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South Village Landmarks Hearing 10/27; 178 Bleecker St. Protest Attracts Crowd, and Attention

The hearing on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) proposal to landmark roughly 1/3 of the South Village, west of 6th Avenue, will begin tomorrow at approximately 2:30 pm and is expected to last for several hours. IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL THAT WE HAVE A LARGE TURNOUT TO TELL THE CITY TO MOVE AHEAD WITH THE PROPOSED LANDMARK DESIGNATION, AND TO COMMIT TO CONSIDER AND ACT UPON THE REMAINING TWO-THIRDS OF THE SOUTH VILLAGE HISTORIC DISTRICT AS PROPOSED BY GVSHP, which they have not yet done.

This hearing is so important because more and more buildings in the South Village are being destroyed and threatened every day, in the area the city is considering landmarking as well as in the area they have not yet considered. Losses have included the Provincetown Playhouse, Circle in the Square Theater, Sullivan Street Playhouse, the Tunnel Garage, the 1861 house at 178 Bleecker Street, and the last surviving unaltered Greek Revival rowhouse on Leroy Street. In response to last week’s protest calling upon the city to move more quickly to landmark the entire South Village, the LPC issued a statement saying they believed that these recent losses “in no way compromised” the neighborhood. It is critical that we let the LPC know that this continued destruction DOES compromise the character of the South Village, and that they must act NOW to stop the losses.


178 Bleecker Protest Attracts Crowd, and Attention

Dozens joined GVSHP last Thursday for a protest of the city’s decision to approve plans for an oversized new building at 178 Bleecker Street in the middle of a row of 1861 houses in the South Village, where the original house was recently demolished in spite of GVSHP calling upon the city to landmark the site and area. In response to GVSHP’s condemnation of the city’s decision to approve the oversized new building early last week, the Department of Buildings (DOB) “put a hold” on issuing permits and promised to conduct an audit of the application. However, DOB also declared that the proposed height of the building was legal, in spite of the “sliver law” cited by GVSHP which is intended to prevent narrow buildings such as this from exceeding 60 feet in height on streets like Bleecker, making DOB’s actions a delay at best.

Protestors condemned the city’s approval of the new building and the continued destruction of historic sites in the South Village without action by the city. Speakers included author and 60’s Village icon Suze Rotolo, Caring Community co-founder and lifelong South Villager Lucy Cecere, and Bleecker Area Merchants and Residents Chair Judith Callet.

CLICK HERE for pictures from the demonstration, and see coverage of the demonstration on NY1 and in the Washington Square News.



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