Lower East Side Monoliths

Post Pic 4 SPURA_2

Good Morning Lower East Side! This post is deferential to the monolithic megaprojects of the neighborhood, and the one(s) coming down the pike. This particular corner of the neighborhood has been torn down and built back up (more-so in the postwar redevelopment of many blocks and waterfront areas) so much, that it is hard to tell anything existed once before. This image (at Essex and Delancey) is taken across vast empty blocks which will soon become the newest megaproject in town: SPURA. The area was once occupied by the scourges of drug dealing and mayhem into the latter part of last century; A symbol that remains of failed Urban Renewal programs enacted by the city.

The new development plans can be found at the NYCEDC based website, including future images of a re-vamped Broome Street corridor:


The towers of Seward Park, East River Houses and the Amalgamated Dwellings (past megaprojects), imbue a mass of human habitation. Derivatives of the “Tower in the City” form popular in the mid 1900’s, these structures somehow managed to stay intact (many haven’t in America) and have not succumbed to the wrecking ball. More on the concept of Coop Village and the embodiment of its concept will be the subject of an upcoming post.

This future development (SPURA) is the next generation of the megaproject proposal. It is not too beautiful, or memorable (at least from the renderings) but it does suggest a density and vitality which is essential for this part of the city….a mix match of life, incomes, and activities of the everyday. The Essex Street market, moving a few blocks, is part of a larger program shift, like urban Checkers. The heights of the new towers are determined by a game of zoning Tetris. A city, its neighborhood and the people, shifting with the next big wave of development.


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