Battery Park City Authority’s Board of Directors has elected Dennis Mehiel as the B.P.C.A.’s new chairman. Mehiel, chairman and chief executive officer of the Four M Corporation — one of the largest corrugated packaging producers in North America — had been nominated to serve on the B.P.C.A. by New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but it was up to the Authority’s board to actually place him in the chairman’s seat.One of the items on the agenda at Mehiel’s first meeting as chairman was the confirmation of New York law firm Kramer Levin to serve as legal counsel to the B.P.C.A. on waterfront zoning and land use issues pertaining to the Pier A Plaza. The Authority is renovating the landmark pier and plaza, situated at the southern end of Battery Park City.“Kramer Levin will aid in shepherding the Pier A Plaza Project from design to completion, including through the approval processes to the Department of City Planning and Public Design Commission,” said Matthew Monahan, a spokesperson for the Authority.
Paul D. Selver, co-chair of Kramer Levin’s Land Use Department, is the senior partner on the project. Among his current projects are the redevelopment of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport and the reconfiguration of retail space at the World Financial Center.New York City’s fabled garment district, once known simply as “Seventh Avenue,” is recalled in an exhibit that just opened at the Skyscraper Museum.The exhibit, “Urban Fabric,” includes architectural drawings, advertisements, fashion drawings and period clothing from the decades when the garment district dressed America.Starting in 1919 and continuing into the 1960s, three-quarters of the clothing worn by American women and children was designed and made in 135 skyscraper factories that lined the streets between 35th and 41st Streets and Sixth and Ninth Avenues. As the exhibit’s photographs and film footage show, the sidewalks of the garment district were jammed.
Men pushed rolling carts — transporting millions of dollars of merchandise between designers, manufacturers and showrooms. Pattern-makers, cutters and sewing machine operators worked in spacious lofts, protected by fireproofing laws spawned by the tragic Triangle ShirtwaistFactory fire of 1911 that claimed 146 lives, mostly immigrant women. (At lunchtime, a hundred thousand people spilled into the streets.)