Thursday, July 5, 2012

30-Story Tower to Rise from NY Times First Home

BRF Construction is overseeing construction of a 30-story residential tower at 113 Nassau Street – the birthplace of The New York Times. The 250,000-square-foot tower will feature 5 retail stores, office space, and 168 condominium units. Amenities will include a private, landscaped park; a swimming pool and a gym; a multimedia room; a separate recreation room, and a golf simulation center. Residents will receive round-the-clock doorman and concierge service. 

Ann/Nassau Realty razed four crumbling buildings along Nassau Street - between Beekman and Ann Streets – in September, and combined the four lots. The project is listed as 113 Nassau Street and, at 30-stories, the project will rise two floors higher than originally planned.

Livingston Electrical Associates has started installing temporary power and lighting at the site, with BRF Construction scheduled to erect a 120-foot fix/climber tower crane next Saturday. Foundation work at 113 Nassau Street concluded this month, and now crews are beginning superstructure erection that will continue through the end of the year.

Construction is expected to last for approximately 20 months, with occupancy expected in spring 2013.

The NY Times's First Home Is Being Torn Down 

After enduring a century and a half of change in Lower Manhattan, decrepit and anonymous, the birthplace of The New York Times is now being torn down, brick by brick.

By an odd turn of history, the demolition of The Times’ oldest home occurred just as the company settles into its seventh and newest headquarters, a 52-story tower across Eighth Avenue from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Yesterday, a worker armed with an appropriately 19th-century demolition tool — a sledgehammer — sat astride the south wall of 113 Nassau Street, between Ann and Beekman Streets, pounding chunks of the structure into dust.

“Little old building,” Margaret Moffatt said wistfully as she walked by on her lunch hour with some colleagues, one of whom, Henry Raven, was a bit more sarcastic. “Making way for progress,” he said. (Actually, it may be making way for a 28-story residential building, to judge from applications filed with the city’s Department of Buildings. The owners did not respond to telephone messages yesterday.)

What Ms. Moffat and Mr. Raven did not know — few New Yorkers do — is that Volume 1, Number 1 of The New-York Daily Times, four pages for one penny, was published at 113 Nassau Street on Sept. 18, 1851. The newspaper stayed there until 1854, when it moved a bit closer to City Hall.

This six-story building was, in other words, a journalistic log cabin.

And it was not much more accommodating. There was no glass yet in the windows on the evening when The Times first went to press. Breezes blew through the place, extinguishing the candlelight. “All was raw and dismal,” Augustus Maverick wrote in his 1870 biography of Henry J. Raymond, the founding editor.

Raw and dismal it remained. What little architectural integrity the building possessed was all but wiped away in the 1970s when it became a McDonald’s. The property was put up for sale in 2004. The New York Times Company had no interest in buying it. There was no serious talk of landmark designation.

From 113 Nassau Street, Raymond declared in his first editorial that The Times would present “all the news of the day from all parts of the world” and appear “for an indefinite number of years to come.”

He said something else on that long-ago September day: “No newspaper, which was really fit to live, ever yet expired for lack of readers.” Where these words were written is now a pile of rubble.

By David W. Dunlap  
The New York Times 
Published: August 15, 2007