Monday, 22 August 2016

Preservationists to protest demolition of East Village tenements for hotel

The buildings, across from Webster Hall, will give way to a millennial-focused hotel

Preservationists who are opposed to the demolition of five tenement buildings in the East Village aren’t going down without a fight. A protest is scheduled today in front of the 19th-century structures at 112-120 East 11th Street, with groups opposed to the demolition (led by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation) rallying to call attention to the loss of those structures.

Those buildings, situated across from Webster Hall, are due to be demolished to make way for a new hotel that’s part of Marriott’s millennial-focused Moxy brand. But back in June, a coalition of several neighborhood groups—the GVSHP, along with the Historic Districts Council, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, and the East Village Community Coalition—asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider calendaring the buildings for eventual landmark consideration. But, unsurprisingly, the LPC has yet to respond, so the demolition may move forward unimpeded.

GVSHP also alleges some shady goings-on with the deal to let the hotel proceed. From its website:

Are you as appalled as we are at the hypocrisy of the administration for refusing to save these buildings, which are being developed by a donor to and political appointee of the Mayor?

That would be David Lichtenstein, the CEO of Lightstone Group, which is developing the hotel. Lichtenstein’s bio on Lightstone’s website notes that Mayor de Blasio appointed him to the board of directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. It’s not, of course, the first time that activist groups have accused the mayor of coziness with developers in the city.

The protest happens today ay 12:30 p.m.


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