NYU Honors Its Word to Support Landmarking
From the Villager
Historic reversal: After waffling for weeks, saying it didn’t support the full South Village Historic District as it’s being proposed, New York University has come out in support of the district boundaries as endorsed by the South Village Landmark Association (SoVilLa) and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. On June 11, Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. associate vice president for government and community affairs, wrote Robert Tierney, chairperson of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, a short letter stating: “I would like, on behalf of New York University, to clearly state that we fully support designation of the proposed South Village Historic District as currently submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. We are in favor of this proposal as it would truly protect the historic architecture and cultural identity of our great neighborhood.” “I’m elated,” said David Gruber, president of SoVilLa. “I’m beyond happy about it. I think that we are going to move quickly to landmark now.” Andrew Berman, director of G.V.S.H.P., said, “I’m glad to see that N.Y.U. has finally decided to live up to its commitment made four years ago to support this proposal, and to live up to its commitment to the community of which it is a part, at least in this one respect, to be a good neighbor. N.Y.U. still has a very long way to go, but I will be gracious and say that I hope this is the beginning of a positive trend. If so, they have a lot more work to do.” Berman was eager to know if Hurley had said anything else beyond her terse letter. As a matter of fact, she did, adding the following in a follow-up e-mail to us: “This is the latest in our ongoing effort to demonstrate that we are supportive of this important effort and wanted to be a part of the process. This most recent letter is meant to pierce through the fog that was generated when I wrote a letter that was requesting a seat at the table. This was never a fight, it was a misunderstanding.” Gruber added that the reopening of Father Demo Square — which is in the proposed South Village Historic District — is all set for this Friday at 11 a.m. Council Speaker Christine Quinn will be speaking, a band will be playing (not all at the same time) and the new fountain will be on.