Monday, February 18, 2008

Purchase Building Still Stands. Police Blockade of New Dock Street Ends.

Surrounded by a faux green grass fence, the Purchase Building, at 11 Water Street under the Brooklyn Bridge, still stands -- though not for long. The building is going down any time now, to improve the view of the planned Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The building served as the temporary headquarters of the OEM (Office of Emergency Management, now at 165 Cadman Plaza), after Rudi's ill-fated bunker went down with the World Trade Center. After that, the OEM and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office used the building to sift through material holding human remains from the World Trade Center.

The highly stylized sign on the front reads "Purchase Department; City of New York."

Now that the Purchase building is empty, the police car blocking access to New Dock Street is gone. For the first time in years we could walk all the way to -- but not into --the esplanade under the Brooklyn Bridge (photo left), scene in pre-9/11 days of some great BBQs. Unfortunately, the esplanade is still fenced shut. A request is in to the city to reopen it.

Pre-9/11 you could walk from the River Cafe onto the esplanade, then continue north on to Empire State Park.

Of course, the park wasn't quite so fussy back then. Local artists planted herbs around the rocks and left miniature art offerings to the gods. A raccoon lived in one of the trees.

- Purchase Building Out; Spitzer Photo Op In
- Emotional Visit to the Purchase Building

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