The big hole at 279 Broadway, where a crazy erector set of supports has been propping up a precariously leaning historic structure for the past two years (across the street from the Department of Buildings, no less), is finally seeing some action. A crane is parked at the corner of Reade and Broadway, right up close to 287 Broadway, one of the better examples of cast-iron architecture in the city. The new L-shaped, 20-story box of green glass from SLCE Architects, designed to wrap around the landmarked five-story building, has started to rise. It's been a long slog getting this one out of the ground.
The troubles here started back in November 2007 when excavation on this lot undermined the foundation of the old baroque beauty next door, forcing an immediate and now interminable evacuation. Engineers were brought in to construct bracing to keep the old gal from toppling over. Construction on the new building was put on hold while a system of supports was put in place. Eventually the foundation work began, but this summer a new problem arose, as detailed at DOB: "Due to concrete of insufficient streng [sic] being placed for eleven colums [sic] at the subcellar-cellar level, the columns must be removed and replaced." Yikes!
Apparently that subcellar snafu was repaired, as the first floor is now rising above street level along Broadway, butt-up against the old leaner to the north and Cass Gilbert's 1900 masterwork next door to the south at 273 Broadway. The original completion date for the stack of 84 condo units was tagged by SLCE at sometime in 2011, but that seems to have been set before the troubles took over. Whenever it's finished, 279 Broadway will join other notable new structures that are changing the face of downtown's main thoroughfare for the foreseeable future.
· 279 Broadway - New Building Application Details [DOB]
· 57 Reade [SLCE Architects]
· 287 Broadway coverage [Curbed]