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The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
 
 
15 April 2009

In This Issue

Hearing on Proposed 215 ft.-tall Gansevoort Office Tower 4/28

Help Save Landmarked 43 MacDougal Street
GVSHP Calls for Better Care for 9/11 Memorial

Hearing for 215 ft.-tall Gansevoort Office Tower 4/28

The request for variances for a proposed development at 437 West 13th Street (at Washington Street) in the Meatpacking District, to allow a glass office building 55% larger than zoning allows and triple the allowable retail space, will be heard by the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) on Tuesday, April 28th. The BSA will decide whether or not the owner receives these variances, or exemptions from the local zoning restrictions.

GVSHP has been strongly opposed to the variances, which were largely approved by the Community Board 2 Zoning Committee and then overturned by the full Community Board 2 following opposition by GVSHP and other opponents of the plan. The proposed 215 ft. tall building would be completely out-of-scale for the neighborhood, and its almost entirely-glass facade, 215 ft. tall blank northern wall, and three-story big box retail space in its base would be totally out-of-character for the neighborhood. The plan also involves demolition of an Art Deco historic market building within the Gansevoort Market National Register Historic District; the building was also within the proposed NYC Gansevoort Market Historic District (which would have prevented demolition), but was removed from the district approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission after heavy lobbying by the owners.

HOW TO HELP


Help Save Landmarked 43 MacDougal Street

43 MacDougal Street is a landmarked 1846 house located within the King-Charlton-VanDam Historic District. For several years this beautiful and historic structure has been neglected and virtually abandoned by its owner. It has been left open to the elements, allowing months of rain and snow to collect inside; its windows and storefront have been left open, allowing free access for criminal activity, waste dumping, and vermin; it has become a health and safety hazard for neighbors; and the building itself is in danger of losing its landmarked qualities.

GVSHP and neighbors have been pushing city agencies to take decisive action to resolve this ongoing and worsening problem. This has helped result in over $120,000 in fines against the owner, violations served by multiple city agencies, rat baiting, and the city sealing the building and erecting a safety bridge around it to protect passersby. See the photos and chronology of events >>

However, the owner continues to ignore the fines and violations from the city, conditions continue to worsen, and the stop-gap measures by the city create almost as many problems as they solve. GVSHP is urging the city to take decisive action to cure this problem once and for all, before someone is hurt and/or the landmarked building is irreversibly damaged. We are calling upon the city to initiate a “demolition by neglect” case against the owner (which would force complete repair of the building), and/or to repair the building and bill the owner.

HOW TO HELP


GVSHP Calls for Better Care for 9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 commemorative tiles around the MTA lot at Greenwich Avenue and 7th Avenue South are one of our city’s most poignant and recognized memorials of the tragic World Trade Center terrorist attacks. However, in the seven years since they were created, many have fallen or broken off, been damaged or cracked, or yellowed from time and pollution. There seems to be little evidence of their being cared for by the MTA, on whose property they are located.  If current conditions continue, we fear this memorial will simply be lost over time.

In the hopes of preventing this from happening, GVSHP has written to the MTA, urging them to either take better care of the memorial tiles, or to help find a suitable permanent home for them where they can be preserved and honored.

Read GVSHP’s letter to the MTA >>


To join GVSHP or support our preservation efforts, go to www.gvshp.org/membership.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
232 East 11 Street, New York, NY 10003 : 212.475.9585 : gvshp@gvshp.org

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