Friday, November 18, 2005

Intro. 705: It's Up to City Council

Spotlight on the City Council to Preserve New York's Most Endangered Historic Buildings

Thanks to all who contributed to the tremendous turnout at last Monday's City Council hearing regarding Intro. 705, the "Landmarks Hearing" bill. The seats in the large Council Chambers were filled with frustrated preservationists from every borough, the vast majority of whom testified in support of this legislation to strengthen New York's Landmarks Law and expand the ability of the public to participate in the designation hearing process. Their heartfelt testimony was echoed in New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's milestone article, "Turning Up the Heat on a Landmarks Agency" (11/14/05, pE1, attached in case you missed it), which cited the imminent destruction of 2 Columbus Circle and other examples as evidence that "what is needed is a ruthless analysis of the landmark designation process." Also see Frances Morrone's piece in today's New York Sun (copy pasted below). "There's something rotten at the core of the Big Apple," he writes.

The ball is now in the City Council's court. And we all must continue to play an active role. The Landmarks Subcommittee adjourned Monday's hearing without taking a vote (a quorum of committee members was not present). Please help get the message out about how Intro. 705 will help to preserve our historic neighborhoods from relentless development. Email/ fax/call Council Speaker Gifford Miller today! Tell him that his support is key to getting this bill passed before the end of 2005 so that more buildings in your community are not lost - without even being heard by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Both Speaker Miller and Intro. 705 sponsor Council Member Bill Perkins will leave office next month. If passed before their term expires, this bill could be the most important legacy they leave for the future shape of our city.

New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller
Phone: (212) 535-5554
Fax: (212) 535-6098
City Hall, NYC 10007

Also, email the members of the Landmarks Subcommittee and Land Use Committee as well as your local council member (go to for contact information). Send them copies of your testimony and/or a personal note making sure they know that the future of New York's most beloved, endangered buildings and neighborhoods rests in their hands!

Melinda Katz (Chair, Land Use) -
Simcha Felder (Chair, Landmarks Subcommittee) -
Charles Barron (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
Leroy G. Comrie, Jr. (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
G. Oliver Koppell (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
James S. Oddo (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
Annabel Palma (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
Bill Perkins (Landmarks Subcommittee) -
Tony Avella (Land Use Committee) -
Maria Baez (Land Use Committee) -
Erik Martin Dilan (Land Use Committee) -
Vincent J. Gentile (Land Use Committee) -
Eric N. Gioia (Land Use Committee) -
Andrew J. Lanza (Land Use Committee) -
Miguel Martinez (Land Use Committee) -
Michael E. McMahon (Land Use Committee) -
Hiram Monserrate (Land Use Committee) -
Michael C. Nelson (Land Use Committee) -
Christine C. Quinn (Land Use Committee) -
Joel Rivera (Land Use Committee) -
James Sanders, Jr. (Land Use Committee) -
Larry B. Seabrook (Land Use Committee) -
Albert Vann (Land Use Committee) -

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