There’s a lot of similarities to be seen, with the heights of 100 feet, 80 feet, interposed between each other on one block.” He said the façade would be made of a dark-grey steel and surrounded by a limestone frame. Read more…


Overhaul of Standard East Village Gets $3 Million Price Tag


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IMG_3198Stephen Rex Brown Andre Balazs speaking to East Fifth Street block association.

That book nook isn’t the only new development at The Standard, East Village: hotel higher-ups are moving forward with plans for a overhaul of the ground floor, and according to Department of Buildings records, initial construction will cost over $3 million.

Last week, The Standard filed two applications for construction work and zoning changes to 25-33 Cooper Square. The first, requesting permission to modify egress on the first floor as well as other general construction, estimates a price tag of $2.4 million. The second, for similar work, predicts an additional expenditure of $610,000.
Read more…


Salvation Army ‘Girls’ Home’ Turns 82, But Some Aren’t Celebrating


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P1070818Martine Mallary An actress plays Evangeline Cory Booth at the Markle’s 80th anniversary in 2010.

The Salvation Army’s Markle Evangeline Residence for Women, which celebrated its 82nd anniversary yesterday, is one of the last of the city’s “girls’ homes,” and an odd bird: incoming tenants pay $1,650 to $1,735 a month for a single room that comes with perks like weekly maid service, two meals a day, and access to a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. At the same time, they’re forbidden from having alcohol in their rooms, or bringing men back to them, and the building is run by staff members with titles like major and lieutenant colonel.

General Evangeline Cory Booth, daughter of the Salvation Army’s British-born founder, envisioned the residence as a safe haven for young single women of modest means. When the cornerstone of the 17-story art deco building at 123 West 13th Street was laid in 1930, one of its first residents beamed, “already it has the atmosphere of a real home. There are 325 girls overjoyed to be living here.”

But as the Markle observed its anniversary yesterday in a basement space that once held a swimming pool and is now used as a dining room, not everyone was so overjoyed. Last month, Marion Jeeves jumped from the window of her small apartment and died at the age of 57. Friends said she was a poet who had been depressed over long periods of unemployment and financial difficulties.

Others have left the building under less tragic but still bitter circumstances, complaining that the residence no longer caters to those of modest means. Read more…