From Spoiled NYC:

The Sound of Silence: A Tribute To Webster Hall

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For 131 years, Webster Hall has hosted some of the world’s biggest musical acts. Today it closes its doors– at least until it reopens under new ownership, sold in a deal worth an estimated $35 million.

The space, with a maximum capacity of 2,500 people, served as a nightclub, concert venue, corporate events space, and recording studio.

It will reopen in either 2019 or 2020 as the newly christened Spectrum Hall, its space restricted to concerts and sporting events.

I received the phone call in early May. A friend of mine told me management had served all Webster Hall employees with termination notices.

True, it had been a couple of years since I’d set foot in the venue, but a part of me heaved a pained sigh for yet another victim of the city’s changing landscape, for the many dances I’d shared with fellow miscreants who streamed into the place, their wrists ablaze with the shades of kandi bracelets and multi-colored fluffies.

I remembered the faces of the girls I kissed as vividly as I recalled those of the men I kissed– or shyly didn’t kiss. I recoiled at the memory of the crappy wage I made at the time, of the overpriced drinks, the even more overpriced water bottles, a precious commodity in a space that scorched with summer heat even in midwinter.

The people I met there ran the gamut, from frat bros with cockeyed grins, to scene kids with more gumption than me, roadsters who surveyed groups of three or more, code switching and peddling ketamine all the while.

Mirrored behavior existed on the far more spacious dance floor at Amazura Concert Hall in Queens or the even more cramped Electric Warehouse in Brooklyn, and the East Village had long given way to millennial kink, this host of music, bodies, motion, and silent exchanges in bathroom stalls.

“Webster had that old-time New York grunge that made you feel like you were part of the 19th century, in the sense that “fun” could easily involve trying to locate your stolen purse/phone,” says Michael Yates, formerly of Harlem and now living in Los Angeles.

“I’ll miss it. I’m sure the new version of the inside will look fantastic and modern and have a pleasant aroma. Old style Webster Hall was my first immersion into NYC’s EDM scene at the time. It was a place that was magical in the dark, probably because it would look awful when illuminated by sunlight.”

websterhall Having our friend @Halsey visit for an intimate show in the The Studio at Webster Hall tonight before we close for renovations in August. Stay tuned for more surprise shows leading up till then!

The venue, Yates continues, is a “perfect example” of New York City’s infrastructure.

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Historical Lantern-Light Tour of St. Paul’s Chapel & Churchyard

October 27 and 28
6pm, 7pm, and 8pm
St. Paul’s Chapel
Broadway and Fulton Street

Note: Reservations for this event are no longer being accepted.

Come explore the oldest church building in Manhattan and churchyard containing the final resting place of Revolutionary War heroes, early New York citizens, and a few interesting characters. The graves tell the story of the city from colonial times onward.

Highlights include: John Bailey, who made George Washington’s battle sword; Elizabeth Franklin, Ben Franklin’s daughter-in-law; actor George Frederick Cooke (but not his head); a pair of Irish freedom fighters, McNevin and Emmett. You’ll also hear about the New York you no longer see in the churchyard, including the St. Paul’s Chapel Girls’ School and an early firehouse.

St. Paul’s Chapel has recently undergone an extensive restoration, bringing it closer to its original look, and has reopened in time to celebrate its 250th anniversary. This lantern-lit tour of the church and grounds will be followed by refreshments.

RSVP required. Please use the form below. MAX 30 people registered in each time slot per day. You will receive an email confirming your registration within 24 hours. Please arrive fifteen minutes early for your scheduled tour.



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From Chelsea Now:

A Final Look Behind Bayview’s Walls

One of the Baview roof decks, looking out over the Hudson River. Whether the cage will stay is still up in the air. Photo by Yannic Rack.

BY YANNIC RACK | When the former Bayview Correctional Facility becomes a hub for nonprofit women’s organizations, its transformation will once again breathe new life into a historic part of Chelsea’s waterfront.

Bayview, which closed in 2012 as a result of an evacuation prompted by Hurricane Sandy, has stood at the corner of W. 20th St. and 11th Ave. for more than 80 years. Built as a waterfront YMCA for sailors and merchant marine crews, it was turned into a drug treatment center in 1967 and later became a prison, and has been closed off to the public ever since.

Tatiana Eck, the project manager in charge of the Women’s Building for developer the Goren Group, shows off one of the heavier doors on a cell floor at the former prison, which might find its way into a planned museum/exhibition space in the reimagined building. Photo by Yannic Rack.

But last week the developers of the building opened its doors so that residents could get their first — and likely last — look behind the walls of the former medium-security prison, which will turn into the Women’s Building, a space for girls’ and women’s rights groups, by 2020.

“They were all very glad to see the inside of the building after it’s been a part of the neighborhood for so long,” said Tatiana Eck, a senior project manager at the Goren Group, who led about two dozen people through the eight-story structure on Thurs., May 19 (Goren is the project developer along with the nonprofit NoVo Foundation).

The walkthrough led past empty cells and forlorn storage rooms, but focused on showing off the building’s many unique features.

Eck said plans for the renovation include bringing back the barreled ceiling in the entrance hall, restoring the brick and terracotta façade, and fixing up the colorful wall mosaics found in and around a pool that was used by the sailors during the building’s days as the Seamen’s House YMCA.

“Our plan is to bring back the pool, restore the mosaics — and we’ve been talking about ways we may be able to provide access to the pool to our neighbors,” said Eck. In more recent years, the pool was covered with plywood and used as a storage space for the prison.

Examples of the colorful mosaics in the pool area, which will be restored. Photo by Yannic Rack.

“But keeping in mind that this building will be full of activists working on women’s rights issues, security is always a concern,” she added. “So we are working to balance both of those things — have this really important cultural institution, and provide access to the community.”

Visitors exploring the pool, which was used by sailors in the building’s days as a YMCA, but was later covered with plywood and used as a storage space by the prison. Photo by Yannic Rack.

Another historic feature is the first-floor chapel, complete with nautical-themed stained-glass windows and a solemn altarpiece depicting a ship at sea.

The cells, which used to be hotel rooms for the sailors, will likely not survive the renovations, but Eck said some details, like one of the heavier metal doors, might find a home in a small museum space dedicated to the history of the building.

“[We want] something that really helps people understand what the building was, both in its days as a sailors’ hotel and as a prison,” she said.

The gym might retain its double-height ceilings in the planned renovation, and could become an events space to host fundraisers and other functions, according to Eck. Photo by Yannic Rack.

The locals who toured the building were most impressed, however, by that most coveted asset in the modern city — the view.…

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From New York PureWow! e-newsletter:

The crazy-ornate Kings Theatre reopens in Flatbush
You know you wanna see the “before.”
For 37 years, a dilapidated building sat empty on Flatbush Avenue. With smog-stained stone and a stripped-down awning, the thing was a complete eyesore.Inside? The crumbling remains of an over-the-top Beaux-Arts theater dating back to 1929–the Kings Theatre.But that was then. This is now. And she just got herself a $95 million face-lift.The reopening celebration kicks off tomorrow with a sold-out show from Diana Ross. Future performers to take the stage include Sarah McLachlan on March 14, Frankie Valli on March 21 and Crosby, Stills & Nash on May 15 and 16. Or you could tour the space for free at its February 7 open house.

But first, preview some insane before-and-after shots.

Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave. (at Beverley Rd.), Brooklyn; kingstheatre.com

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