Friday, April 13, 2007

New-York Historical Society Shell Game

The New-York Historical Society Plays a Real-Estate Shell Game...and the Landmarks Preservation Commission Plays Along
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is determined to hear only testimony from the New-York Historical Society at its public meeting on Tuesday, April 17 (still no time announced), despite our requests to keep the process even-handed and shed as much light as possible on a project that continues to be a moving target. Your attendance at this meeting is all the more important! When the public is denied the opportunity to speak, our physical presence in numbers too great to ignore and our constant vigilance must speak louder than words. Remember, this could very well be "the vote" on the fa├žade alterations, and LPC has the final say.
The Historical Society and the LPC make up their own rules and expect the community to fall in line. But this is a "Triple Crown" Landmark, in the heart of two Upper West Side historic districts, on the edge of Central Park. This is no game. And yet, time after time, it seems that "the fix is in." The late Peter Jennings used this phrase in a 2003 letter to the LPC on a parallel matter, Congregation Shearith Israel's application to build a community facility/luxury apartment building adjacent to its Individual Landmark on 70th Street and Central Park West (also in the historic district). Treat yourself and click here to read Jennings’ letter; its continuing import is self-evident. Earlier this week Landmark West! filed a lawsuit calling the City's hand on its refusal to disclose public documents concerning the Congregation Shearith Israel development project. See the article in today's New York Sun (http://www.nysun.com/article/52328). Memo to Mayor Bloomberg, his LPC and friends at the Historical Society: The public is not willing to play along.

No comments: