A Lot To Be Thankful For
This has been no small year for preservation in New York City, and we at the GVSHP in the season of thanks wish express our gratitude to our members and volunteers who have worked so hard in helping us achieve some very sizable accomplishments.
Here are just a few…
Stonewall Inn Landmark Designation –
After a year and a half campaign spearheaded by GVSHP, the Stonewall Inn was designated as an individual New York City landmark on June 23, 2015, thus recognizing its cultural and historic significance. At this site on June 28, 1969, the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement was born — as protesters resisted a routine police raid on the Stonewall Inn, located at 51-53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. The raid set off six days and nights of rioting, street demonstrations, and protests as thousands of people took to the streets in Greenwich Village to demand an end to police harassment. The rebellion at Stonewall is regarded as the single most enduring event in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights movement. This insurrection gave birth to the gay liberation phase of the lesbian and gay rights movement, transforming the struggle for homosexual equality from a small group of activists into a mass movement, making possible a rapid series of political successes.
The GVSHP continues to advocate for the recognition and designation of other LGBT sites. Click HERE to read more.
Intro 775 –
GVSHP has helped lead the charge against Intro. 775, the “Do-or-Die-Deadline” bill which would make landmark designations much more difficult and demolition much easier. On September 8, 2015 GVSHP and other opponents of Intro. 775 packed City Hall demonstrating strong opposition to this pro-demolition, anti-preservation bill. Opponents easily outnumbered supporters by more than ten-to-one at the hearing (pictures here), which lasted over six hours. This organized pushback got several councilmembers to remove their name from sponsorship of the bill, and the bill’s primary sponsors agreed to amend it. Now the bill is in a holding pattern, with no new version yet introduced. However, it is far from dead, nor is it guaranteed that all harmful provisions will be removed. It’s critically important that city officials continue to hear from the public about Intro. 775 , and that they understand that ANY bill which contains Intro. 775’s most damaging elements must still be opposed. Click HERE to let elected officials that any bill that includes these dangerous provisions is unacceptable.
In an important victory for preservation efforts, the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced in June, 2015 that they would hear and consider for potential landmark designation approximately 95 sites previously considered for “de-calendaring,” rather than simply removing them all from the list of those under consideration for landmark designation as formerly planned. GVSHP and a coalition of preservation organizations, along with Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials, pushed back strongly against the de-calendaring plan, calling instead for public hearings on each of the sites and consideration of each calendared item on its merits — which is exactly what the LPC agreed to do.
There are four sites on the list in our area or of special concern to GVSHP – 57 Sullivan Street (Broome/Spring Streets) in the South Village, and 1816 Federal-style house, 2 Oliver Street on the Lower East Side, an 1821 Federal-style house, 138 Second Avenue (St. Mark’s Place/9th Street) in the East Village, an 1832 Federal-style house, and the former James McCreery & Co. Store/Cast-Iron Lofts at 801-807 Broadway/67 East 11th Street, built in 1868. For more information on the history of these buildings, click HERE. On November 5th GVSHP presented strong testimony advocating for the landmarking of these significant properties. Decisions by the LPC will be rendered in 2016; stay tuned!
Citywide Rezoning Plan –
GVSHP has been fighting the city’s ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ citywide rezoning plan, which would increase allowable building heights in residential neighborhoods, especially in sensitive “contextual zoning” districts we fought hard to achieve, while offering little or nothing in return in terms of quality or affordability. GVSHP has been working with a citywide coalition fighting the ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ measure. More than 40 of the city’s 59 community boards have already voted against the plan, with less than a handful voting in favor, and now the Bronx Borough President has also voted it down. More than 150 people packed Borough President Gale Brewer’s public hearing on the measure, with by far the majority calling for it to be rejected. The remaining Borough Presidents will soon vote on the plan, before it goes to the City Planning Commission (which introduced the measure) for approval and then finally the City Council. This sweeping plan, which would have such a damaging impact upon our neighborhoods, can only take effect if approved by the City Council. GVSHP has also developed a handy webpage that debunks the myths and misinformation being spread about ZQA by its proponents, breaking down what it would really do – read it HERE. Click HERE to send a letter to City officials urging them to reject ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability.’
So as you can see, lots has been accomplished and there is lots more to do. Thank you again to all of you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!