Eighty years ago, family-owned Sol Moscot opticians moved its headquarters from Rivington Street to the northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side. In time, a yellow facade was festooned with outsized eyeglass frames, a possible echo of the billboard with the massive yellow spectacles that framed the all-seeing eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby.
Three years ago, Sol Moscot moved its headquarters again, this time across Delancey Street – a sure harbinger of future development at the corner of Orchard and Delancey. Now, Bowery Boogie reports, the Department of Buildings has approved demolition of the humble but beloved two-story box. Why?
So another developer can erect another 12-story luxury tower, of course. Helm Equities purchased the site in 2012 for $4.8 million, and after demolition is complete it will erect a building with luxury apartments, a restaurant and a rooftop “recreational” space.
It may not be on the level of Hudson Yards or downtown Brooklyn, but the building boom on the Lower East Side is one insatiable beast. Two 80-story towers are rising near the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, the massive $1.1 billion Essex Crossing project is well under way, and just about every available smaller parcel, including the northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey, is a current or future construction site.
Dr. T.J. Eckleburg sees all, and he can’t possibly approve of what he’s seeing in this city today.
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