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November 13th, 2008

HELP SAVE WHAT’S LEFT OF THE BOWERY FROM GLASS TOWER DISEASE.

by John Coakley


Trump SoHo: do you want this kind of thing going up on the Bowery?

Thanks to Rob Hollander for the heads up.

The Bowery, as we all know, has a rich history of inhabitants that ranges from turn of the century immigrants to skid row transients to punk rockers. Like so many other parts of Manhattan, the Bowery has been infested of late with tall residential towers that seem to be aimed squarely at the young, urban professionals who can afford them, thus making the character of the neighborhood less distinctive by the day. Fortunately, the west side of the Bowery has been protected via the rezoning of the Little Italy Special District and the NoHo Historic District. Unfortunately, the east side receives no such protection; the recent East Village/ Lower East Side Rezoning protects the area just east of the Bowery but not the street itself. The City Council will vote on whether or not to extend these boundaries to include the whole of the Bowery on Monday, which gives all of you until tomorrow morning to send them a quick email telling them that you’d like to see this historic street saved from the yuppification that continues to influence the look and feel of our city. The email addresses and a sample letter are included below:

aburden@planning.nyc.gov, avella@council.nyc.ny.us, gerson@council.nyc.ny.us, rmendez@council.nyc.gov

RE: FUCA (Follow Up Corrective Action) to rezone the east side of the Bowery

Dear Chair Burden:

We respectfully request that, in conjunction with the current East Village/ Lower East Side Rezoning, a Follow-up Corrective Action (FUCA) be initiated by the City Planning Commission, to immediately rezone the east side of the Bowery, or the Little Italy Special District be extended from the west side of the Bowery to the east side of the Bowery.

At the November 12, 2008 Subcommittee Hearing on Zoning and Franchises, Chair Tony Avella, Council Member Alan Gerson, and Council Member Rosie Mendez all stated their support for the immediate rezoning of the Bowery. In addition, we have the support of Community Board 3, the Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation, the Historic Districts Council, the Society for the Architecture of the City, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, and the Coalition To Save The East Village.

Although the Bowery has always had a unique place in the history of the City of New York, in recent years we have watched large, out-of-scale development going up on the east side of the Bowery, the result of which has been the destruction of the context, historic character and diversity of the community.

The City has recognized the historic significance of the Bowery by protecting the west side of the Bowery in the Little Italy Special District, and the NOHO Historic District. The East Village/ Lower East Side Rezoning will protect the area just east of the Bowery. However, the east side of the Bowery itself has been left out of all these rezonings.

The east side of the Bowery must be rezoned today to ensure that it is in context to the rest of the community—the Little Italy Special District, the NOHO Historic District, and East Village/ Lower East Side. If a Follow-up Corrective Action is not initiated, as part of this current East Village/ Lower East Side rezoning, the historic Bowery will be replaced with a wall of towers.

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

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