Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Email Auction for Tickets to An Extraordinary Landmark Event
LANDMARK WEST! is thrilled to auction two premium tickets to a sold-out performance of The Tristan Project on Wednesday, May 2, 2007, thanks to this generous donation from
“It could well be a very long time before something this great comes our way again,” writes the Los Angeles Times. Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola joins forces with Peter Sellars, Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a cast of outstanding singers to create a provocative and deeply moving presentation of Tristan un Isolde, Richard Wagner's testament to love. This landmark collaboration weaves together extraordinary imagery and poetic musical expression to create a transcendent and timeless interpretation of this musical masterwork (text from www.lincolncenter.org, more information available by searching "Tristan").
Bids for two prime orchestra section tickets (offered as a pair) begin at $1,000 ($500 per ticket), to be considered as a donation to LANDMARK WEST! and tax-deductible for the amount above the face value of $275 per ticket. The auction will be conducted in two phases. The first round of bids is due by Wednesday, April 25, at 5:00 PM. Email bid to email@example.com. Bidders will be notified of the highest bid and asked to submit second bids by Friday, April 27, at 5:00 PM. The highest bidder from the second round wins the tickets and will be notified by Monday, April 30.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime treat for a great preservation cause, and the seats were handpicked to be among the best for this unique performance. Please be generous! Payment will be accepted via check or credit card.
The May 2 performance of the Tristan Project begins at 6:00 PM in Avery Fisher Hall. Three acts are separated by two 30-minute intermissions, for a total duration of five hours. Your ticket stub also provides admission to a Tristan Project Discussion on Friday, May 4, 2007, at 7:00 PM, in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Speakers include Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bill Viola, and Kira Perov, moderated by John Schaefer. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
By Land, By Sea, and By Any Ways & Means Necessary!
This is our cute (though perhaps too much of a stretch?) way of letting you know that, on Sunday, April 29, 2007, Three Parks Independent Democrats will honor LANDMARK WEST! with its Jesse Crawford Community Service Award, with special mention for our efforts to preserve the
We are delighted by this recognition from one of the Upper West Side's most vocal political leaders, not least because it gives us the privilege of sharing the stage with two legendary advocates also receiving awards from Three Parks: Lisa Rainwater of Riverkeeper ("sea" - get it?) and Congressman Charles Rangel (new Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee). What a thrill!
At its public meeting this morning, April 17, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (that is, the 7 out of 11 commissioners who have not had to recuse themselves due to conflicts of interest) sent the New-York Historical Society back to the drawing board, but with clear encouragement to move ahead with plans to alter the Central Park West and 77th Street facades of the Society's "Triple Crown Landmark." The official votes haven't yet been cast, and Glenn Collins's blog (“Tea Leaves, Ink Blots, Entrails”) on the New York Times website suggests a few different readings of the tea leaves. Some say "the fix is in" - it's up to the Commission to prove us wrong. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and LMirrer@nyhistory.org (and carbon copy: email@example.com). Keep the pressure on.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
***9:15 AM, TUESDAY, APRIL 17***
LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION PUBLIC MEETING FOR NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY PROPOSAL
This could be “the vote” on N-YHS’s application to alter the façade of their triple landmark building, paving the way for a 280’ glass tower. You have one more chance to stop it. Show up on Tuesday, April 17 at 9:15 a.m. at the Landmarks Preservation Commission public meeting
Attached is a flyer to get the word out about Tuesday's LPC meeting and possible vote. Please post in your buildings, on the block and in community spots throughout the neighborhood. Email the flyer to your co-op boards, neighbors and friends.
Meeting Location: Landmarks Preservation Commission, The
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 at 9:15 am, 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 façade 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
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Preservationists Take Aim in Court At Open Records Law
By MATTHEW CHAYES
The New York Sun
Special to the Sun
April 12, 2007
Preservationists battling a 350-year-old Upper West Side synagogue's expansion efforts added a new wrinkle to their fight yesterday, asking a state judge to overturn what they say is a citywide ban put into place after September 11, 2001, on releasing blueprints of "sensitive" locations without written permission from property owners.
Landmark West, a 22-year-old nonprofit group, says building plans filed with the city help rally community opposition to projects like Congregation Shearith Israel's petitions to landmark and zoning boards to put up a school and a condominium behind the landmark sanctuary in a brownstone neighborhood on West 70th Street.
"Transparency is supposed to be a hallmark of the Bloomberg administration, and to respond to a community organization's request for public documents by saying that we may be terrorists — I mean, it isn't sound public policy," the group's executive director, Kate Wood, said yesterday.
The city calls the non-disclosure of some building plans the "sensitive building policy." The preservation group filed a lawsuit this week in Manhattan Supreme Court calling the security policy "absurd" and challenging whether the city can deem properties like religious institutions as "sensitive" and restrict access to public records.
"Due to the 9/11 tragedy, the records for the block and lot or address listed in your request are considered ‘sensitive'," according to a letter from a records clerk excerpted in the suit. "In order to obtain agency clearance to release these records, please forward a letter from the owner/managing agent (on record) authorizing you to have access."
A spokeswoman for the Buildings Department, Kate Lindquist, confirmed that the city maintains such a policy but declined to elaborate, citing another city policy of not commenting on pending litigation.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, federal and state agencies have also more strictly limited which documents they will release under open-records laws.
The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue's project last year, and a petition for a variance to city zoning laws is pending now. A message seeking comment left yesterday on Shearith Israel's office answering machine wasn't immediately returned.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
(click here for flyer)
Francoise Bollack, AIA, award-winning architect and
Mosette Broderick, MA, NYU design professor architectural historian.
Friday, April 6, 2007
This could be The Vote – remember, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision in these matters is final. Please mark your calendars and make every effort to attend this important public meeting following up on the March 20th public hearing regarding the New-York Historical Society’s plan to drastically alter the façade of their “Triple Crown” Landmark on Central Park West.
Typically, the Commission does not allow public testimony at these “meetings.” However, at the end of the March hearing, Chair Robert B. Tierney made it clear that, during the public meeting, he would allow the Historical Society to respond to the community’s comments. Fair enough. There is still much to say, and the design has evolved since it was presented to Community Board 7. Because the record will be re-opened on April 17th to permit the Historical Society to speak, LANDMARK WEST! has requested that the public be given equal opportunity to testify. If you wish to reserve the right to be heard on April 17th, email firstname.lastname@example.org and reinforce the importance of a fair and open process.
The Historical Society’s sadly misguided plan has inspired many thoughtful, expert, keenly observed responses. Here are just some highlights from recent statements (to read more, click on the links below):
Michael Fieldman, architect: “[T]he cosmetic changes to the facades have little if anything to do with attendance, nor upgrading interests or any of the other related or contingent issues. Rather, it is an argument for change for change’s sake….I submit that the entire approach to the redesign of the façade is irresponsible, and unnecessary.”
Allen Staley, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Columbia University and former museum curator: The Historical Society’s plans show “a radical diminution of the space on the Society’s first floor that it uses for temporary exhibitions….From my art-historical and curatorial perspective, this makes no sense.”
Park West 77th Street Block Association: “[The Historical Society’s] proposal for wider doors flies in the face of reality. The two current openings, one 8 feet across, the other 12 feet across with a 50 foot handcapped ramp together welcome 100,000 visitors each in a good year....The nearby American Museum of Natural History has 3, 8 foot wide, revolving-door openings on Central Park West. Their own figures state that each of these doors admits 800,000 visitors per year....Why does the Historical Society need wider entrances and more doors?"
Elizabeth Blair Starkey, neighbor, LW! board member, and member of Community Board 7 (former chair): Speaking on her own behalf, “[I]t is obvious that the present application is only Phase 1 and that the Society will move ahead quickly with Phase 2, the application to develop its property on West 76th St. I urge the Commission to reject this obvious ruse and demand that the Society present a Master Plan that encompasses both projects. The public, who has long loved and supported the Society, deserves an open, transparent process.”
Note: A previous LW! email contained a roster of elected officials who have expressed concern about the Historical Society project and should have also included NYS Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal. We hope to have her statement posted on our website in the near future.
Please visit http://www.landmarkwest.org/advocacy/sos.htm for more information.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
LANDMARK WEST! seminars for real estate brokers, coop board members and interested persons
April 25, 2007
This seminar will explore the inherent environmental sustainability of historic buildings. Subtopics will include: improving energy and building efficiency, how to incorporate green building philosophy into apartment renovations and recognizing what design elements can be restored and when replacement is necessary.
The Evolution of Interior and Exterior Residential Building Design-Architectural Styles and Historic Preservation
May 9, 2007
Participants will be able to identify architectural styles and learn how to date buildings through analysis of specific building interior and exterior design elements and materials. Speakers will also address the evolution of apartment living, including interior plans and how interior and exterior design elements relate to one another.
To register, please or call (212) 496-1714 to charge your credit card or send a check for $75 to:
Location information for the seminars will be available upon registration.
Each of these one day seminars will enable the participant to obtain 7 ½ hours of continuing education credits to meet the