Covering Battery Park City

Scaffolding, like that in front of Rector Square at the corner of Rector Place and South End Avenue, has sprung up in Battery Park City as a result of “Local Law 11” that mandates building facade inspections every five years. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Scaffolding everywhere:
A forest of scaffolding has sprung up in the southern part of Battery Park City, with more to come. The reason for this, according to Patrick O’Donovan, the super at 1 Rector Park, is “Local Law 11,” which mandates façade inspections and repairs every five years.

“The buildings have to hire an engineering firm to do a visual inspection and then report any and all problems,” explained Kenny Shane, the super at 377 Rector Place. He said that the inspection report has to be filed with the Department of Buildings, and then the repair work has to be completed within a legally mandated time frame. “Since all of these buildings [in the southern part of Battery Park City] were built around the same time, you’re going to see scaffolding/work on many of them,” Shane said.

Art history for seniors:
The Battery Park City Seniors group, led by the energetic Ruth Ohman, will be treated to another series of free art history lectures on Mondays at noon starting on Oct. 17. Silvia Espinosa, who is studying for her doctorate in art history and who teaches at LaGuardia Community College, will cover art from the Fall of Rome in A.D. 400 to the rise of Charlemagne some six hundred years later. Espinosa describes this as “a period of profound and lasting changes in the political, cultural, social and religious outlook of Europe and its neighbors.” Lectures are held in the Battery Park City Authority’s community room at 386 W. Thames St. Ohman says that you don’t have to live in Battery Park City to attend.

Battery Park City Seniors also organizes exercise classes and meditation groups — and on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., meets at Izzy & Nat’s at 311 South End Ave. for a get-together where everything on the menu is half price. For more information, email


On Sept. 30, Doug Van Horn, an educator with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, led a twilight nature walk in Wagner Park. The next twilight nature walk will be on Oct. 14.

Twilight nature walks:
As the seasons change and birds and some insects migrate south, many pause in their arduous journey to rest in Battery Park City’s gardens and to take on fuel by supping on B.P.C. flowers. On Sept. 30, Doug van Horn, an educator with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, led a twilight walk in Wagner Park, where ruby-throated hummingbirds darted among its scarlet and orange blossoms and an osprey and a night heron flew overhead. Monarch butterflies also alight in the park at this season before continuing on to Mexico, where they over-winter. The next twilight nature walk will be on Friday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. followed on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. by bird watching in Wagner Park. Both events are free.

Open House New York:
The 9th annual Open House New York takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 with behind-the-scenes tours of hundreds of architecturally and historically significant spaces and places in all five boroughs. The Battery Park City public library at 175 North End Ave. is on the itinerary and so are Poets House at 10 River Terrace, Teardrop Park South and the Skyscraper Museum at 39 Battery Place.

When the B.P.C. library opened in March 2010, it was touted for its use of recycled materials, its abundance of Internet-connected computers, and its sunny, welcoming environment. It is the New York Public Library’s first LEED-certified branch in Manhattan. Tours with a maximum of 20 people each will be offered on Oct. 15 at noon and 3 p.m. Like Poets House, the library opens onto Teardrop Park South — that imaginative evocation of what Manhattan would have been like when it had streams and rocky outcroppings among wooded hills. On Oct. 15, there will be tours of the park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Poets House, which was has a 50,000-volume library plus exhibition space and stunning views of the Hudson River, will be open that Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with tours at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Skyscraper Museum will have a program for kids six years old and older that day at 10:30 a.m. during which they will be able to explore skyscraper architectural engineering concepts of shape and strength and design their own skyscrapers. Reservations are required.

Elsewhere south of Canal Street, Open House New York will include such places as the Broad Street Ballroom, 7 World Trade Center, the Museum of the American Indian at the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, the African Burial Ground and Castle Clinton.

Open House New York programs are free, but reservations are required for some of them. Otherwise, it’s first come, first served. People who want to go to the head of the line can purchase a weekend “Passport” for two people with a tax-deductible contribution of $150. For more information, go to

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