Transcript from Lorna Nowvé, the Interim Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council from the October 28, 2021 rally against the proposed demolition of 44-54 Ninth Avenue:
The Historic Districts Council, the advocate for all of New York City’s historic neighborhoods.
HDC is united with Village Preservation, Save Chelsea and all of you to protest the demolition of the nine landmarked structures you see before you today. We call out the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Department of Buildings and demand that these two city agencies stop this demolition immediately, provide information about how this was allowed to happen, and hold the developers fully accountable.
HDC thanks Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and soon-to-be City Councilmember Erik Bottcher for insisting that the demolition stop and that a full accounting be provided.
While the LPC and DOB cited “Unsafe conditions” we know that workers were seen eating lunch on the site. Safety concerns? the buildings have been left unlocked and accessible to the public, doesn’t this make you wonder…how great is the “threat” to public safety to warrant the demolition of the landmarked buildings?
The developer, Tavros Capital, has failed to consider the many options available to ensure the preservation of these structures. Our friends at Community Board #4 provided examples of how the facades could still be preserved. These informed and practical solutions have fallen on deaf ears. Our city agencies are not acting as stewards of the public interest or the Landmarks Law.
This is a cautionary tale for historic sites throughout the city. If the LPC and DOB turn a blind eye to the development pressures facing our landmarks and Historic Districts, what you see here will happen throughout the city.
So today, HDC and its partners here demand that all work on this site stop immediately until the community is given a full accounting of the events leading up to this sad state of affairs, as well as a detailed exploration of alternate ways to safely secure the buildings.
So we say…
Tavros Capital–show respect for the neighborhood and the Landmarks Law and come up with a plan that honors the very structures that will no doubt, show up as key selling points in the marketing materials for your new development.
To the LPC and the DOB — Hit pause, stop demolition and reset.
Come up with an acceptable plan.
Save these buildings! Thank you.