Write Margaret Chin to Uphold Landmark Status for 135 Bowery

Posted on: August 23rd, 2011 at 6:41 am by

The battle lines are drawn. As usual, preservation is pitted against gentrification.  That’s how countless historic structures have already fallen on the Bowery, including 35 Cooper Square.  With 135 Bowery already landmarked, its owner is gunning to overturn the ruling by appealing City Council.  Nothing will happen here without a fight. For starters, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors recently drafted a petition and collected 250 signatures.

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And thanks to Boogie reader Ralph Lewis, resident of the similarly threatened 206 Bowery, we now have some additional ammunition. He drafted the following letter for you to send to Council Member Margaret Chin, saying “Reversing that [decision] by a City Council vote would piss off the LPC, devastating future preservation on the Bowery.”  See below:

Councilmember Margaret Chin
New York City Council District #1
Chatham Green, 165 Park Row, Suite #11
New York, New York 10038
email:  chin@council.nyc.gov

Re:   Landmark Designation of 135 Bowery

Dear Councilmember Chin:

As a local resident who cares deeply about the unique and indispensable history of the legendary Bowery, I write to congratulate you and express my gratitude for your efforts to get 135 Bowery designated a historic landmark. I was extremely gratified to learn that the Landmarks Preservation Commission recently and overwhelmingly voted in favor of this rare Federal-style row house.

I understand that the next step is for the City Council to approve this designation, and that the full Council vote will follow your lead as the property’s representing Member. I am a registered voter in this district, and I fully support and encourage you to affirm the LPC’s landmark designation of 135 Bowery.

With the rapid development currently taking hold on the Bowery, the community is grateful to you for seeing that our history is preserved. Adding 135 to over a dozen Bowery landmarks builds on a historic district that’s based on architecture, education, diversity, and cultural significance and will protect the low-rise neighborhood and immigrant community threatened by encroaching gentrification.

The recent and unfortunate destruction of the Federal-style house at 35 Cooper Square has rallied the local residents who are gravely concerned about preserving the remaining Bowery houses. In this case, having passed the LPC’s incredibly stringent process, 135 Bowery has earned the immediate attention of preservation laws to ensure its survival. Thank you for your past support of this irreplaceable house, and I look forward to your affirmation of its landmark designation.


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