While CBGB's is getting all the press, another Bowery staple recently got a stay of execution, sort of. The Liz Christy Garden, one of the oldest community gardens in the city (and one of Gothamist's favorites), has been in a year-long battle with AvalonBay, the group that is finishing up that gi-normous building on Houston between the Bowery and Chrystie Pl., over the companies next building, to be located on 1st between 2nd and the Bowery (i.e. directly behind the Garden).

For those of you just picking up the story now, the fight has gone something like this: AvalonBay wanted to put up 200 rental unit building with retail windows looking South into the garden. Since Liz Christy, being a garden, has no foundation and AvalonBay wanted to put a full basement into their new building they decided that they needed to excavate 3 feet into the garden in order to "properly" build a cement wall on their property line. For various reasons this would be, technically, legal. However digging 3 feet into the garden would almost assuredly kill off a number of prized plants and trees (like the gorgeous dawn redwood that towers over the site).

Luckily the Christy gardeners, the community, and the Parks Department stepped in. After a year of letter-writing and debates an agreement has finally been reached. AvalonBay will excavate into the Garden, but less then originally intended, therefore sparing many of the most important plants. The buildings retail stores will not have windows onto the garden and AvalonBay will pay about $160,000 for damages and improvements (like a new fence). In the meantime the garden will remain closed until the new building is completed, though gardeners will be allowed to enter after hours to water.