[UPDATE May 23, 2013: 195 Plymouth is going to be office space, similar to 68 Jay street. The residential plan is off.]
According to a 2010 proposal (BIS record), 195 Plymouth Street (aka 193 Plymouth Street) was proposed as a conversion into 22 residential units. Landmarks approval for updated windows, rooftop mechanical installation, and was issued on 4/18/2011 (NYC DOB record) and the proposal approved on 5/5/2011.
Construction is ongoing. We don’t have any updates on when the conversion will be completed. Anyone know more?
Belgian block restoration on Water and Washington Streets in Dumbo started in May 2009 and completed in September 2011. The NYC Department of Transportation installed a new 14″ thermal block bicycle lane in the center lane of Washington Street, a look that disappointed preservationists. Doreen Gallo told us (in November 2011) that most people are unaware of what is being sacrificed and what the difference is between restoring the Belgian block in an historic, authentic way and the recent execution on Washington and Water Streets.
Today, The New York Times published an article that the city “has offered to install new cobbles that are aged artificially, like a pair of stonewashed jeans, to appear more worn.”
“Somebody cut those things — thousands of people,” said Doreen Gallo, the executive director of the Dumbo Neighborhood Alliance, a residents’ group. “And we’re careless.”
The Transportation Department has pledged to save as many of the old cobblestones as possible. Some have been retained, but turned 90 degrees to create makeshift bike lanes, pointing in the direction of traffic flow — a visually striking intervention that the city “just made up,” Ms. Gallo mused, to promote cycling.
But many of the stones must be replaced, the Transportation Department said, in part because, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, stones on a crosswalk or sidewalk must vary in height by no more than a quarter of an inch — far less a discrepancy than is found along the typical stretch of Belgian block.
Mindful of some community members’ disdain for the machine-cut cobbles that already exist on Washington Street, the department has promised an exhaustive search for the perfect replica stone. (Technically, cobblestones are rounded and irregular, but New Yorkers generally describe Belgian blocks as cobblestones.)
Andy Wiley-Schwartz, the Transportation Department’s assistant commissioner for public space said that in a citywide study in neighborhoods that retain their historic stones, including TriBeCa, SoHo and the meatpacking district, “…you see a much more uniform color and size of stone,” he said. “In Dumbo, there are a variety of colors and a variety of sizes.”
Residents from the Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association have posted an online petition to preserve the original Belgian block streets in Vinegar Hill. Their letter states:
To: The City of New York As a resident or friend of Vinegar Hill, I oppose the use of mass-produced, modern cobblestones in Vinegar Hill.
Hence, when the planned sewer and water work on Water Street in Vinegar Hill are complete, I oppose the use of machine-made or machine-altered cobblestones of any kind or for any purpose in Vinegar Hill because they are incompatible with the designated historic character of our landmarked neighborhood, of which our Belgian blocks are a vital and irreplaceable component.
I also oppose the addition of a bike lane on Water Street made from anything but our own historic Belgian Blocks.
This measns infrastructure changes to Water Street (sewer work, water work, etc.) should faithfully restore in kind, not replace or redesign in any way, our historic Belgian block street surfaces.
Additionally, any planned changes to curbs and intersections should not include modern materials or designs. Sincerely, [Your name]
What do you think about the restoration of the streets in Dumbo?
56 Water Street (above) and the former garage at 21 Front Street have been demolished to prepare for the 18 story mixed use development known as Dock Street Dumbo. Brownstoner has been following the site demo closely. According to the notice posted on the construction site, the name of the project is “60 Water Street” and work on the project is scheduled to be completed by Decemober 2014.
As proposed in July 2011 by the NYC DOT, the sidewalk along Front Street near York Street is being widened and landscaped neckdown on the corner of York and Front are being worked on according to workers on site. A neckdown is a curb extension at intersections that reduces the roadway width and tightens the curb radii at the corner. This provides a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross and reduces the speed of turning vehicles.
The cross walk at York Street and Front Street will be reduced from 71 feet to 25 feet. This will also improve sight lines for drivers on York Street turning onto Front Street. However, as one of our readers pointed out, semi trucks use York Street to make a right turn onto Front either because they can’t make the turn at York and Washington Streets.
The installation of the Belgian blocks started Washington Street this week. We noticed they are installing new granite blocks in the middle of the street, not seen in the other streets that are being repaved with Belgian blocks. The Community Construction Liaison is calling it “a new 14″ thermal block bicycle lane”.
Other activities being done this week:
Washington and Water Street – removal of existing street lights/energize newly installed street lights
Washington Street from Plymouth to Water Streets – Place temporary asphalt around all the manhole covers and Gas head
Water Street between Washington/Adams Street – Continue reinstallation of the Belgian Blocks, install Belgian Blocks bicycle lane and granite crosswalks