BIG THANKS to all of you who filled City Hall to capacity on September 9, 2015 in solidarity against Intro. 775, the bill that would strip the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) of power to preserve our city's landmarks.
More than 100 advocates signed up to speak at the nearly 6-hour public hearing, outlasting all of the City Council Land Use Committee members except Council Member David Greenfield (Brooklyn), the committee chair and lead proponent of the bill.
Intro. 775, introduced and forcefully promoted by Greenfield in league with the Real Estate Board of New York and other pro-development lobbyists, would impose timelines on designations of landmarks, interior landmarks, scenic landmarks, and historic districts. But the real thrust of the bill is the 5-year moratorium that would prevent the LPC from reconsidering items that they deny or fail to designate before the clock runs out.
This bill is not about good government and making the landmarks process work better. Its purpose is to tie LPC's hands and give developers a wide berth to destroy worthy landmark-worthy sites.
Former IRT Powerhouse (McKim, Mead & White, 1904), on LW's
Wish List of landmark priorities. Owner Con Ed has blocked designation
for over 30 years. Photo: Tom Rinaldi
The former IRT Powerhouse (McKim, Mead & White, 1904) is a case in point.
Con Edison has pressured the LPC for over 30 years not to designate the building, first calendared and heard for potential landmark status in 1979(!). If Intro. 775 had been in place then, the Powerhouse would have gone the way of the original Pennsylvania Station (by the same architects), demolished long ago.
It's easy to see why landmark obstructionists support this bill. It significantly reduces the chances that sites whose owners oppose designation will become official NYC Landmarks.
Together we stood our ground! But the fight is far from over.
Please continue to write to members of City Council Land Use Committee. Is your council member on this list? Click here to find out who represents you. Contact them directly and make sure they know where their voters stand on this issue!
You're not alone! Click here for citywide preservation groups' joint statement of opposition to Intro. 775, co-signed by a growing consortium of 60+ organizations from all five boroughs.
Key Council Members - Urge them to oppose this bill!
Councilmember Peter Koo (Land Use Committee, Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Donovan Richards (Land Use Committee, Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Jumaane Williams (Land Use Committee, Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Ritchie Torres (Land Use Committee, Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Vincent Gentile (Land Use Committee, Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Rory Lancman (Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Andy King (Intro. 775 Sponsor)
Councilmember Andrew Cohen (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Annabel Palma (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Antonio Reynoso (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Ben Kallos (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Brad Lander (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Daniel Garodnick (Land Use Committee)
(tell him "thank you" for Intro. 837, a bill that would actually improve the landmarks process!)
Councilmember Darlene Mealy (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Inez Barron (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Inez Dickens (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Mark Treyger (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Rosie Mendez (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Ruben Wills (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Stephen Levin (Land Use Committee)
Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (Land Use Committee)