LESPI's Letter re De-calendaring

December 3, 2014

Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chair Srinivasan:

I’m writing on behalf of the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI) to express our strong objection to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s proposed administrative action to remove properties calendared for more than five years from consideration for landmarking. This action has several strongly negative effects, it:

- results in probable loss of a significant number of buildings already deemed historic by LPC, including many broadly known sites as well as two building's in the historic Lower East Side.

- wipes away a list of properties that represents countless hours of individual and community effort to have them calendared in the first place, which in effect disenfranchises communities that have been seeking landmark protection for their historic sites and neighborhoods.

- subverts the time-tested procedure for landmarking buildings and districts: calendared properties, which have already been deemed to have historic merit by the LPC, should be entitled to their "day in court.” Undermining this process sets a bad precedent, that will discourage communities from bringing forward buildings if they believe the process cannot be consistently relied upon to ensure a full review of each building or district based on merit.

- is of a magnitude that warrants an LPC public hearing with proper public notification to allow affected communities and others to weigh in; otherwise this action will encourage public disengagement and a degradation of democratic involvement in our civic processes.

We respectfully but strongly urge the LPC to cancel the vote this Tuesday, and instead hold a public hearing to review this action and consider the buildings individually on the merits.

Sincerely,

Richard D. Moses
President

cc:
The Honorable Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
The Honorable Margaret Chin, NYC Council Member
The Honorable Rosie Mendez, NYC Council Member

 

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative is dedicated to preserving the historic streetscapes of the Lower East Side, including the East Village, Lower East Side below Houston Street, Bowery, Chinatown and Little Italy