Rosie Mendez Calls on City Planning to Support “East Bowery Preservation Plan”

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 at 6:19 am by

The push to bestow zoning protections on the east side of the Bowery is gaining momentum.

Dormers Removed from 140 Bowery

At the forefront of the campaign these last few years, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors continues the fight to safeguard our beloved thoroughfare. Unlike across the street, an area that falls within the confines Special Little Italy District, the east side has no such measures in place.  That’s why it’s built so much higher (i.e. Bowery Hotel, Sperone Westwater, New Museum, Wyndham Garden, etc.). The East Bowery Preservation Plan [PDF] aims to end the gold rush along this strip of land.

Councilmember Rosie Mendez, the sole opponent in the landmark overthrow of 135 Bowery, recently penned a letter to the Department of City Planning endorsing the proposal.

It reads:

I am writing to express my support for the East Bowery Preservation Plan proposed by the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN). I also ask that the Department of City Planning (DCP) conduct a study to evaluate a potential rezoning for the east side of the Bowery.

I greatly appreciated DCP’s work on the 2008 Lower East Side/East Village Rezoning. Specifically, I commend DCP’s willingness to meet with community stakeholders to develop and implement a viable plan that will not only preserve the Lower East Side’s distinct low-rise buildings, but also create opportunities for affordable housing development. As much of the Bowery is already preserved through the Little Italy Special District, the NoHo Historic District, and the Third Avenue Corridor Rezoning, a plan to preserve the east side is now necessary to ensure the historical integrity of the street and to protect the Bowery’s unique built form.

As you know, the Bowery is one of the city’s oldest historic districts and is a vital component of the culture and history of Lower Manhattan. At the same time, the lack of contextual zoning for the east side of Bowery has precipitated a wave of out-of-scale development which not only threatens the affordability of the area but changes the cultural, historical and architectural significance of the Bowery. The Bowery Preservation Plan maintains that any new developments in the area would be of a size and scale that would not interfere with the Bowery’s architectural integrity. The Plan calls for controlled, responsible development, including community facilities, while maintaining the low-rise character of the street and will promote the retention of mixed socio- economic populations, affordable housing, social services, & artists’ live/work spaces.

I echo Community Board 3 and my city, state, and federal colleagues in asking that DCP act expeditiously to conduct a study and implement a plan to preserve all of the Bowery.

Sincerely, Rosie Mendez

Recent Stories

classic-coffee-closed-1
LES Stalwart ‘Classic Coffee Shop’ Temporarily Closes for Renovations

Well, this certainly isn’t the best way to start the day. The Classic Coffee Shop on Hester Street, the authentic luncheonette mainstay in the neighborhood for decades, is currently closed for renovations. Temporarily, though. This, according to a computer printout pasted to the shuttered gate. Despite the unease – these renovation notices are oftentimes a […]

bowery-graffiti-wall-scraped
Bowery Graffiti Wall Whitewashed for Logan Hicks Artwork Next Week

The Bowery Graffiti Wall is primed for its next act. Out came the whitewashers this week, painting over the remains of Futura’s ten-month-old mural. The one-story enclosure – the original concrete slab still sits intact with Os Gemeos art – is now a blank canvas for stencil artist Logan Hicks. There is also a portable […]

Rendering of potential use
City Seeks Proposals to Convert Allen Mall Bathhouse into Food Stand

Now’s your chance to convert an old Lower East Side shithouse into a food stand. That’s right; the city officially began its Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process last week in order to redevelop the relic bathhouse situated in the Allen Street Mall. The decades-old structure – constructed in the 1930s as a bathroom for riders […]

peace-pentagon-boxed
Noho’s ‘Peace Pentagon’ Boxed up, Ready for Demolition

Noho’s activist spirit is dead. Gone by way of luxury. The Peace Pentagon is about to follow. Demolition is nigh. Its longtime sidewalk bridge, a mainstay for several years, was deposed this week, yet quickly replaced. The borderline-unstable property is being boxed up in plywood as we speak. As previously reported, the A.J. Muste Institute […]

Bargain District, August 2010
As Development Heats Up, Landmarked Lower East Side Historic District Isn’t Any Closer to Happening

With the city’s so-called “backlog” initiative firmly in the rearview, it’s time to refocus. You’ll recall that several local grassroots preservationists continue the battle to protect an historically-significant swath of Lower East Side territory. Led by the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative and Friends of the Lower East Side, the consortium of area groups is pushing […]

  • Scotty G.

    The plan can’t address the issues that are illustrated in your photo of the WEST side of the Bowery, which is in fact in an area of zoning height restrictions but not under true design review or landmark protection.