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#1 2010-05-05 10:19:51

ntc
New member
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 3

Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

Hi,

How do I find information about the development of the outdoor market in Chinatown on Forsythe street next to the Manhattan Bridge? I am writing an article spotlighting the produce vendors there, and would like some historical facts and figures about the area and how and why it became an area for selling cheap produce.

Thanks,

Natalie

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#2 2010-05-05 14:23:47

DaveGardner
Member
From: New York, New York
Registered: 2009-07-29
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

In a previous query of mine to Justin Ferate about another topic, he gave me this reply:

(the west side of)... Chrystie Street was demolished in the mid-1920s as part of a project that later resulted in the creation – by the former NYC Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses – of what is now known as Sara Delano Roosevelt Park. Land between Chrystie and Forsyth Street was originally acquired by the City in 1929  for the purpose of widening Chrystie and Forsyth Streets and for building low-cost  housing. In the end, the property was instead set aside for "playgrounds and resting places for mothers  and children." The construction of the park in 1934 was the largest park project  on the Lower East Side since the acquisition of Tompkins Square Park a century  earlier. Parts of four streets were closed (Hester, Broome, Rivington, and Stanton)  to accommodate seven distinct play areas with separate playgrounds for boys  and girls, as well as two wading pools, a roller skating rink and a perimeter  of benches and shade trees. While in truth a New York City park, the Chrystie-Forsyth Street complex was dubbed, “the finest playground in the United States.

then Justin quoted the book, The Power Broker, in which Robert Caro says,

“And one [park] that wasn’t so small. North from the Manhattan Bridge, through the very heart of the Lower East Side, through an area in which tenements were jammed solidly into every block, stretched a row of seven blocks that were completely empty. The “Chrystie-Forsyth Development,  as it was known from the names of the streets which bordered it, was another monument to Tammany Hall and to one of its judges, Joseph Force Crater. Forty years later, Judge Crater’s mysterious disappearance would still be unexplained, but contemporary speculation linked it with the judge’s unexpected generosity to the owners of the disease-breeding tenements which had occupied those seven blocks before the city took them over in 1929. Jimmy Walker had announced with great fanfare that the city would raze the tenements and resell the land at cost to private developers who would erect on it a “model  housing development. But the astonishingly high condemnation awards Crater bestowed on the owners made the cost so high that the private builders who had previously expressed interest now expressed only dismay, and while the razing had been accomplished, the replacement had not. For more than four years, with the lost taxes and interest on the award (the Depression, of course, prevented the city from paying it) costing the city almost half a million dollars per year, the tract had lain between the red brick walls that lined it solidly on either side as flat and featureless as an urban desert. Moses proposed that it be made an oasis of grass, trees, baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, wading pools and playgrounds. La Guardia, trumpeting “Page Crater!  when reporters asked why the housing development would not be built, agreed.

The Chrystie-Forsyth Street complex would be renamed Sara Delano Roosevelt Park in 1934.

“Because the [City] Charter gave the Board [of Estimate] authority over all street closings and Moses wanted to build Chrystie-Forsyth park across four Lower East Side streets, he submitted plans for the street closings to the Board for approval. Manhattan Borough President Levy noted that cross-town traffic would be crammed into the two streets Moses was willing to leave open through the park, Grand and Delancey. Although Moses said those two streets were adequate to handle the traffic, Board members said that it would overcrowd them, and refused to approve the street closings without further discussions and a full-scale on-site inspection. But when they arrived at the site a few days later, they found the streets already closed — with concrete, hastily laid during those few days by Moses’ workers, in which the footings of fences, benches, swings, seesaws, and even handball courts were rapidly hardening into immovable reality.


this may not be directly relevant to the 21st-century Chinese but I hope this helps

-D

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#3 2010-09-17 03:41:43

amonismargo
New member
From: United States
Registered: 2010-08-24
Posts: 5

Re: Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

What is the circumference of that light?  Im wondering if this will work for a project I have in mind.  Thanks in advance.

RJ

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#4 2011-03-07 22:33:07

xennymaw123
New member
Registered: 2011-03-07
Posts: 1

Re: Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

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#5 2011-06-25 10:48:42

Neottejaf
New member
From: Finland
Registered: 2011-05-31
Posts: 8

Re: Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

Serieux il devraient abandonnГ© Chinatown Wars. Ils sont en train de le tournГ© nimporte comment

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#6 2011-07-02 23:05:08

SeanB
New member
Registered: 2011-07-02
Posts: 1

Re: Chinatown Produce Market on Forsythe Street

Hello NTC. Did you ever get your answers about market on Forsyth Street? I am also doing some research and would love to know what you found and if you ever wrote anything.

Thanks.

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