The May 1 celebration of Eastern Orthodox Easter was marred by the tragic fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street, which reduced the landmark building to a charred stone shell. Aside from minor smoke inhalation by the church caretaker, no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze. The same cannot be said for the church building itself, which was reduced to a charred ruin.
In general, new construction reflects local real estate demand and community needs. But given New York’s position as a global economic hub, it is not surprising that one of the city’s largest engineering efforts is a direct response to a megaproject 2,200 miles away. The suspended roadbed of the 84-year-old Bayonne Bridge, which spans the Kill Van Kull strait between Staten Island and Bayonne, N.J., is too low for passage of the latest, giant container ships built to traverse the expanded Panama Canal locks. If the Port of New York and New Jersey fails to accommodate such vessels, the nation’s largest metro area would suffer considerable economic damage. To keep up with the canal’s expansion, slated to open later this year, the Port Authority is raising the bridge roadbed from 151 to 215 feet above the mean water level. The Navigational Clearance Project is expected to cost $1.3 billion.
Sometime next spring, the landmarked Bronx General Post Office, located in the borough’s Concourse Village neighborhood, will start a new life as retail, office space, and a restaurant. Interior demolition work is underway and we got a peak inside last week, with Brendan Murray, vice president at Hollister Construction Services, and he pointed out an incredibly creepy aspect of the building’s history.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s backlog, which had been reduced from 95 items to 30 items in February, has taken another big step towards being cleared. On Tuesday, the LPC designated eight new city individual landmarks, and they span all five boroughs.
Park Avenue is about to get its first new office tower in decades as the 1957 office tower at 425 Park Avenue (catty corner to Rafael Viñoly’s 1,396-foot-tall 432 Park Avenue), once the pinnacle of modernity, is being reinvented for the 21st century via a partial demolition and a dramatic, 893-foot-tall restructuring by developer L&L Holdings and architects at Foster + Partners.