Recap: Candlelight Vigil for 35 Cooper Square
For the second time in three weeks, a passionate group of people gathered in the shadow of 35 Cooper Square to support the preservation of the centuries-old Federal-style house. Although this candlelight vigil didn’t attract the same numbers as the January rally, there seemed to be more young people in attendance. And lest we forget the one dude sporting shorts and a hoodie in sub-freezing temperature!
At around 5:30 pm, candles were distributed, as were postcard petitions, and signs to hoist. David Mulkins from the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors kicked off the oratory by summarizing the dire situation. About the history and the Bowery’s expected nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Mulkins was then followed by a succession of preservationists and spontaneous speakers alike, many of whom live in the neighborhood. Poet-activist Bob Holman, whose nearby Bowery Poetry Club champions the neighborhood art scene, added his two cents with a Bowery-themed reading; Sally Young and Hettie Jones vocalized their opinions as well.
Of course, what event would be complete without a special guest? Pete Hamill made a surprising guest appearance at the end of the hour, and spoke eloquently of the “vandalism” happening at 35 Cooper. How this vandalism is killing the “meaning of the city” and its overall vitality. “These are the buildings that help us love this place,” he said. “If it comes down, we should all be ashamed of ourselves.”
As of last night, full stop work orders are still in place at the DOB for illegal demolition – “failing to publicly display a work permit and failing to properly protect the public and nearby property.”