July 2014

Street to be Renamed for Fallen Bomb Squad Officer

bomb11n-1-webIt may have happened a long time ago, but Officer Brian Murray has not been forgotten, and the Southwest corner Charles and Bleecker Streets will be renamed for him in honor of his sacrifice.

Officer Murray was killed on September 11, 1976, while attempting to disarm a bomb planted at Grand Central Terminal by Croatian terrorists.

The renaming ceremony will take place on October 1, 11 am at the corner of Charles and Bleecker Streets.



West Village Treasure Being Marketed to Developers


The land at 121 Charles Street, on which possibly the oldest freestanding house in Manhattan sits, is being aggressively marketed as a development site by real estate interests. According to The Real Deal, the nearly 5,000-square-foot site could become a condominium building or a three-story mansion.

The house itself, beloved by all who’ve seen it, dates back to the 1800’s and was originally situated at 71st Street near York Avenue. Facing demolition, it was sold to the people who were renting it. They paid $6500  to have the house moved to  its current location.

It was sold in the late 1980’s to Suri Bieler and her husband, who renovated and doubled the size of the house in the 1990’s. They and their architect, George Boyle, paid such careful attention to making sure the renovations fit with the age of the house that they were given an award by GVSHP in 2003.

In 2007, Ms. Bieler was quoted as saying “If we ever left New York, we’d take the house with us…”   Hmmm…

Sometimes called “Cobble Court” or “Jack’s House”, the property is currently listed at $20 million with ERG Property Advisors. On their website, they are aggressively promoting the property to developers: “…The property consists of a 4,868 square feet lot creating a large blank canvas for a developer or user to execute a wide variety of potential visions, from boutique condominiums, apartments or a one-of-a-kind single family residence.”

The building itself was never landmarked because of its modern additions and renovations, but since it sits in a landmarked zone, future developers may have a fight on their hands. GVSHP has pointed out on their site today that the house lies in a designated historic district, and “…no changes can be made to either site without a long public hearing process and ultimately the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which is charged with ensuring that only “appropriate” changes are allowed to historically significant sites such as these.” To read what GVSHP has posted, go here