Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
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Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
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Nov 16, 2018

In This Issue

Community Meeting on "Silicon Alley" Overdevelopment Threat

GVSHP is holding a public meeting this Wednesday at 6:30 regarding the increasing overdevelopment threat in the area bounded by 5th and 3rd Avenues, 14th and 8th Streets, especially as the Mayor pursues a plan to expand ‘Silicon Alley’ in the area. We are already seeing an explosion of planned oversized condo, hotel, and commercial buildings in the area, and the Mayor’s plan to establish a ‘Tech Hub’ anchor will only make a bad situation worse.

But the Mayor’s plan also presents our best opportunity to turn this situation around and win the protections this neighborhood desperately needs.  Find out more by attending this meeting, and learn about the zoning and landmark protections GVSHP is working to pursue.  Learn more here.

Please note: While we secured the largest space available for this meeting, seating is limited and interest has been intense. Priority will be given to those who live in the immediately affected area between 14th and 8th Streets, 5th and 3rd Avenues. Anyone interested in attending must RSVP to and provide their name and home address. For those who cannot attend, all information will be provided from the meeting.

GVSHP strongly encourages everyone, whether they attend the meeting or not, to send letters to the Mayor and elected officials demanding that no ‘Tech Hub’ plan move ahead UNLESS this neighborhood is granted much-needed protections against overdevelopment.

Op Ed: What Can We Learn From the East Village Variance Victory?

Our recent victory against a developer’s pursuit of a zoning variance to allow an oversized, out-of-scale development in the East Village shows we can fight these attempts to skirt zoning protections and undermine neighborhood character, and we can win.

How this victory came about offers some important insights into what works, and how we can replicate that success in other current fights, such as saving old P.S. 64, and protecting the area between 14th and 8th Streets, 5th and 3rd Avenues, from development threats.

Read all about it in GVSHP’s op-ed in this week’s Villager newspaper.

Sign the Petition to Save Old P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio

Top: the building left open to the elements during
blizzards and rainstorms earlier
this year.
Bottom: the building after many complaints; barely an improvement.

GVSHP and a broad coalition of community groups are fighting to preserve and protect the former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Cultural Center at 605 E. 9th Street.  We are at a crucial stage in this battle to protect this 110 year old landmark, designed by one of New York’s great public school architects.   The developer/owner is amping up his efforts to get the City to approve his plans to undermine the restrictive deed on the building, as was done at nearby Rivington House, to turn it into a “fake dorm.”  And after years of leaving the building open to the elements to allow its continued deterioration, in response to continuous complaints by GVSHP and others he has barely covered some but not all of the exposed windows with plywood.

It’s critical that we let the Mayor know that this developer cannot get away with destroying a designated New York City landmark or undermining the restrictive deed which was placed on the building.  Join thousands of other New Yorkers who have already signed our petition demanding the building be restored, the restrictive deed be respected, and the building returned to a use which will truly benefit the local community.

Fighting to Maintain Opportunity for Public Comments on Landmarks Applications

GVSHP and fellow preservation organizations are pushing back against recent changes in practices and procedures by the Landmarks Preservation Commission which have the effect of severely limiting the public’s opportunity to provide written comments upon applications being heard by the Commission.  Read the letter recently sent by GVSHP and sister organizations here; read the letter from Councilmember Corey Johnson here.

In short, the LPC is now requiring that all public comments be received by 1pm the Monday before the Commission considers items. However, the actual applications (or revised applications) which are the subject of the Commission’s deliberations are often not posted online until late the Friday before, after business hours.  This leaves the public all of four business hours to find the application, review them, and submit written comments to the LPC before the deadline – a window so restrictive as to make the opportunity for written public comments almost negligible (note: rules for testifying in public at the Commission hearings, which only a fraction of people are able to do during the work day, remain unchanged).

These applications range from everything from small but often important changes to landmarked properties to proposals for demolition and large-scale new construction in historic districts.  GVSHP is calling upon the LPC to extend the comment period by making the applications available online to the public earlier, allowing comments to be submitted later, or both.  So far we are yet to receive a response from the LPC, making it important that all concerned New Yorkers contact the Mayor and the LPC Chair urging them to change this policy.

Latest Landmarks Applications

GVSHP provides an ongoing record of all applications for changes to landmarked properties in our neighborhoods (Greenwich Village, NoHo, Gansevoort Market, the South Village, and the East Village) that require a public hearing before they can be approved. These proposals range from minor alterations to large additions, demolition, and new construction on landmarked sites. 

Use our landmarks site to find out about the application, Community Board and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearings, and how you can weigh in before decisions are made. You can also sign up for alerts to be notified of changes in the status of the application. Click the image below to visit the full site, or visit pages for specific new landmarks for the following properties:


The GVSHP Blog

Check out the latest posts from Off the Grid, featuring news, research, milestones, opinions and historic information about Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo.

Take Action Today!

We need your help to take action in our communities! Preservation leadership is GVSHP's most important function. Visit our Advocacy page to see the full list of actions you can take today.




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