Work will begin on the New 42nd Street's 10-story rehearsal and office building on Oct. 19. New York Governor George Pataki will be present for the groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place at 1 PM. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may attend, but his involvement is not certain. The event was originally scheduled to take place on Oct. 17.
Recently, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awarded $3.5 to the New 42nd Street toward the construction of the tower, which will rise on the north side of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues.
The New 42nd Street is a non-profit city and state organization which oversees the development of the historic theatres on the block of 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, such as the restorations of the New Victory and New Amsterdam theatres. The new, $22 million structure will rise on the site of the former Selwyn Office Building and an adjoining piece of property. In addition to office and rehearsal facilities, the edifice will contain a 199-seat, black-box theatre called "Duke on 42nd Street."
Architectural plans for the tower were announced in 1997, but will be revised somewhat in the wake of the sudden collapse of the Selwyn tower last December.
Cora Cahan, head of the New 42nd Street, said all but $5 million of the construction costs have been raised. The largest chunk of it, more than $9 million, comes from public monies provided by the three developers of the buildings at the four corners of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. That those developers provide nearly $20 million toward non profit ventures on the block was a stipulation of the creation in the '80s of the 42nd Street Development Project. -- By Robert Simonson