A Lot Happening on East 11th Street

Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom. Image via Webster Hall

Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom. Image via Webster Hall

11th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues is a pretty short block. But there is a lot of history and activity going on. The block is home to Webster Hall, a building with a long and storied history that GVSHP helped get landmarked in 2008. GVSHP’s partner, the Neighborhood Preservation Center, is celebrating its 17th birthday tonight in the grand ballroom at Webster Hall. This amazing room has a celebrated history itself that you can read about here or click here to read more about the history of the block. The party has a 1970’s theme, and tickets are available here. We hope to see you there tonight!

When you arrive, take a look across the street and check out the five historic buildings shrouded in scaffolding pending demolition. The five beaux arts style old law tenements  standing at 112-120 East 11th Street date from the late 19th Century and were identified by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2008 as being eligible for landmark status, so it was very disconcerting to us that the city approved demolition of these buildings over our protests and in spite of our requests to have the buildings formally landmarked. Without a last minute change of plans, this will be the site of the newest Moxy Hotel. According to this chain hotel’s website, the 11th street Moxy will be opening in 2018 and #atthemoxy we don’t make excuses. Because we don’t make any rules. Step inside, make the bar your dance floor, kick back with a Cosmopolitan like the cosmopolitan you are. But just so you know, you might not want to leave. Ever.

Slated for demolition to make room for the Hipster Hotel: 116 -120 East 11th Street

The Community Board 3 District Needs Statement for Fiscal Year 2018 did not identify the need for a new 160-room boutique luxury hotel that doesn’t make excuses or rules. They did note in a statement GVSHP strongly agrees with, that “The displacement of long-time residential and commercial residents is a great loss to this community”. In addition, CB 3 continues to lead or come in second among Manhattan community boards for the most NYPD commercial noise complaints (nightlife noise). The transient population of a hotel surely exacerbates this problem compared to the relative stability of the 75 apartment units that were displaced.

GVSHP wants our neighborhoods to be vibrant while preserving the cultural and architectural history, so we could not agree more with the CB 3 District Needs Statement section on Landmarks: “Although there is no formal process for expression of district needs for the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Committee would like to comment, especially in light of the recently passed legislation (Intro 775A) imposing strict deadlines on the designation process. CB 3 is rich in buildings of historic, cultural, and architectural significance. LPC should expedite designation of historic districts and individual landmarks in a community under threat of inappropriate development.”

Send Mayor de Blasio a letter and tell him to prioritize landmark-eligible buildings and affordable housing in the East Village over hotel developments and political contributors.

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Sam Moskowitz