Strong Opposition at LPC Hearing
Hundreds of people turned out for today’s Landmarks hearing on Rudin and St. Vincent’s Hospital’s plans. More than 90% of the speakers opposed the current plans; so many people signed up to speak, after more than six hours of public testimony dozens had still not be called, and the hearing will be continued in two weeks. In addition to scores of Villagers, representatives of dozens of neighborhood groups from across the city came or submitted testimony to state their opposition to a plan which would set a terrible precedent for any New York City landmark district, and several elected officials submitted testimony outlining some of the concerns which GVSHP had long been advocating. Click here and here for coverage of today’s hearing.
GVSHP submitted testimony to the Commission outlining the troubling precedent which would be set if the current plan were approved, along with documents we created illustrating why the existing buildings should be preserved and why the proposed new buildings are inappropriate for the neighborhood. GVSHP also submitted two 360 degree massing animation videos showing what the proposed new buildings would look like in context to illustrate just how out of scale they would be; the videos can also be viewed on GVSHP’s YouTube channel.
Results are also in from an on-line survey about the St. Vincent’s/Rudin project conducted by State Senator Tom Duane, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Community Board #2, and the news is very good. Nearly 1,600 people responded, and more respondents listed “Preserving the Smith-Raskob, Nurses Residence, Reiss, and Spellman buildings” as their #1 priority, and among their top three priorities, than any other issue (GVSHP had urged its members to list this as their number one concern) (see pgs. 4-7). Additionally, every issue that a majority of respondents cited as “very important” were ones addressed by the “Community Alternative Plan” which GVSHP and ten other community groups had formulated in response to the Rudin/St. Vincent’s plan (see p. 2-3), while all “additional concerns” that were cited as having been listed by a significant number of people — opposing an upzoning, fearing setting a bad landmarks precedent/undermining neighborhood character, and insistence that any new developments be architecturally compatible with the Greenwich Village Historic Districts — were issues GVSHP has long championed and encouraged its members to speak out about, including in this survey (see p.3-4). Hopefully your participation in the survey will help lead to positive changes to the plan.
Next Steps for St. Vincent’s/Rudin:
- Please come to the continued Landmarks Preservation Commission Hearing on St. Vincent’s/Rudin plan Tuesday, April 15th at 9:30 am at NYU’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, on the 10th floor (you can arrive as early as 9 am to sign in; bring photo ID to enter). Anyone who did not testify at today’s hearing will be allowed to testify; even if you did testify, we need you to attend to continue to show the Commission how strongly we feel about this issue.
- Write to the LPC urging them to reject the current proposal.