December 5th - December 9th, 2011
Landmarks Examines Work at Stable
December 5 – DNAinfo reports, the NYPD may have violated city landmarks laws after it altered part of a brick wall at a historic former police stable to construct a staircase. The stable, at 19 Varick St., sits in the TriBeCa West Historic District, and any alterations to its facade must be approved in advance by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, but over the summer work was done for a new entrance to the building. An LPC spokeswoman said the agency, whose commissioners are appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is uncertain whether the NYPD violated any rules but are looking into it.
City Opera Will Have Offices at 75 Broad Street
December 8 -- The New York City Opera is leaving the Lincoln Center and moving its administrative offices to 75 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, reported the New York Times. The company will utilize temporary quarters until occupying 14,000 square feet of renovated space in March or April. City Opera announced last spring that it could no longer afford to perform at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, where it also had offices. It will perform this season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, John Jay College and the Museo del Barrio. A spokeswoman, Risa B. Heller, said the company was paying less than the going rent of $33 a square foot for the office space, or somewhere below $462,000 a year, in addition to less than $64,000 for the storage area. She said the lease was for eight years and five months. The 33-story structure was built in 1928 as the headquarters of ITT and had many tenants in the telecommunications industry, although in recent years the residents have grown more diverse, including Millennium High School, which opened in 2003.
World Trade Center dominates Port Authority budget
December 8 -- The Associated Press reports, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to spend more than $2 billion on building the new World Trade Center next year. That total is more than the agency will spend on construction at all of its airports, bridges, and other properties combined. The Port Authority's board is scheduled to vote on the 2012 budget Thursday afternoon.
No School for Tweed Courthouse
December 8 -- Despite budget cuts School Chancellor Dennis Walcott told parents, overcrowding around the city was not as bad as expected, reported DNAinfo. The remarks were made as he shot down a proposal to turn the Department of Education's headquarters at the Tweed Courthouse into a school in order to help relieve overcrowding in Lower Manhattan neighborhoods. At a town hall meeting hosted by District 2's Community Education Council, Walcott said "It's not realistic and it's not something we would consider," Walcott said. “I understand [you see this] building downtown, why not use it? But from a reality standpoint, it just doesn’t work.” He added that the building is unsuitable for a full-size school and argued that administrators need a centralized, modern space to run the country's largest school system.
Occupy Wall Street â€˜Occupiesâ€™ Law & Order
December 9 -- After months of occupying parks and plazas, Occupy Wall Street occupied itself early Friday, crashing a replica of its lower Manhattan camp that was the backdrop for an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," reported the Los Angeles Times reports. The protest began about midnight Thursday after a replica Occupy Wall Street camp was erected in Foley Square for the filming of an upcoming episode. Actual Occupy supporters, some carrying protest signs, made clear they weren't happy with the set, calling it an insult to the movement. Police ordered a halt of production as about 100 protesters swarmed the perimeter of the set. There was no immediate response from NBC, which produces "Law & Order."
And starting next year, Occupy Wall Street will be part of the curriculum at New York University. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the school will offer two classes on the movement, one an undergraduate class and the other a graduate-level seminar.