DOWNTOWN LOCAL



Live/work Libeskind
Despite last week’s uproar over Daniel Libeskind’s Wedge of Light proposal for the World Trade Center site, the architect said he has picked out his home and office Downtown. The office will be on Rector St. with a “view of the Statue of Liberty, a view of the Hudson River and a view of ground zero,” Libeskind said from Germany speaking on his cell phone. “It is not a coincidental site.” He and his wife and daughter will be living a few blocks north of the site in a Tribeca loft he described as a “very simple New York building.”

Downtown Express photo by Ramin Talaie

Double celebration
Mayor Bloomberg congratulated Millenium Hilton general manager Jan Larsen on the hotel’s recent reopening across from the World Trade Center site and on Larsen’s becoming a U.S. citizen May 5, the day of the ceremony, also attended by Gov. Pataki, right.


Protesters arrested
Forty-two protestors, part of a group called Operation Homeland Resistance, were arrested Mon. May 5, during a human-chain sit-in at the entrance to 26 Federal Plaza, demonstrating against the U.S. presence in Iraq and what they consider to be racial profiling and repression of immigrants in connection with security measures.

Monami Maulik, a spokesperson for the group said the protestors would return to the building, where the offices of the Immigrations and Naturalization offices are located, on Tues. May 6 and during the rest of the week for more civil disobedience demonstrations.

In addition to the protestors who were arrested, 35 others were at the event in support of the sit-in demonstrators, according to Collette Carter, another member of the group.

Batter up
Coin-operated batting machines should be ready to pitch ‘em in at Pier 25 by May 15, said Madelyn Wils, a director of the Hudson River Park Trust and a member of Community Board 1. Wils said it will be a great addition to the Tribeca pier, located near N. Moore St.

Prosecuting move
The civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s office has signed a 10-year lease for 66,000 sq. ft. on four floors of the renovated commercial/residential building at 270 Broadway, according to Insignia/ESG who arranged the $25 million deal.

The civil division’s 159 employees will move to the new location, the former Arthur Levitt State Office Building with an address also at 86 Chambers St., during the fourth quarter of this year. The R.A.L. Companies owns the 28-story renovated building.

The U.S. Attorney’s civil division is currently at 33 Whitehall St. where it moved after the office at 100 Church St. was damaged during the World Trade Center attack. The U.S. Attorney’s criminal division will remain at One St. Andrew’s Plaza near the Federal Courthouse on Foley Sq.

Pedestrian death
A hit-and-run driver struck and killed a pedestrian who was crossing E. Houston St. near Orchard St. early on Sat., May 4, police said. The name of the victim, 28, who was carrying a Tennessee driver’s license, was not released pending notification of his family.

The car that struck him, a gray Mercedes-Benz convertible, was found abandoned on Mott and Prince Sts. later that afternoon. The license plate of the car was found on the street near the scene of the accident and was traced to the owner, identified as Joseph Saltalamacchia, 60, of Howard Beach. Police, however, said on Monday that they did not know who was behind the wheel and the case was under investigation.

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

Workers laid the sod at the Battery Park City ballfields last Tuesday. Battery Park City Authority officials said the periods of light rain Tuesday afternoon and later in the week were beneficial and the field should be in good shape when they open by July 1.


Houston St. has long been known as a dangerous place for pedestrians.

The victim was crossing from the north side to the south side of E. Houston St. when the car, speeding west on Houston St., switched from the middle lane into the left lane and struck the victim as he approached the median, police said.

The force of the collision knocked the victim over the median into eastbound traffic and knocked the license plate off the car, police said. The victim was taken to Beth Israel Medical Center where he was declared dead at 3:15 a.m.

Weiss building
President Bush has signed legislation naming the federal office building at 290 Broadway after the late Ted Weiss, who served as a member of Congress for Manhattan for 16 years until his death in 1992.

“As one of Ted Weiss’ constituents and friends, I know first hand how tirelessly he worked to serve the people he represented. I am pleased the president has signed the bill to honor his legacy,” said Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, who succeeded Weiss in Congress and proposed naming the building between Duane and Reade Sts. after him. Weiss, born in Hungary in 1927, fled from the Nazis with his family at the age of 10 on the last passenger ship out of Hamburg, Germany. He was elected to the City Council in 1961 and to the House of Representatives in 1976, for the 17th Congressional District, now the Eighth District which Nadler represents.

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