Wow. Villager Newspaper Editorial Slams Gansevoort Plan

newvilllogoThe Villager Newspaper absolutely nails it in their new editorial opposing the massive proposed development on Gansevoort Street. Read the entire editorial – it makes a powerful argument for rejecting this application outright –  but here are some highlights:

The proposal by William Gottlieb Real Estate and Aurora Capital Associates to redevelop a block of Gansevoort St. is nothing short of an assault on the city’s Landmarks Law. The Gansevoort Market Historic District, designated in 2003, is truly one of New York City’s most unique historic districts. What makes it so special is that it has preserved the unique built fabric of the once-teeming Meat Market…
It’s simply ridiculous — and a threat to the very spirit of the city’s Landmarks Law — for the developers to argue that much of this block, between Greenwich and Washington Sts., should be rebuilt to the height it was in the 1800s. What L.P.C. instead landmarked was the street as it has largely appeared since the mid-20th century, when the Meatpacking District was in its heyday.
Yes, the meatpackers are mostly gone now, save for those left in the city-owned Co-op building, which is protected by a deed restriction for market use dating back to when the Astors owned most of the Meat Market. But the built fabric that the meatpackers created — a unique assortment of modified buildings that were perfectly suited to their uses — remains. And again, that is what was landmarked…
This block, in short, is the last one in the district that features the historic low-scale one- and two-story structures with overhanging metal canopies that the district was once famous for. Many uses have come and gone: the meatpackers for the most part, the transgender hookers (who now mostly find their customers online), the sex clubs, the underground parties. But the built fabric remains. And that is what we must preserve….
In sum, the developers’ plan would, as Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation put it, “obliterate” this block and its history.

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