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June 18, 2015
Stonewall Landmarks Hearing Next Tuesday at 10AM
Capping a year-and-a-half campaign spearheaded by GVSHP, next Tuesday, June 23rd at 10 am, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal to landmark the Stonewall Inn, a site connected to three nights of protests in June, 1969 considered the birth of the modern LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights movement. The public is encouraged to attend the hearing and testify. The Commission may vote on the designation at that time, or at a later date.
While this is an important and
long-overdue step forward, we hope that it will be the first, but not
the last, step the city takes to recognize and protect sites of
importance to LGBT history in and around the Village. GVSHP has
also urged the Commission to consider landmarking three other sites:
- Julius’ Bar at 159 West 10th Street,
the oldest gay bar in New York City and the site of the first civil
disobedience for LGBT rights in 1966, a protest against NY State’s de
facto prohibition on gay bars. Built in 1826, Julius’ has been
located here since 1864.
- The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center at 208 West 13th
Street, one of the oldest such community centers in the world, and the
birthplace of ACT-UP and many other highly influential activist and
service organizations. Built in 1869, expanded in 1899, former
home of P.S. 16 and the Food & Maritime Trades Vocational High
(former) Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, 99 Wooster Street, home of
one of the most highly influential LGBT groups of the post-Stonewall
era, whose “zaps” and face-to-face confrontations were highly
influential upon other subsequent activist and political groups.
The GAA was located in this abandoned city firehouse until a firebombing
of the structure targeting the group in 1974. Designed in 1881 by
acclaimed architect Napoleon LeBrun.
HOW TO HELP:
- Come to the hearing on Tuesday, June 23rd at 10 am at the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing room, Municipal Building, One Centre Street (at Chambers St.), 9th
floor. Bring photo ID. Testify and urge the Commission to
landmark the Stonewall Inn and the three other LGBT history sites, or
just come to show support (stickers to wear will be provided)
and Casa Vera productions has also created a website dedicated to the
effort to protect these sites of significance to LGBT history here. Learn more about the Village’s LGBT history here.
City Seeks to Reduce Zoning Protections, GVSHP Seeks to Expand Them
Last week the City’s Planning Department made presentations to local community boards
regarding its ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ proposal, which
would increase the allowable height of new residential development
throughout the five boroughs. Though the City modified the plan slightly in
response to concerns by GVSHP and others, the plan would still allow or
encourage larger, taller developments in much of our neighborhood, with
little or no real public benefit in return. The plan was met with
considerable skepticism at both Community Board 3 (East Village/Lower
East Side) and Community Board 2 (Greenwich Village/SoHo/NoHo), where a
standing-room-only, overflow crowd expressed unanimous opposition to the
plan. Neither Community Board voted but will continue to examine
the proposal, which will begin the formal public hearing and review
process in the fall.
the City is seeking to move ahead with this plan which would weaken
local zoning protections, GVSHP is seeking to strengthen and expand such
protections. We have proposed (and received strong support for) new contextual zoning districts in the South Village and the University Place/Broadway Corridors.
In these areas current zoning allows and encourages the construction of
dorms and luxury condo towers of 300 feet in height or greater; in
fact, one such 300+ ft. tall luxury condo tower is planned for the Bowlmor site at University Place and 12th Street.
Ironically, the City claims its plan
will increase housing production in New York City and make for higher
quality, more affordable housing. Many skeptics have questioned
this claim, but it is unquestionable that GVSHP’s proposed rezonings
would do help achieve those goals – by eliminating incentives for
dorm construction as opposed to residential construction; by providing
some incentive for including affordable housing at some locations; and
by eliminating the possibility of sky-high towers which shatter the
scale of neighborhoods. And yet thus far the City has refused to act upon these proposals.
Find out more and read GVSHP’s Op-Ed on this issue HERE
HOW TO HELP:
Business of the Month: Cobblestones 314 East 9th Street
you imagine opening a shop at the age of 21 and still running it
successfully more than three decades later? Delanee Koppersmith’s
winning charm keeps Cobblestones filling the vintage needs of stylish
folks from near and far. Learn all about this East Village native’s shop
in our article on Cobblestones, our Business of the Month for June.
“It’s a very social thing, a store. My closest friends, I’ve met here,” Koppersmith told us.
The local fan who nominated Cobblestones
for Business of the Month said: “Not only has she sold wonderful
vintage clothing at reasonable prices, she has helped many elderly
people she has met through the store…[she] takes a personal interest in
the people that walk in and out of her establishment.”
With GVSHP's "Business of the Month" program, each month a local, independent business is featured on GVSHP's website, blog
and social media, to showcase one of our neighborhoods' great and
unique commercial treasures. The program underscores what makes each
business so valued and distinctive. We hope it will increase support and
patronage, aiding our local small businesses' health and viability.
asking you, the public, to nominate your favorite businesses for
consideration for our "Business of the Month." To nominate a business
just fill in this brief form. See our past Businesses of the Month here.
Another important way to support mom-and-pops is by backing the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, a bill in City Council that deserves consideration. Click here to urge City Council to hold a hearing.