Landmarks Preservation Commission’s hearing on the proposed landmarking of the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers complex - 06/25/08
Yesterday scores of people turned out for the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s hearing on the proposed landmarking of the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers complex, including the surrounding landscaping and Picasso sculpture “Portrait of Sylvette.” GVSHP first proposed the complex for landmark designation in 2003, and has been working closely with residents of the complex to move landmarking forward. The proposal is now especially timely because of NYU’s proposal to build one or more 40-story buildings in and around the complex, including on the site of a local supermarket and on landscaped public space which frames the view of the Picasso sculpture. After initially opposing landmarking, NYU now says they support it, but want to build the 40-story towers on the landmarked Pei-designed landscaping. In its testimony, GVSHP strongly urged the Commission to not only preserve the vital public space and view corridors in the complex, but include the entire superblock in the landmark designation as GVSHP originally proposed. The hearing and debate garnered coverage on NY 1 and in Metro NY and CityRealty.
Nearly every speaker yesterday made similar calls for meaningful and inclusive landmark designation, including several citywide preservation and architecture organizations and many residents and neighbors of the complex. Additionally, Borough President Stringer and City Councilmember Gerson spoke personally at the hearing, and State Senator Duane and Assemblymember Glick sent testimony in support of designation including the entire block and protecting the open spaces and view corridors.
GVSHP was also able to secure a letter from Sylvette David, the model for the Picasso sculpture at Silver Towers and for so many other Picasso artworks, supporting landmarking the complex and opposing NYU’s plan for building on the open space. Read more about it in the New York Times, NY Post, and SoHo Journal. No vote was taken by the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday, but it is hoped they will vote soon.
HOW TO HELP — send a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of designation, protecting the open space and view corridors, and inclusive of the entire superblock.