Best Laid Plans

Landmarks Preservation Commission To Decide Fate of Merchant’s House Hotel Tomorrow

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Developers of a proposed hotel adjacent to the historic Merchant’s House Museum in the East Village will face the Landmarks Preservation Commission tomorrow and face the board’s judgment on the controversial project.

Plans for a nine-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street provoked neighborhood backlash as soon as they were unveiled nearly one year ago. Local preservationists circulated a petition warning that the structure would “overwhelm and detract from the special architectural and historic character of the Merchant’s House Museum. Its excessive size and bulk is not respectful of the historical context of the Museum and does not relate to its small scale.” There were also fears of the impact the hotel’s construction could have on the 181-year-old museum’s structural integrity. Read More

Food & Drink

Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts Account For More Than 40 Percent Of New York Coffee Shops

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A new report from the New York City Economic Development Corporation reveals that 42.7 percent of the city’s 1,700 coffee shops and cafes are either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks branches.

There are 454 Dunkin Donuts locations and 272 Starbucks stores across the five boroughs, according to findings that the E.D.C.’s StatsBee’s blog published on Friday. The East Village’s 10003 zip code was the most caffeinated in the city, with 49 cafes. Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen’s 10019 zip code followed, with 47 shops. Outside Manhattan, Park Slope (11215) and Glendale (11385) each had 32 coffee shops. Both narrowly edged out Williamsburg (11211), which had 31 joe-providing freelancer magnets. Read More

Dizzying Designs

Now We Get It: Minsikoff’s 51 Astor May Be New York’s Strangest New Building

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51 Astor Place

It’s one of the more unusual buildings in the city—an office building smack in the middle of Astor Place, designed by one of the world’s top architects. But as Edward Minsikoff’s 51 Astor Place, designed by Fumihiko Maki, comes closer to reality, the building has defied understanding.

Now, it has finally launched its website with updated renderings and floorplans (spotted by Curbed) which finally helps us get what the building is all about. Read More