On the Bowery just below Houston, two projects seem poised for the construction starting gun. The first competitor is architect Norman Foster's building for the Sperone Westwater Gallery at 257 Bowery, replacing a demolished five-story tenement. Last week, a gallery spokesperson told the Post's Lois Weiss that foundation work on the building had begun, but by the looks of the above, that's not quite the case. The second contestant comes by way of Karl Fischer, a mysterious seven-story project at 263 Bowery where crews labored for nearly a year to take down four floors of brick that stood on the site for over 150 years.
Both jobs have recently filed a slew of documents with the Buildings Department. The Foster project's application for sheeting, shoring and underpinning was approved May 1, while Fischer's building received approval for a similar filing back in January. The Fischer gang is also apparently sorting out some dirty details with its neighbor at 261 Bowery. Right now, both sites are little more than a dumping ground of broken bricks with old masonry walls rising on either side. Who'll win the race? We await the Vegas odds, but the gallery has a clock ticking on its current lease, which should kick Norm and crew into high gear.
· 257 Bowery coverage [Curbed]
· 263 Bowery coverage [Curbed]