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Thread: New York University Expansion

  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    That criteria ^ would take the vast majority of protected buildings in NYC off the preservation list.
    Actually, I'd get rid of the preservation list
    Remember, Penn Station was owned by a railroad corporation; it was not a publicly-owned building.
    If the city or the MTA wanted to keep Penn the way it (and Grand Central also) they should have seized them by eminent domain from Penn Central, and paid fair market value for them. At least in the case of Grand Central, landmarking was nothing more than a way of out an out robbing Penn Central (at leas they go some added value out of the Penn Station real estate).

    In my view private property is private property. The owner should control it. There's some leeway with zoning issues, given the use of common resources and the need to deal with clashing uses of neighboring properties. But aesthetics, which is what landmarking has the greatest affect on, should be solely up to the owner.

  2. #77
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The public sector robbing Penn Central and the railroad companies ... hmmm ... Karma rears its nasty head ... Or, turnabout is fair play?

    As far as private property vs. landmarks: You'd have to take it up with the Supreme Court, who has ruled against your stated position.

    And thank goodness. Imagine NYC without the LPC.

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    In my view private property is private property.
    A very Black & White declaration. Too bad you grayed it up in the same post.

    BTW, landmarking isn't even predominately about aesthetics.

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroika View Post
    It's like they took a page ... from the dingiest parts of Moscow ... and "gifted" it to the Village. It looks 100% like any of the housing projects ...

    Washington Sq. Village really needs an imploding.
    It was the perfect apartment. To a callow kid fresh out of college, it gave new meaning to the concept of efficiency. One big, clean modern room led you to a pared-down existence in which living and sleeping merged into one big space –it was just space-- that faced a glassy wall towards the generous balcony.

    The kitchen was a kind of control-center booth with a big pass-through that kept you in the conversation. And the bathroom was at the far end of what was called a dressing area –though if you had removed the mirrored bi-fold doors you could have called it a walk-through closet. That was all there was.

    But wait, there was more: to find it, you had to draw progressively bigger concentric circles.

    Start with the lobby: devastatingly beautiful in all particulars, this was marble-clad and occupied by four or five gorgeous objects: two huge and excellent abstract expressionist paintings, a collection of Miesian furniture on a neutral rug, and the most beautiful, round-the-clock doormen you ever saw. All were picked for their height, their jutting jaws and their superheroic physiques. Some were black and some were white, and all wore satin-lined grey capes and hauptsturmfuehrer visor caps. They said hello, they held the door, they called cabs, and they twirled their capes. It was like living in Ruritania.

    Outside the lobbies you’d find carriage drives and lushly-landscaped raised gardens, usually deserted. When you wanted to be alone, this was the place to go. Beyond –moderately boring in the just-pre-pot era— lay Washington Square and the Village. West on Bleecker Street, you could find the Café Figaro, and just off it, the Sullivan Street Playhouse. To the east, you passed Louis Sullivan’s Bayard Building daily on your grimy route to the subway. On Saturdays, a horse-drawn rag-picker called for folks to throw him old clothes, and the high line still rumbled, down at the end of Bleecker Street.

    The buildings were magnificent. Perfect Unités d' Habitation, they sported piano-curve rooftop sculptural mechanical enclosures, and every brick plane between the stacked balconies was in a different, pure, primary-colored glazed brick. It was a riot of color, but it's been blandified by someone with good taste. No color now; no wonder folks mistake it for public housing. Last time I happened by, the doormen had been replaced by little swarthy hatless fellows in sweaty shirt sleeves.

    My father couldn’t believe the extravagant rent and balked at payment ($160 with student discount), but once mom saw the doormen, she prevailed: this was clearly a place for a gentleman.

    Washington Square Village, R.I.P.
    Last edited by ablarc; July 21st, 2010 at 08:57 PM.

  5. #80
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    N.Y.U.’s verdict on Law building: ‘Very successful’

    By Lincoln Anderson

    N.Y.U. School of Law’s new building on MacDougal St. will be known as Wilf Hall.
    It incorporates the exterior facade of the Provincetown Playhouse and preserves part of the old theater’s interior space.


    The wraps recently came off the new New York University Law School building on MacDougal St. The first-floor exterior facade of the Provincetown Playhouse has been preserved and worked into the new building’s facade, and most of the walls of the former theater have also been preserved. But the rest of the historic building was demolished for the project.

    “We think this is a very successful project,” stated Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. vice president of government affairs and community engagement. “It preserved a working theater of historic reputation, it produced a contextual building, it was overwhelmingly approved by the community board, it demonstrated the university’s willingness to leave F.A.R. [floor area ratio — basically, buildable square footage] on the table in the right circumstances, and it accomplished all this while meeting the Law School’s important academic needs.”

    The facility is slated to officially open in October, serving a dozen of N.Y.U. School of Law’s centers, institutes and programs.

    “The faculty, students and scholars who have already begun occupying this new space are busy producing research that shapes the real world of law, policy and business,” Hurley said. “These innovative and enterprising centers have become a signature feature of the Law School’s academic community, and their growth in size and number compelled N.Y.U. Law to expand its physical plant.”

    According to Hurley, the theater will be fully functioning all semester, but the university is planning the grand reopening of the Provincetown Playhouse in December.

    The building will be known as Wilf Hall, after Law School trustees and alumni Leonard Wilf and Mark Wilf, the president and the chief financial officer, respectively, of Garden Homes — a national home construction business — who underwrote the project’s cost. In addition to the cousins’ gift, the Wilf family has endowed the Wilf Family Professorship of Property Law, established in 2002. Leonard, Mark and Mark’s brother Zygi Wilf are also co-owners of the Minnesota Vikings football team.

    The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation led the fight to try to save the entire Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments complex from demolition. Not surprisingly, Andrew Berman, the society’s executive director, had nothing good to say about the project.

    “The old building never really should have been torn down,” he said. “It was determined eligible for the state and national register of historic places — and Wilf Hall will never replace it.”

    In addition, Berman said, “It just was very sad that the promise to maintain the four interior walls of the old theater was not kept by the university.”

    He noted that “a very sizeable chunk” of the theater’s north wall was removed. But N.Y.U. says this section of wall was built of unstable material and had to be removed for structural reasons.

    http://www.thevillager.com/villager_...usverdict.html


  6. #81
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Groans as N.Y.U. pitches its plan; New mega-dorm in mix

    By Albert Amateau

    New York University last week submitted its plan to Community Board 2 to add 6 million square feet of space in the next few decades — most of it in the Greenwich Village area — in preparation for going to the Department of City Planning in the fall to lock into place its long-term mega-project.

    The board’s two public information meetings on Wed., Aug. 4, and Mon., Aug. 9, were the first of several that the board will hold in the next few months to explore such issues as development density, zoning, construction and project timing, open space, schools and alternative development sites.

    The heart of the expansion plans — known collectively as N.Y.U 2031 — is the development of between 1.5 million and 2.2 million square feet on the two superblocks the university owns between LaGuardia Place and Mercer St. The northern superblock, between W. Third and Bleecker Sts., is occupied by Washington Square Village. The southern superblock, between Bleecker and Houston Sts., includes Silver Towers and the Coles Sports Center.

    The plan additionally calls for between 800,000 and 1.5 million square feet of development in the neighborhood outside of the superblocks “within walking distance of Washington Square.” The growth strategy also includes 3 million square feet of development in “remote” areas, including the hospital corridor along First Ave. between 23rd and 34th Sts., in Downtown Brooklyn near the Polytechnic Institute of N.Y. U. and at a later date on Governors Island.

    Village residents who packed the two meetings were loud and clear in their opposition to developing the superblock sites. They repeatedly demanded that N.Y.U. look outside the Village for expansion. Many wore tags that read “Financial District Yes, Village No,” distributed by the Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, a newly formed coalition of about 15 Village neighborhood associations. The alliance statement says that it is “working…to ensure that N.Y.U.’s growth plans do not destroy the qualities of our neighborhood we hold dear.”

    Jo Hamilton, C.B. 2 chairperson, said at the Aug. 9 meeting that the board would ask the university some hard questions.

    “We want N.Y.U. to tell us what they are building, why they are building it and why does it have to be in our neighborhood rather than someplace else?” Hamilton said.

    Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. vice president for government affairs and community engagement, said the university was planning about half of its total expansion outside of the Village. But, regarding the focus on the superblocks, at one point, she said, “It’s our home.” Again, in response to more superblock questions, she said, “It’s our own property — we can develop it incrementally [rather than all at once].”

    “The Financial District is looking to diversify,” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said at the Aug. 9 meeting. “Why is it not possible to accommodate 3 million square feet of growth outside of our neighborhood?” added Berman.

    Berman was a member of the Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development, which Borough President Scott Stringer suspended last month in anticipation of the current public review process.

    At the Aug. 4 meeting, Berman said the community “should draw a line in the sand and tell N.Y.U. what they can do and what they cannot do.”

    But Stringer replied that such a strategy could effectively end community participation as the project moves forward.
    “I don’t think we should do that now,” Stringer said. But Berman insisted that if N.Y.U. pushed its plan through the city’s uniform land use review process, or ULURP, without modification, it would be rejected.

    Although the university’s brochure on its plan outlines possibilities for “remote” expansion, it does not include the Financial District.
    Hurley, however, said, “We have had meetings with the Port Authority [about potential Downtown development] and we’ve received several offers of space Downtown, but we have to decide whether they satisfy our academic needs and whether they fit our financial plans.”

    One real estate broker, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Villager that she presented N.Y.U. with more than 350,000 square feet of alternative space near the World Trade Center site on behalf of a property owner whom she declined to identify.
    One Villager at the Aug. 9 meeting said, “The Financial District is just two stops on the E train. I’ve been taking the subway alone since I was 10 years old. I don’t think it’s too much to ask N.Y.U. students to use public transportation.”

    Will Haas, N.Y.U. director of planning, outlined some specifics of the superblock plans. On the Silver Towers/Coles block, the university plans to build a 36-story fourth tower, taller than the three I.M. Pei-designed residential buildings, with a total of 275,000 square feet for faculty apartments and a 100-unit hotel to accommodate visitors and guests attending university events.

    The current one-story Morton Williams supermarket on LaGuardia Place would be demolished and be replaced by public open space. A supermarket would be developed below grade on one of the superblocks.

    The Aug. 9 audience groaned at the announcement that the current Coles gymnasium on the Mercer St. side of the southern superblock would be replaced by a dormitory of 13 to 17 stories and 160 to 200 feet tall to accommodate 1,400 students.

    On the Washington Square Village superblock, the university plans to retain the existing residential buildings facing W. Third and Bleecker Sts. and add two new academic buildings between them facing LaGuardia Place and Mercer St.

    Of the 1.5 million to 2.2 million square feet of new development in the two superblocks, 30 percent would be below grade, Haas said.

    “I’m still not ready to accept 3 million square feet of development in the superblocks and the surrounding neighborhood,” said David Gruber, chairperson of the C.B. 2 Institutions Committee and a member of the now-suspended Stringer task force. Gruber also questioned N.Y.U.’s intention to seek a single ULURP for all of the superblock development — since the projects would be done in phases, making the whole plan take from 20 to 40 years to complete. “It seems that you’re asking for a long-term development line of credit,” Gruber said.

    N.Y.U. wants to avoid surprises like the university’s acquisition of the controversial E. 12th St. dorm three years ago, Hurley said. In response to an angry Villager who faulted N.Y.U. for doing nothing to save St. Vincent’s Hospital from closing this spring, Hurley said the university did enter discussions about taking over the hospital, but the debt, estimated at $800 million to $1 billion, was too big for N.Y.U. to handle.

    At one point during the Aug. 9 meeting after an N.Y.U. reference to the university’s “Washington Square core,” members of the audience shouted, “It’s not your core campus, it’s our neighborhood.”

    http://www.thevillager.com/villager_381/groansanyu.html

  7. #82
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    Funny how sentiment shifts over time. NYU development in the Village was praised back in the day when the area was a sh**hole.

  8. #83
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Praised by who?

  9. #84

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    The level of shortsighted NIMBYism is literally making me nauseous. Never mind the city's growth and global competitiveness, or NYU's ranking or the money that students spend on local businesses and the public benefits NYU is also proposing. Nope! just about "waaaah, I hate construction!! I moved here because it was a quiet farm town and it's being overrun by drunk college kids..." It's their own land, it's disgraceful that a developer can be this bogged down in doing something as-of-right. As for the parts that would be remote, ok sure, have your ridiculous, cat-lady filled fun.

    This is why Gary Barnett flew under the radar for so long on Carnegie 57.

  10. #85
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The projects planned by NYU for the super blocks are NOT as of right. They require major zoning changes, not to mention the scuttling of covenant deeds that were in effect when NYU bought the land from NYC in the 1960s.

    Newbie-ism can be as dangerous as Nimby-ism

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiesfromSpace View Post
    Never mind the city's growth and global competitiveness, or NYU's ranking or the money that students spend on local businesses and the public benefits NYU is also proposing. Nope! just about "waaaah, I hate construction!!
    It isn't "waaaah I hate construction!!", it's "hey, you shortsighted creeps, there are locations that actually need it!"

  12. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynLove View Post
    Funny how sentiment shifts over time. NYU development in the Village was praised back in the day when the area was a sh**hole.
    You know, "back in the day," a lot of the Village that remained intact to this day was considered a shithole by many.

  13. #88

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    I stand corrected, fair enough

  14. #89
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Praised by who?
    Many who lived in and near the area in the 1960s/70s, who saw NYU's developments as a path to making the area safer.

  15. #90
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    More on NYU's proposed changes on the superblocks and the approvals required:

    NYU Releases 20 Year Expansion Plan

    ANTHEMION
    GVSHP Newsletter
    Summer 2010

    University’s Growth Rate Would Double, But Only If Given Public Approvals

    ... NYU’s proposal would add 1.5 million square feet of space* to several blocks south and east of Washington Square Park, another 1.5 milllion square feet of space to unspecified locations throughout the Village, East Village, and NoHo ...

    The 1.5 million square feet NYU wishes to add to the blocks south and east of Washington Square would require many layers of public approvals, and thus their fate is still to be determined. NYU is seeking to change the zoning for these nine blocks from residential to commercial, change the zoning to lift the current requirements for preserving open space, get the city to give them several pieces of public land on Bleecker, Mercer and West 3rd Streets and LaGuardia Place (some of which are currently occupied by public parks), and get the city to lift deed restrictions attached to formerly publicly-owned land which prohibit any new construction until 2021.

    ... a 38-story hotel on Bleecker Street – the tallest building ever constructed in the Village – and several other massive structures in the surrounding blocks. The hotel plan must also overcome the high hurdle of approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, since it is within the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers complex, for which GVSHP secured landmark status in 2008.

    *NOTE: 1.5 million square feet = TWO (2) Javits Convention Centers (~ 700,000 sf)

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