After an evening on the Virtual LES (thanks to the brave reader who showed up), it's time for a visit to the Vanishing LES.
I took a ride up to the 11th floor of The Ludlow, the new 23-story* luxury rental building at Houston and Ludlow, for a look at the carnage from above.
Thompson LES seen from 11th floor of The Ludlow
From the windows you'll see the Thompson LES hotel, 18 stories sheathed in black at 185 Orchard. Directly across, at 180 Orchard, there's a massive, block-wide hole into which concrete is being poured for another luxe hotel, this one a mere 8 stories.
180 Orchard hole from Ludlow side, with Thompson LES in background
180 Orchard hole getting concrete, seen from Orchard side, in front of The Ludlow
From the southern windows of The Ludlow, you'll look straight down into another giant pit at 180 Ludlow, also being readied for construction. The "The Ludlow" realtor told me it will be a 16-story hotel, but a construction worker on the scene said it's going to be a 22-story hotel (Scoopy agrees).
pit of future hotel next to Max Fish
This new hotel replaces Joseph Yavarkovsky Paper, in business since 1898--that's 10 years after Katz's opened across the street. Yavarkovsky supplied delis with paper goods and we might assume they had a relationship with Katz's. Next door is Max Fish, opened in 1989, looking like a small, shivering kitten these days. How long will Katz's and Max Fish last?
To sum up, that's 4 in (essentially) 1 block of the LES. Of course, there's also Hotel Rivington and Blue, and the new SVA dorm (20 stories!) going up fast at Ludlow and Delancey (that's the one that blocked the Baby Ruth ghost sign). And the corner of Stanton and Clinton, cruelly demolished by Giuliani a decade ago, has a sign that says it's in the hands of an architect named Backos, so it might be turning into something soon.
SVA dorm coming on fast
Back to The Ludlow's 11th floor -- you can also see, in the northern distance, 3 monsters of the East Village: The Astor, The Cooper Square Hotel, and the still-skeletal 52 East 4th.
view of EV from Ludlow's 11th floor
So, what does all this mean? I think this LES American Apparel mannequin in the Houston window kind of says it all: "Hey, Lower East Siders, kiss my ass."
*All the numbers for building heights here are based on imperfect Web research and sometimes info conflicted, so I may be off by a few stories here and there. Feel free to offer corrections.
P.S. Anonymous commenters here and at Curbed add to this list a condo or hotel building (13 stories? 18 stories?) going up at 136 Ludlow.