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