Change is a fact of life in
Writes the Times: “Moving as slowly as it does — and nearly always without public hearings — the landmarking process is routinely outflanked by developers. What is clearly missing is the political will needed for the landmarks commission to do its job. For that, it must have the full backing of the mayor, who appoints the commissioners.”
Where is the LPC? And, more to the point, where is Mayor Bloomberg when it comes to protecting our city’s historic Landmarks? Or responding to the hundreds of public requests for buildings to become new Landmarks and Historic Districts? If the problems identified by the Times—the “bureaucratic black hole,” the maddening silence preceding the bulldozer—resonate all too well with you, then speak up! Send a letter to the editors (firstname.lastname@example.org), telling them about the buildings in your community that have been overlooked, threatened and lost as a result of LPC inaction (visit http://www.landmarkwest.org/advocacy/cecpp/landmarksatrisk.htm for examples citywide). Then, send a copy of your letter to Mayor Bloomberg! Print out your email and fax it to 212-788-2460. Also post your letter in the "Comments" section of this blog. Make the most of this opportunity—maybe your only opportunity—to be heard.
October 18, 2008
The Missing Landmarks Commission
Late last month, the
The Times’s architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable, dubbed Stone’s original building “a die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops.” To us, it looked almost Moroccan, as if the casbah had gone high-rise.
Brad Cloepfil’s bland redesign — which somehow suggests the technological polish of a desktop computer — will stir no such emotions, except as a potent symbol of the failure of the preservation process in this city.
Despite a public debate over the fate of Stone’s building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission never held a public hearing. The commission’s chair — with the encouragement of the Bloomberg administration — had the matter shelved. In June 2005, the city issued a permit to destroy the old facade and rework the building.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission should be a vital part of the planning process in
There are hundreds of requests from all across the city waiting to be acted upon. Some have been held up for years. Moving as slowly as it does — and nearly always without public hearings — the landmarking process is routinely outflanked by developers. What is clearly missing is the political will needed for the landmarks commission to do its job. For that, it must have the full backing of the mayor, who appoints the commissioners.
No one wants to see the city frozen by overly rigid landmarking. But