Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MEETING TONIGHT: West-Park Presbyterian Church Update

BIG THANKS to those 1000+ of you who have written to Robert Tierney, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, calling for urgent action to protect West-Park Presbyterian Church (86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue). Demolition permits are in the works. The time to "calendar" this building for landmark consideration is now. Otherwise, it will be too late. What more will it take? Reinforce the message to those with the power to save this treasure:

*TONIGHT* - Attend Council Member Gale Brewer's Community Meeting on Upper West Side development plans (meeting time & location: 7 p.m. at 720 West EndAvenue at 95th Street ; more details below)!

*ASAP* - Write to Council Member Gale Brewer (see contact info below)! West-Park is in CM Brewer's district. You've spoken up, and so should she.

To contact other elected officials and sign an online petition to save West-Park, visit

Friends of West-Park

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thanks to your support, we hear that the Landmarks Preservation Commissionhas received over 1000 letters and emails in support of landmarking West-Park Presbyterian Church. You are terrific - please pass this on to the many supporters and friends who have written and emailed - THANK YOU.

Unfortunately, we are not there yet. Two out of three of the developer's initial permit applications to the DOB were not approved - we don't know why- but they will re-file, and if the building is not on the calendar for Landmarking - i.e., simply on the agenda of the Landmarks Preservation Commission for POSSIBLE designation as a Landmark -- then once the permit isapproved there is no way to stop demolition.

In spite of this, WPPC has not been calendared. We need to put pressure onRobert Tierney and the LPC. How do we do that?

A) Our local city council representative, Gale Brewer, can speak up on our behalf. LET HER KNOW WHAT YOU THINK:

Tonight, Wednesday, January 30th 2006, Councilwoman Gale Brewer will hold a community meeting at the Williams Home at 720 West End Avenue (at 95thStreet) beginning at 7pm. The building attendant will direct you to the room where the meeting is being held. The purpose of this meeting is to answer questions and address concerns regarding the various plans for development on the Upper West Side.

This is an opportunity for Councilwoman Brewer's constituents to make their voices heard. The meeting was arranged by another group of neighbors who are battling development on West End Ave.

We realize that this is short notice, but if you possibly can, please come to this meeting and either voice your opposition to the Richman plan for a condo high rise over half of West-Park Presbyterian Church, or ask the following important questions, or both:

1) Why is so little effort being made to preserve the century old buildings of our neighborhood, which uniquely define the history of the Upper West Side? Why are our elected representatives making so little effort made to preserve the beautiful low rise streetscape of our community?

2) West-Park Presbyterian Church is indisputably landmark-worthy. Why is it so hard to even get it calendared for landmarking? Calendaring would prevent the present developer from filing demolition permits and proceeding with the outrageous and irresponsible destruction of one of the few remaining historic buildings on the West Side.

3) What is happening with the affordable housing component of the Richman? There will no longer be affordable housing on the church / luxury condo property. Where will it be? (Rumors are that it is to be in the neighborhood, but where? Friends of West Park has not yet been able to obtain details.)

4) What is the benefit to our community if we lose our light and air, if we lose our sense of neighborhood, if we lose the unique qualities of our century-old buildings - only to be replaced by glass and steel, greater density of people, more stress on our school system, and fewer services for everyone?


Honorable Gale A. Brewer
New York City Council Member
563 Columbus Avenue, NYC 10024
Tel.: 212 873 0282
Fax: 212-873-0279

One more thing...

B) The influential Landmarks Conservancy, led by Peg Breen, carries weight with Robert Tierney. THEY NEED TO HEAR FROM OUR COMMUNITY.

PLEASE CALL / EMAIL / FAX PEG BREEN AT THE LANDMARKS CONSERVANCY and tellher that the high-rise plan for WPPC is unacceptable:

Peg Breen, President
The New York Landmarks Conservancy
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
Tel.: 212 996-5260
Fax: 212 995-5268

We need your support to push back unfettered development which threatens to change the Upper West Side forever. Please try to attend the meeting tonight and make the above phone calls --

Thank you.

Friends of West Park

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