Thursday, February 11, 2016

River Street Blues

Karin Patriquin of Patriquin Architects posted recently on the Save River Street group the following good news / bad news information:
Good news and bad news for River Street: 

"The city has worked out a very creative way to keep the Bigelow Buildings up (198 River Street). They will be renting the buildings to GL Capasso, who own the building to the South on Lloyd Street. They will be stabilizing the buildings, adding roofs, etc, while the city gets incremental funding to clean up the site of contaminates. As buildings are renovated and site cleaned up, Capasso will be able to buy them to rent out and/or use themselves. They are thinking live/work and/or commercial uses."

A photo posted by Croctails,Treefrogs,Driftwood (@nyccroc) on

Bad news on 142 River Street next door: 

Hobart Bigelow
"Our office looked into the site with a housing/mixed use developer, regarding the feasibility of working with the existing buildings. I spoke to a number of people at city hall, to find out what the city has already done and what they have in mind for the site in the future.
We saw that we could renovate and build on the existing footprint, to accommodate commercial on the first floor and residential on a 2nd and 3rd floor. The number of units looked promising. 
Unfortunately, with the flood plain so high here, you can't get a safe egress out of the building above the flood plain, which precludes state funding. The city is looking into assessing and possibly mitigating the flood plain, but this is a long-term goal with uncertain results. With demolition slated in 3 weeks, this does not leave enough time for studies of other solutions."

The Historical Relevance of 142 River Street

Hobart Bigelow manufactured boilers in that location. He was the 50th Governor of Connecticut. The value of a collectible door from one of these massive machines can go for up to $12,000 in auction. Here's more documentation.