December 23, 2014
When developers Peebles Corporation and El Ad Group bought the historic 14-story building at 346 Broadway from the city in May, many were afraid that time was running out for the 116-year-old landmarked clock that sits atop it. Early last week, reported DNAinfo.com, the Landmark Preservation Commission gave developers the green light to convert the building into upscale condos — which means the public landmark will become part of a private luxury condo. The good news is that developers promise to keep the clock functioning. And according to the article, the lucky duck who ends up owning the condo will be expected to keep the clock in good working order; officials will be inspecting. The catch? They will electrify the massive clock, "which for decades has been hand-wound by two retired city employees, Marvin Schneider, 75, and Forest Markowitz, 63." You can't make everybody happy all of the time — the Historic Districts Council and the Society for the Architecture of the City certainly aren't and are reportedly considering legal action — but it could be worse. Who would take over the hand-wound crank once Schneider and Markowitz aren't around anymore? At least this way, the clock carries on.
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