The Landmarks Preservation Commission has scheduled a hearing April 2 on a proposal to protect the Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway. Based on a preliminary agenda the item will be heard at 9:40 a.m. Members of the public are invited to offer testimony.
The 1909, 5-story limestone Renaissance-inspired building was one of 67 branch libraries funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The item is not expected to be controversial. You may have seen a New York Times piece the other day touching on a plan to sell property in Brooklyn controlled by the Public Library as a way of raising desperately needed funds; the libraries there would be torn down by developers and rebuilt.
There’s no sign of this type of move on the Lower East Side, but preservationists have definitely taken note of the developments in Brooklyn. Another neighborhood branch, the 1903 Chatham Square Library, lacks historic protection.
Here’s a last minute reminder about tonight’s CB3 landmarks subcommittee hearing. Among the items on the agenda, a resolution in support of landmark designation for the Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway.
The 1909, 5-story limestone Renaissance-inspired building was one of 67 branch libraries funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. In her book, The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited, Joyce Mendelsohn notes that Leon Trotsky spent time at the library when he visited New York in 1917. The Landmarks Commission announced late last year it would schedule a public hearing on the library application, but there’s no date yet. It’s not expected to be a controversial item, but a supportive resolution from the community board always helps.
Also on the agenda tonight, proposals for renovations at 117 2nd Avenue and a restoration at Middle Collegiate Church, 50 East 7th Street. The meeting takes place at the BRC Senior Center, 30 Delancey Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. More info available on CB3’s web site.
A friendly lion makes a new friend outside the Seward Park Library, where the Literacy Harvest Fair was held this afternoon. Thanks to Mike Fung for the photo.
The following story was written by Sarah Sluis, a new contributor to The Lo-Down:
In New York City, neighborhoods can undergo dramatic change in a matter of months. The Urban Memory Project, which was co-founded by educator Rebecca Krucoff and playwright Ain Gordon in 2005, aims to help high school students understand these changes.
After years running the program in Brooklyn, Krucoff is currently teaching a pilot program with a class at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LOMA), 350 Grand Street. She hopes to create “informed citizenship,” and to teach teens to “have a voice” and to be engaged in their communities. Through the program, students become aware of the social, political, and economic forces at work outside their apartment building. Although books are used, the program emphasizes visuals, films, speakers, student-led interviews and photography.
This month’s installment of the always fascinating LES Heritage Film Series will include film legend Martin Scorsese interviewing his parents in Italianamerican (1974, 26 min., 16mm). Scorsese visits with them in their home on Elizabeth Street while they are preparing dinner. His parents (who are both apparently very good story-tellers) open up about their experience as Italian-American immigrants, and reminiscence about the Scorsese family in Sicily.
Also screening: City of Contrasts (1931, 28 min., 16mm) by Irving Browning. The film features images from New York City during the Depression, “exploring roof-top luxury as well as street-level reality.”
This Saturday, get the family out of the cold and watch Beauty and the Beast at the Seward Park Library. Part of the library’s Saturday Afternoon Family Movies series during February, the free movies are screened in the community room at 2:30. Next Saturday the 25th is Cars 2.
For information about other family family events on the Lower East Side, please visit our kids page.
Revisit punk rock birthplace CBGB’s and hear members of the Ramones and the Dead Boys talk about their music and the NYC scene in 1979’s “Punking Out,” part of the next installment of the Lower East Side Heritage Film Series at the Seward Park Library.
In the second film of the evening, “Wino,” New York art film pioneer Jack Smith turns his camera on the denizens of the Bowery, circa 1977. Curator Sean Ferguson will be playing some of his own compositions, live, as a score for the silent film.
The Dec. 6 event is free and begins at 6:30 p.m.
Read more about the film series on Facebook.
The Seward Park Library’s LES Heritage Film Series returns for a second season Tuesday night. Series curator Sean Ferguson digs up some real gems from the New York Public Library’s vast film archive. The screening room (the library’s basement) is not glamorous (if you’re old enough you might even have a flashback or two to elementary school). But the films are often fascinating.
Now that school is back in full swing, kids (and their parents) may need some serious homework help. On Saturday at the Seward Park Library, volunteer high school students tutor children in math. From 2 to 3 p.m., help is offered for kindergarten through third grade, and from 3 to 4 p.m., students in fourth through eighth grades can seek assistance. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. Free. (212) 477-6770.
The Seward Park Library kicks off the 2011 Summer Reading Program on Thursday, June 9 at 11am. The free festivities will include music, a magic show, face painting, arts and crafts, magna drawing and traditional Mexican dance. Special guests include the NYPL President Dr. Paul LeClerc and NYC School Chancellor Dennis Walcott. For a full schedule of the day’s events, visit the NYPL’s calendar. To sign up for the summer reading program, visit www.summerreading.org.
The LES Heritage Film Series is closing out its season tomorrow evening at the Seward Park Library with a film from the Fulton Fish Market in 1955 and a compilation piece of amazing footage shot in and around Seward Park Library in three different time periods, starting in 1934! Curator Sean Ferguson writes:
It might be hard to believe, but the historic Fulton Fish Market migrated away from Lower Manhattan more than five years ago. In our final installment of the 2010-2011 LES Heritage Film Series, we will take a look back at the Fish Market as it was in the 1950s (sans the olfactorial sensations). We’ll be casting the rarely seen extended 23 minute reel for all to sea. All this on our very own scaled down silver screen. (Apologies, as I am sure I have overfished these waters.)
This month’s LES Heritage Film Series will feature the 1976 film, The Biggest Jewish City in the World. The film was directed by David Gill and was produced as a part of the TV series, “Destination: America.” It will be shown on 16mm film and looks to have some amazing images of the Lower East Side, including footage and interviews from 1900-1976. The film begins with footage of the LES at the turn of the century, and progresses from “sweatshops and labor strikes, to early American-Jewish institutions like the Daily Forward newspaper and Yeshiva University, to prosperous descendants of Jewish immigrants living on Long Island.” Featuring commentary by Irving Howe and Sam Levenson. 58 minutes.
FREE // 6:30p // 192 East Broadway (at Jefferson St.) – downstairs.
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