Area 151 cont.
going out one foot beyond his present extension.On Aug. 31, The Landmarks Committee of Com-munity Board 2 held a hearing to consider this newapplication. Block Assn. President Gary Tomei andseven more of our neighbors attended to speakagainst the project.
For now, the extension application is on hold. Butthe nearly complete excavation is a done deal.And it remains to be seen how long it will continueas a blot on the block and a mystery to otherresidents. The Block Assn. will keep tabs on it andattempt to clarify just what’s going on in Area 151.
-Bruce Meyer, ed.
(For more on this and related matters, see thePresident's Message, p.1.)
President’s Message cont.
Yet all of this will be just fun and games comparedto the Rudin/St. Vincent's project, if that ever getsoff the ground. Right now, though the LPC hasgiven St. Vin's and Rudin the green light to raze theO'Toole building and commence building two hugeedifices, Protect the Village Historic District ispursuing a lawsuit (I am one of the plaintiffs) toprevent this violation of the Landmarks Law. Weopened this proceeding in February, but – as usual– the wheels of justice turn slowly. Right now thematter is scheduled to be heard in NY CountySupreme Court on Nov. 23. I believe we have avery strong case and will prevail.Rudin and St. Vin’s still must go through TheUniform Land Use Review Process to obtain zoningvariances, since they plan to violate the zoninglaws as well as the Landmarks Law. But it almostcertainly will be approved. The truth is that the developers have thepoliticians in their pockets. Christine Quinn and BPStringer support the project, and have gotten hugecampaign contributions from the Rudin people. Thepoliticos are selling our historic, cultural andarchitectural heritage – the soul of this great City –for political contributions. And it is not justhappening in the Village. Take the area around the Brooklyn Bridge. Quinnand councilwoman Melinda Katz received at least$74,000 in donations through Two TreesManagement, a real estate conglomerate, whichalso spent $400,000 lobbying the Council and cityagencies to get approval for a 17-story buildingsteps from the Brooklyn Bridge – and towering 7stories above it. Despite opposition by the historianDavid McCullough, documentarian Ken Burns, and25,000 residents, Two Trees received City Councilapproval of the project.Our local politicians have become lackeys of thereal estate establishment and don’t truly give adamn about the people, history or future of NYC.We planned to print this issue before theDemocratic primary election, and I would havesuggested that you vote for those who are capableand true preservationists, specifically: for Mayor, Tony Avella; for Comptroller, David Yassky; forPublic Advocate, Eric Gioia, and for D.A., RichardAborn. Only David Yassky, running forComptroller, made it to the runoffs, and I urge youto vote for him on September 29.
Theseare personal choices and not those of the Block Assn.)
Our website, www.west13.org, is changing. Wehired Raven Petretti, a local web designer, to giveus an overhaul, which is now in a shakedownphase. It's a new design, and the format will allowblogging by various contributors, feedback fromblock residents, and payment of dues or other feesvia your PayPal account. Eventually. We'll sendan email when we're ready for an official unveiling.