A while back some questionable work at a lot owned by developer Eddie Omari on the corner of Grand and Wooster in Soho caused the ruination of a landmark building next door at 74 Grand Street. Now, at Omari's long-stalled site at 433 Broadway, where crews are digging deep to finish up the foundation for a new building, similar problems have arrived. The lot was hit with a Stop Work Order last week after it was discovered that excavation was starting to undermine neighboring 48 Howard Street, causing it to shift an inch to the east. This could cause some distress for the long-time occupant next door, who just happens to be the world-famous artist and wrap master, Christo.
The leaner is a five-story cast iron classic bought back in 1973 for $175,000 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, his late wife and co-conspirator in art. They first set up shop there in the mid-'60s and for over 40 years it was their headquarters, the studio from which they plotted various megaprojects across the globe, including The Gates in Central Park. Where the walls of Christo's building meet the hole next door, a mucky pit is being backfilled, under orders from the New York City Department of Buildings to "Make Site Safe." Back in 2008 the wide wall above the danger zone and opposite Christo's studio was home to a big Banksy rat that said "Let them eat crack." We're guessing "crack" is probably a poor choice of words on the block these days.
· 433 Broadway Stop Work Order [DOB]
· 433 Broadway coverage [Curbed]