New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine June 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

BUTTERFIELD HOUSE

 

Disaster never strikes at a convenient time, but the timing of this one was particularly bad.

Butterfield House, a 100-unit co-op in Greenwich Village, had just begun an $8 million capital improvement campaign that will eventually replace all windows and heating and air-conditioning units, redo the hallways, install a backup generator on the roof and increase the electric capacity available to each apartment. But when a City water main broke on Jan. 15, these upgrades and several major apartment renovations were halted. Fortunately, the inconveniences were eased because the building made it a point to keep residents in the loop about the situation — and to follow the playbook it had created for just such an occasion.

Around 2 o'clock one dead-of-winter January morning, the telephone rang on Asher Bernstein's bedside table. The co-op board president of the 100-unit Butterfield House in Greenwich Village picked up the receiver and found himself listening to the agitated voice of his building's superintendent.

Bill Bissell said, "Asher, there's a flood! You better go take a look at 13th Street — it looks like the Hoover Dam opened up!"

Around 2 o'clock one dead-of-winter January morning, the telephone rang on Asher Bernstein's bedside table. The co-op board presidents of the 100-unit Butterfield House in Greenwich Village picked up the receiver and found himself listening to the agitated voice of his building's superintendent.

Bill Bissell said, "Asher, there's a flood! You better go take a look at 13th Street — it looks like the Hoover Dam opened up!"

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