Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

[IMGCAP(1)]NEW YORK CITY-Tucked away on Washington Street, just off Rector near the southern tip of Lower Manhattan, sits a small unmarked garage. Inside, several pickup trucks, a large pile of compressed white recycled paper and several men wearing Downtown Alliance emblazoned shirts or jackets bundle up the paper into clear plastic bags. The paper strips, brought to the garage several days ago, would have been taken away by its producer later Thursday afternoon, had the New York Yankees not won the 2009 World Series the night before.

Up and down Broadway, potholes are being patched, security tightened and there’s a sense of impending crowds as TV crews mark their turf. Around two million people are expected to show up for Friday’s Yankees ticker tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes. The show begins at 11 a.m. on Broadway at Battery Place and will snake up to City Hall, where the newly reelected mayor will give the team a key to the city. Even the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is getting ready, adding extra PATH trains to the World Trade Center station between the morning and afternoon peak hours.

But before all that can happen, the paper in the garage downtown was scheduled to be delivered at 4:30 a.m. Friday to 20 different buildings along Lower Broadway for the city’s 206th ticker tape parade. City Hall plays host to these events, handling the logistics and security on the ground, but it’s the Alliance for Downtown New York, the area’s Business Improvement District group, that secures much of the recycled paper, according to a spokesperson at the Mayor’s office. But, it wasn’t always recycled paper or the nation’s largest BID taking charge and setting the tone.

[IMGCAP(2)]“Early ticker tape parades are shrouded in a little bit of mystery vis-a-vis the ways they were organized,” says historian James Nevius, author of Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City. He tells GlobeSt.com that it appears to have been in 1899, when Admiral Dewey was honored with a parade, that city government even took charge of the special events.

The Downtown Alliance makes the point that the paper it’s carting to the towers is recycled. But, according to Nevius, in the old days, ticker tape was ubiquitous and probably lying around the office. “Almost all buildings lining the Canyon of Heroes would have had at least one ticker tape machine,” he tells GlobeSt.com, adding that “since the ticker tape piled up, day after day, they probably only had to stockpile for a few days before a parade to have plenty to toss out as confetti.”

Then, Nevius points out another obvious dilemma: “You can only have an effective ticker tape parade if the windows open: newer, glass curtain wall buildings aren’t good for parades. You’ll notice as you walk along the Canyon of Heroes that there are very few of them on the parade route.”

Known for its sheer verticality and prominent role in the Canyon, the 38-story Ernest Graham designed Equitable Building’s five thousand windows have probably seen many tons of paper tossed out its windows over the years for visiting statesmen, war heroes and astronauts. But will the building at 120 Broadway, once Manhattan’s largest, do the same for the Bronx Bombers? (Full disclosure: the Equitable Building is the headquarters of GlobeSt.com.)

It turns out that the building, completed in 1915, went through millions of dollars in renovations back in the 1980s and 1990s, where old double hung windows were replaced by the kinds that swing slightly out. That prevents most tenants from randomly participating in the ticker toss. Needless to say, according to a spokesperson at owner Silverstein Properties Inc., the parade doesn’t present the building with additional security issues or other burdens that observers may concern themselves with.

Back at the garage, Downtown Alliance COO Bill Bernstein tells GlobeSt.com that there have been 205 ticker tape parades in Lower Manhattan since 1886.

And, as a result, “our property managers are well versed in this process,” Bernstein says. “We plan for parades, whether they are going to occur or not, and, there have been discussions with our property owners along Broadway, along the parade route, for a week now.” He says the Alliance will also assist with the cleanup.

But who will get to toss the paper? Bernstein says, “The tenants of the buildings who can open their windows toss the paper themselves.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.