Pict0274.jpg (133472 bytes) New York Architecture Images- Lower Manhattan

Federal Office Building


Cross & Cross and Penninton, Lewis & Mills, Inc. Lewis A. Simon, Supervising Architect of the Treasury.


90 Church St.




Art Deco




Office Building


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Boston Properties Plans Spring Finish for Condemned 1.1M-SF Federal Building 
By Michael Gilliard 
Last updated: Oct 2, 2002 04:09PM 

NEW YORK CITY-Having recently submitted logistical drafts to their respective insurers for renovation cost coverage, tenants at the 15-story, 1.1 million-sf Federal Building, located just north of the World Trade Center site, expect to reoccupy the property early next year. Robert Selsam, senior vice president at Boston Properties, which manages 90 Church St., tells that the structure, condemned following the Sept. 11 attacks, "will be in entirely clean condition and ready for tenants by late next spring." Boston Properties has also submitted a draft for coverage of renovations they are undertaking for the lobbies and elevator shafts in the building. 
The building's three tenants are the New York City Housing Authority, which occupied seven and a half floors; the Legal Aid Society, whose headquarters occupied 150,000 sf on three floors; the US Postal Service, which owns the building and took up six floors. All three are still under lease, Selsam tells NYCHA is insured by Burbank, CA-based Allianz Insurance Co., a subsidiary of European insurance giant Allianz; the Legal Aid Society's insurer is Stanford, CT-based Hartford Life Inc.; and Boston Properties is covered under Johnson, RI-based FM Global. 

An NYCHA spokesman estimates the "total business recovery cost," including both employee relocation efforts and renovation costs for their space in the Federal Building at $93 million. "As a result of Sept. 11, we've had to take a number of measures to relocate the approximately 1,500 employees from that location to our existing space at 250 Broadway in Manhattan, 350 Livingston St. in Brooklyn and our Long Island City facility," he tells "Additionally, we have sublet nine floors at 90 5th Ave. in Manhattan as part of the accommodation." 

Erected in 1935, the property sustained non-structural damage in the Sept. 11 attacks and was subsequently condemned. "It was a real contamination cocktail," a Legal Aid Society spokeswoman tells "Mold, fumes from the plane wreckage, part of which punctured the roof of the building, asbestos, mercury and additional heavy metals were all detected and forced us out." 

The Legal Aid Society was largely decentralized following the move, and is now eager to return. "We had originally hoped to move back by the end of 2001, but now our goal is to spend Christmas of 2003 in the Federal Building," says the spokeswoman. "There is no question that Boston Properties expects to have everything ready by then." She would not speculate on whether the Legal Aid Society would consider seeking an alternate space if renovations lagged, adding only "during the next few months, we must make some concrete decisions on the future location of our company." 

A US Postal Office spokeswoman tells that its letter carrier operations, moved to the James A. Farley Post Office building at 8th Ave. and 33rd Street, should be relocated back to the Federal Building in late 2003. They plan to reoccupy the bottom four floors of the building, although the structuring of employees may change. "We may end up rearranging the furniture as this moves forward, so to speak," says the spokeswoman. Meanwhile, the Postal Office's processing facilities have been indefinitely relocated to the Morgan Postal Facility at 9th Ave. and 30th St. following the Federal Building condemnation. 

Biding time until its return, the Legal Aid Society this week moved approximately 75 employees in its civil administration division into a 33,000 sf sublease at 199 Water St. for 18 months. They have also signed a similar stint for its central administration employees with a short-term lease signing for 36,000 sf on the 22nd and 28th floors of 1 Battery Park Plaza. "These are short-term deals because we expect to be back in the Federal Building by the time they terminate," says the spokeswoman. 

"It's safe to assume they are using these short leases to wait until they can safely move back into the Federal Building," a source close to the Legal Aid signings tells "Until then, all they can do is sit back and hope." 

Bob Tunis, senior executive managing director for GVA Williams, represented the Legal Aid Society in the 199 Water St. lease, while Bob Romano and Bob Brenan represented the sublessor, Prudential Securities. The space became available as a result of Prudential's ongoing consolidation efforts in the building, Tunis tells GVA Willams is also currently marketing another 60,000 sf of Prudential space in that building.


"A ... limestone monolith that has trouble deciding between a heritage of stripped-down neo-Classical and ... Art Deco."

Feds Sue Insurers Over 9/11 Damage

By Patricia Hurtado
Staff Writer

June 27, 2003, 9:02 PM EDT

The federal government has filed suit against an

insurance company for failing to reimburse it for millions of dollars in losses and damages incurred at a lower Manhattan post office on Sept. 11, 2001.

The suit, filed on behalf of the Postal Service by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney James Comey, is the first to describe the extent of the damage at the massive 15-story Art Deco building at 90 Church St. The post office, adjacent to the World Trade Center, is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The 1935 structure, which served as the central mail sorting and distribution center for lower Manhattan as well as a general post office for the financial district, also housed the Legal Aid Society and the city Housing Authority.

The post office has been shuttered since the terrorist attacks.

According to a suit filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sadowski, the building suffered extensive damage after the Twin Towers and later that day when 7 World Trade Center collapsed.

Burning debris struck the post office, igniting fires and releasing smoke and fumes. The building was further damaged by flooding from open sprinklers and the Fire Department's prolonged use of a standpipe in the building.

Subsequently, the suit charges, mold also grew throughout the building as a result of the flooding.

Sadowski charges the U.S. Postal Service signed a one-year insurance policy with Factory Mutual Insurance Co. of Johnston, R.I., effective Nov. 17, 2000 through Nov. 17, 2001 that covered property damage.

The government argues that Factory Mutual has rejected proof of loss and denied coverage "without justification."

The carrier's failure to pay for repairs and decontamination will "render the building a health danger to the surrounding area," the suit says.

A related suit filed Friday against Mutual Factory on behalf of 90 Church LP, the net leaseholder, charges that: "The restoration and reoccupancy of this historic property is critical to the revitalization of downtown Manhattan." That suit says 90 Church has suffered more than $38 million in losses and $17 million in damages.

Calls Friday to Factory Mutual were not returned.