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

ludlow-manhole-libation
Nighttime with the Smoking Manholes of Ludlow Street

The following guest post was penned by Vicki Rovere, proprietor of the Ludlow Street Free Store the last decade. Walking home from the subway about midnight last Sunday night, as I turned onto my block I smelled smoke. Smoke seemed to be curling up from a little curbside street grate outside Libation. Was it steam […]

gino-sorbillo-pizza-bowery
Gino Sorbillo’s Pizza Joint Makes it Official on the Bowery

Naples pizza master Gino Sorbillo is inching closer to unveiling his newest restaurant. The eponymous stateside pizzeria, the first in America, will soon open at 334 Bowery, between Bond and Great Jones Streets. Sidewalk shed was recently removed, and teaser posters installed in the now-liberated windows. Exact timetable on opening is elusive. By summertime seems […]

kittys-closed-stanton
On Stanton Street, Kitty’s Canteen and its ‘Go-Go’ Sibling Both Folded

Kitty’s Canteen vanished as quietly as it came in. With roll-down gates mostly drawn, Kitty’s Canteen and its adjacent Go-Go kin always strove for that “we are most likely closed” vibe. Now it is so. Both seemingly went out of business a few months ago, closed after two-years-and-change on Stanton Street just off the Bowery. […]

moscot-gone-1_wm
Moscot’s Former Delancey Street HQ is Now in Ruins Ahead of 12-Story Redevelopment

The eighty-three-year-old building that housed Moscot for nearly as long (i.e. 75 years) is now obliterated. A wrecking crew tasked with erasing this history has been busy onsite the last month or so. As of yesterday afternoon, most of the structure is gone, including the frame. What remains are the bones and debris; a ghost […]

cb85-rivington-3
Rivington Street Stays Classy with new ’80s Bar ‘GB85’

Goodbye, Will Ferrell; hello, Prince… Where Stay Classy New York formerly held court, another “hyper-focused” watering hole is poised to open. Only, this one is rooted in eighties nostalgia. Proprietor Zach Neil previously opened the popular Will Ferrell-themed bar in October 2015 to loads of hype and media coverage. It certainly hit the ground running, […]

  • 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.