Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bowery efforts and events

Two Bowery townhouses from around 1800 are immediately threatened with demolition, 206 Bowery and 35 Cooper Square. I've included a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission from an advocate for 206. Most of its content applies to 35 Cooper Square as well: they are both townhouses, both have been reviewed by the Commission, neither has been landmarked yet, both are in imminent danger of demolition. Send a letter, if you can.

three Bowery events upcoming:

Tenement Talks, November 16, 6:30pm
Bowery: Past, Present & Future with David Mulkins
at the Tenement Museum Visitors Center 108 Orchard,
An illustrated talk on the legendary street by the chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors co-sponsored by Bowery Boogie

Lionel Rogosin's 1957 On the Bowery
return engagement at the Film Forum Nov. 19-25
"Rogosin is probably the greatest documentary filmmaker of all time"
--John Cassavettes
(Susan Wasserman, Dir. of the Gotham Center, will speak at the Friday, Nov. 19, 7:40 screening and I'll be speaking at the 7:40 screening on Saturday Nov. 20)

Bowery History: a celebration
at Dixon Place, Nov. 30, 6pm cocktails, 7pm showtime
161 Chrystie Street
An evening of cocktails, music, performance, film and speakers
for the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors


On the Bowery: an historical exhibit

at Whole Foods, Bowery & Houston, 2nd floor
by LESHP for the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

Here's the letter to the LPC from Ralph Lewis:

November 5, 2010

Hon. Robert B. Tierney, Chair

Landmarks Preservation Commission
Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Re: Landmark Status for 206 Bowery

Dear Chairman Tierney and Commission Members:

As a community leader who cares deeply about New York City and the community histories that make it such an incredible city, I am very concerned about the preservation of the legendary Bowery. At this critical time of change along this avenue, I want to thank the LPC for putting the Federal-style rowhouse at 206 Bowery through your rigorous landmark process. I understand that its case was recently closed, so I urge you to designate this house a NYC landmark as soon as possible.

Built in the early 1800s, 206 Bowery is one of the oldest buildings in the City not currently landmarked. A rare, actual house in Manhattan, its architecture appears today almost exactly as it was built 200 years ago; and its Federal style design is both unique and finite. This house has participated in many waves of NYC’s cultural and commercial growth, and its very existence tells an essential New York story of survival and resilience. It is extremely important to me and my community that structures of this age and character are preserved, so that future generations can understand The Bowery’s heritage through the landmark designation of buildings like this one.

I’m sure that the Commission is aware of the unplanned development currently taking hold on The Bowery with a speed not seen in other neighborhoods. The community is grateful to the LPC for equally protecting its historic character. 206 Bowery is a wonderful example of the intimacy that once was downtown Manhattan, and it stands in stark contrast to new, bigger buildings where both large and small, new and old, make each other look better by comparison. This architectural diversity will insure that The Bowery remains one of NYC’s most unique avenues.

Lastly, I want to thank you for recently designating 97 Bowery as an NYC landmark. Its addition to the growing list of landmarked Bowery buildings continues to create an historic district, making The Bowery an economic and educational destination for residents and tourists alike. 206 Bowery can only contribute to this success.

206 Bowery needs and deserves the immediate attention of preservation laws to ensure its survival, so that its special house-ness will continue to reflect the irreplaceable Bowery. With so much at stake, it is vital that the Commission act with urgency to landmark 206 Bowery.

Respectfully submitted,

No comments: