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Pearl Street Demo: Preservationists' Last Gasp?

[Photo: Will Femia]

The by-hand demolition of 213 Pearl Street?the last remaining full structure in a slightly-forgotten and slightly-razed row of 1830s Greek Revival warehouses?is scheduled to begin today. For a while the building, as well as the preserved facade of 211 Pearl Street right next door, have remained comically walled off from the encroaching skyscrapers of the Financial District/Seaport. But the protective cocoon could only last for so long. Or could it? This story has turned into one of those multifaceted and vicious preservation battles that get amateur historians in this city fired up, and it appears the book hasn't quite closed on this relic from New Yorks' "first world trade center."

When last we left this tale, the Lam Group was planning on tearing 213 Pearl Street down (Rockrose owns 211 Pearl Street and owned the demolished 215 Pearl Street), perhaps in pursuit of building a new hotel. The Committee for the Preservation of Historic Pearl Street went to work, but that's still the Lam's plan. However, now that heavyweights like the Associated Press are getting mixed up in this sordid controversy, the battle is far from over. The CftPoHPS just sent out an update with new info. According to them:

213 Pearl Street
Demolition is expected to begin on Tues. Nov. 6th at 213 Pearl Street, though a detail in the permitting process for the project may postpone the work. It does not appear that owner, The Lam Group will plan to rebuild the facades of 213 and 215 Pearl Street, which was the original vision of Rockrose Development. Lower Manhattan officials are currently in discussions with representatives for the hotel developer.

211 Pearl Street
There is also concern about whether proper precautions will take place to protect the the facade at 211 Pearl Street, which is owned by Rockrose Development. The structure, supported by a steel-framed shadow box, will be left free standing, with demolition and heavy construction work on the immediate block over the coming months. A project manager at the Department of Transportation felt confident that the facade would be secure, especially since wind currents on the block flow north to south, and through the open side of the structure.

Now that the "officials" are getting involved, expect the next World Trade Center to get built before the Pearl Street issue gets resolved.
· Earlier World Trade Center threatened [AP]
· Shaky Pearl Street Building Now Even More Endangered [Curbed]

213 Pearl Street

213 Pearl Street, New York, NY