April, 2004

Dear Friend:

The campaign to Save the Far West Village is pressing forward full steam ahead.

On March 10, our Town Hall Meeting brought out an astounding 400+ people ready to fight to protect the Far West Village from overdevelopment.  We laid out a 3-pronged battle plan:  1) Fight for landmark protections to preserve historic buildings; 2) Fight for zoning changes to preserve the scale of the neighborhood; and 3) Fight a City ruling which would allow, for the first time ever, as-of-right high-rise residential development in manufacturing zones (like the Meatpacking district and parts of the Far West Village) CLICK HERE FOR MAPS TO ILLUSTRATE THIS 3-PART PLAN We generated more than 600 letters on the spot, got dozens of people to sign up as volunteers, and garnered media attention for this fight on TV, radio, and in newspapers.

But the developers are not slowing down.  In addition to the third Richard Meier tower being built at Charles Lane and West Street right now, and the development slated for the Superior Ink site at West and Bethune Streets, just since the Town Hall we have heard about at least 2 other massive developments being considered for the Far West Village as we speak.  We don’t have a moment to spare.

So we must keep pushing forward.  GVSHP and its allies continue to lobby the City furiously, and all of the letters from residents have certainly made them sit up and take notice.   Our next step:  a huge Demonstration and Rally on Sunday, April 18 at 1 pm, meeting at Charles Lane and West Street (see above).  We need a massive turnout to send a message that we will not sit idly by and watch our neighborhood consumed by massive overdevelopment.

What can you do?:  1) Come to the Rally, and bring friends, families, and neighbors; 2) Post, copy, and distribute the flyer as far and wide as you can (see html and PDF versions above); 3) Agree to volunteer in this effort, to help stage, execute, or follow up on the rally (call 212/475-9585 x38); 4) Send in the 3 letters to the City asking for the 3 actions we need them to take to protect our neighborhood (sample letters below) even if you have already sent letters; and 5) Post, copy, and distribute the sample letters for your friends and neighbors to send in too.

Our actions in the next few months will determine whether or not we can truly save our neighborhood.  I hope you’ll join me in this fight, and at the demonstration on the 18th.


Andrew Berman

Executive Director












·        Send off the three letters, even if you’ve written already – use them as a model to write your own, or sign them with your full address and add your own comments in the space above your signature.


·        Send copies of your letters to GVSHP – at 232 East 11th Street, NY NY 10003 or (fax) 212/475-9582 or e-mail:


·        Post, Copy, and Distribute these letters and directions – ask your friends, neighbors, and family to write too.


·        Come to the Rally to Save the Far West Village – Sunday, April 18, at 1 pm, meeting at Charles  and West Streets




for more information, contact

the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation,

at or,

or call 212/475-9585.




April   , 2004


Hon. Robert Tierney,

Chair, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

One Centre Street

New York, NY 10007


fax:  212/669-7797


Chair Tierney:


I strongly urge you to move as swiftly as possible to protect the historic Greenwich Village waterfront and Far West Village.  The area between Horatio and Barrow Streets is extremely vulnerable, and time is running out – if the Landmarks Preservation Commission does not act soon, it will be too late to truly preserve the valuable historic streets and buildings of this venerable area.


The development pressure in this area is practically unprecedented.  I know that the LPC’s job is solely to protect and designate historically, architecturally, and culturally significant buildings and sites in New York City.  But this is exactly what we need you to do here.  The Far West Village’s streets and buildings are some of the oldest, most evocative, and historically rich in all of New York City.  But without quick action many if not all will soon be gone.


Countless people have chosen to live in, work in, or visit the Far West Village because of its unique and picturesque character and architecture.  It is infused with connections to our City’s early development and growth, to its industry, its waterfront, and its earliest residential communities.  To allow this to be lost would be a shame for our city and for historic preservation.


While Villagers have been asking for the extension of historic district and landmark protections to this area for over thirty years, it is only now that we are in danger of losing this area almost entirely.  Please don’t let this happen on your watch.









April  , 2004


Hon. Amanda Burden

Chair, New York City Planning Commission

22 Reade Street

New York, NY  10007


fax: 212/720-3219


Dear Chair Burden:


I strongly urge the City Planning Commission to address the need to rezone the Far West Village and Greenwich Village waterfront, west of the Greenwich Village historic district between Horatio and Barrow Street.  Enormous development pressure means that if the Commission does not act swiftly, it will be too late to retain the scale and character of one of New York’s most iconic and beloved neighborhoods.


Currently, zoning allows tremendously out-of-scale and -character construction in this area.  Setback towers and mid-block high-rises are destroying the feel of one of New York’s most appealing and wonderfully diverse and varied neighborhoods.  The scale and form of these new towers threatens to eliminate the reason why so many have chosen to live in, work in, or visit this special area. 


Please don’t let poorly planned development and inadequate zoning destroy this neighborhood.  The Commission must act swiftly before it is too late.









April    , 2004


Mayor Michael Bloomberg

City Hall

New York, NY 10007

Fax:  212/788-3229

e-mail: go to


Dear Mayor Bloomberg:


I strongly urge you to reverse the Department of Buildings ruling that would allow as-of-right residential development in manufacturing zones in New York City.  This is an end-run around the law and would violate the zoning process, threaten blue-collar jobs and businesses, and radically change neighborhoods without any planning process or public input.


Residential high rises do NOT belong in manufacturing zones like the Meatpacking district.  They will force long-standing businesses out and destroy the neighborhood.  You have said that you wish to preserve the lively mix of uses and historic appeal of this neighborhood.  If this ruling stands, and this building is built, it will fly in the face of this commitment.


And the impact will not be limited to one neighborhood.  By twisting the zoning code to allow residential development in M1 zones as part of hotels, you will harm not only the planning process but countless neighborhoods throughout New York where manufacturing jobs and businesses survive because residential development is not allowed.


Please keep your commitment and maintain the integrity of the zoning code – reverse this decision, and don’t allow a 450 foot tall residential high rise to be built in the meatpacking district.