GVSHP has discovered that NYU has broken yet another promise regarding the Provincetown Playhouse, which the university recently “re-opened.” In 2008 NYU had proposed to demolish the entire Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments at 133-139 MacDougal Street for new law school offices, promising only to preserve the tiny facade entrance to the theater space. After broad protests led by GVSHP, the university relented slightly, agreeing instead to demolish 94% of the building, but preserving the four interior walls of the theater space, which were to remain standing at all times (even during demolition), and committing to keep the few remaining historic pieces of the theater the university had not already removed, such as the 1940s seats. GVSHP continued to oppose this demolition plan, endorsed by the Community Board and Borough President Stringer, though acknowledged that it was an improvement over the original, 100% demolition plan.
Then in 2009 GVSHP discovered and exposed that NYU had broken its promise, and secretly, behind construction walls, demolished large chunks of the four walls they promised to retain. Now, unfortunately, we have discovered that NYU has broken their one remaining promise regarding preservation of the Provincetown Playhouse theater — the historic seat rows have NOT been preserved for re-use in the new theater. In fact, there is virtually nothing remaining of the historic Provincetown Playhouse in the newly re-opened space to which NYU has attached that name, and virtually none of the university’s commitments regarding the theater remain intact. Read our letter to NYU President John Sexton, with images, HERE.