More on the Masaryk Fire: NEST After-School Programs Canceled

Here’s an update on this morning’s fire at Masaryk Towers. First of all, GammaBlog has video of the flames shooting out of the windows shortly after the blaze broke out today.  Also, the Red Cross is on the scene, helping people displaced by the fire. It looks like four apartments were destroyed.

Fire at Masaryk Towers Extinguished

We’re just back from the three-alarm fire at Masaryk Towers. More than 100 firefighters responded to the building on Columbia Street. We’re told the blaze, which started on the 16th floor, is now out.  Red Cross staff are on the scene (or soon will be) to assist any displaced families.  We have not heard of any injuries as of yet. Stay tuned for updates.

More Photos From Three Alarm Fire at Masaryk Towers

photo by

Firefighters are on the roof spraying down the flames of the three alarm fire at Masaryk Towers. This photo was taken from Pitt Street.

photo by @FDNY on twitter

This one was taken by @FDNY – on Twitter!

Aerial Photos of Three Alarm Fire at Masaryk Towers

Fire in Masaryk Towers. Photo via Dispatcher @AlwaysActions on twitter.

Some photos (via @AlwaysActions on twitter) of the three alarm fire at Masaryk Towers, happening now.

Breaking: Three Alarm Fire at Columbia Street and Rivington

We are on the scene of a three alarm fire at Masaryk Towers on Columbia Street near Rivington Street. Emergency personnel are here. The fire is on a high floor and a helicopter is being used to assist in fighting it. Columbia Street is completely blocked off and multiple fire trucks are on the scene. Expect traffic delays in the area. More to come.

The Battle For the Bialystoker: More Community Perspectives

Bialystoker Nursing Home building, 228 East Broadway. Photo by:

Last week,  we filed a brief report after Community Board 3’s landmarks subcommittee voted in favor of protecting the Bialystoker Nursing Home building, at 228 East Broadway.  Today — a more detailed account from the public hearing, which offered the most expansive explanation yet from nursing home board members about their decision to close the Lower East Side institution after 80 years and to sell the building as a development site.

Shortly after the home closed last year, preservationists filed an application with the city to designate the 1929 building an historic landmark.  The nursing home board opposed this move, arguing that landmarking would scare off prospective buyers.  The Landmarks Preservation Commission has not announced whether it intends to ‘calendar” the application and schedule a public hearing on the matter.  Community activists hoped an endorsement from the CB3 would compel the commission to act.

Community Board 3 Approves Delancey Street Safety Plan

Slide from DOT presentation depicting new pedestrian plaza on Delancey Street.

Last night Community Board 3 approved a Department of Transportation (DOT) plan to improve pedestrian safety along Delancey Street. The city intends to implement the changes along the dangerous roadway by early summer.

Among other improvements, it will lead to the reopening of Clinton Street at Delancey, the creation of pedestrian plazas to narrow street width and a left-turn ban for automobiles heading south on Essex Street to Delancey and the Williamsburg Bridge. After consultations with CB3, the city also agreed to lengthen the time allotted for pedestrians to cross at Clinton Street by eight seconds and to ban right-hand turns from westbound Grand Street onto Clinton.

The changes came in the aftermath of several fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents on Delancey Street in the last couple of years. In January, 12-year old Dashane Santana was struck and killed at the intersection of Delancey and Clinton streets.

For more details about the Delancey Street safety plan see our previous coverage here and here.

Morning Reads: John Liu Watch, Alexander Wang Update, Streit’s Story

  • John Liu has reportedly decided not to run for re-election as NYC Comptroller but he is still contemplating a “long-shot” mayoral bid (Post).
  • The MTA hopes to issue a “request for proposals” for the abandoned trolley station under Delancey Street “within a year.” (Tech President).
  • The latest developments in the Alexander Wang “Chinatown sweatshop” lawsuit (NYM).
  • Meet the chief kosher supervisor at Streit’s Matzo Factory (
  • The Weegee Walking Tour passes through Little Italy (NYT).


Good Morning!

Essex Street at Delancey. Photo by Phillip Kalantzis-Cope.

Partly cloudy this morning, followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Look for a high of 68.