Concern about approval of NYU’s demolition plan
The historic Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, 133-139 MacDougal Street, with area NYU has proposed to preserve highlighted
GVSHP has received a tremendous outpouring of sadness and concern in response to the news of approval of NYU’s plan to demolish the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments at 133-139 MacDougal Street. While this is indeed an occasion for sadness, it is worth noting that the determination GVSHP was able to secure that the entire building qualified for the State and National Register of Historic Places means that no State or Federal funds (which are often used for projects like these) can be used in this case without a further historic preservation review. GVSHP has also shared the State’s determination regarding the important history of this site and considerable historic research we have compiled about the building with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, and asked them to protect the site by either reconsidering individual landmark designation or moving ahead with GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, which includes this site.
Many have compared NYU’s plan to save the facade of the entry to the small theater section of the building and the four interior walls to its promise in 2001 to “preserve” the Poe House just around the corner of West 3rd Street. It is worth noting that the Historic Districts Council, a strong ally in the effort to preserve the South Village and the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, testified strongly AGAINST approval of the current NYU plan, based upon their own experience having negotiated the Poe House agreement with NYU in 2001 and seeing the results. It is also worth contrasting the high hopes which many had for the Poe House deal with NYU in 2001 with the great disappointment which greeted the final results.
We are very grateful to the Historic Districts Council for their strong support for preserving the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, and for sharing their determination not to allow NYU to repeat the mistakes of the past.