New York politicians are bending over backwards, violating protocol, to build a mega mosque at Ground Zero. In warped speed they are ramming it through, removing every obstacle to expedite the process and erect a triumphal mosque at Ground Zero in time for it to meet its stated opening date, the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Why? Would they do this for a church? A synagogue? This is an outrage .............
Last night, on less than a week and a half's notice (at a time when most people who care are not even around), the Lower Manhattan Community Board 1 (“LMCB”) Landmark Commission (“LMCBLC”) held its meeting to consider the landmark status of 45-47 Park Place (the site of the proposed 911 mega mosque). Refusing to wait until the entire board could meet, seven board members voted unanimously to deny landmark status to the Burlington Coat Factory building, removing another obstacle to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's supremacist, triumphal mosque.
One journalist noted that the "CB1 Landmarks committee, which is a stickler for details when someone wants to install new windows or awnings, voted to recommend to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission that landmark status not be given to the two antique buildings on Park Place that the owner wants to tear down to build the mega-mosque at Ground Zero."The historical significance of the property is clear: it was designed by the famous architect Daniel D. Badger. A number of his buildings have already been given landmark status. The New York Times obituary (19 Nov. 1884, p. 2) for Daniel D. Badger (1806-1884), read in part, "Daniel D. Badger, the pioneer of this country in the use of iron for building purposes" ....... Further, the building was the headquarters of Merck & Company from 1911 to 1925.
More importantly, his building has special historical significance because of 911. It was part of the attack. The landing gear of one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers flew out to the Burlington Coat Factory building, and fell through the roof to the basement. The fact that the committee ignores that fact is outrageous, and disrespects the victims of 911.
The LMCBLC unanimously (with one recusal) voted to recommend to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“LPC”) that landmark status be denied. Yes, this ugly decision was unanimous. The one recusal came from a board member who admitted to being in bed with the owner (future financial gains implied). This was the same tool who during last month's community board meeting was shilling for the mosque. Apparently, one of the owners of the property approached him and subsequently corresponded with him. He said he was recusing himself because although there was no “immediate” financial benefit to him, he thought it appropriate given potential conflicts of interest. The same member of the LMCBLC made reference to Kristallnacht, implying that opponents of the mosque are Nazis. Outrageous, I tell you.
The basis for the decision was that the LPC had not recommended landmark status for other architecturally and aesthetically significant buildings in the neighborhood -- which is patently untrue. See below:
Look at the two buildings side by side. The building on the left is 45 Park Place. The building on the right is 311 Broadway, and was granted landmark status in January 2010 by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on the grounds that there were very few Italian Renaissance, palazzo-style buildings left in the city. Yet both buildings are Italian Renaissance, palazzo-style architecture in the same neighborhood. Why is one being granted landmark status and the other being denied that status? A rhetorical question, of course.
Volume 22, Number 36 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 15 - 21, 2010
Tribeca got a new landmark this week: 311 Broadway, a five-story Italian Renaissance-style building.
“This building recalls not only mid-19th century New York City, but also early 16th-century Rome and Florence,” Bob Tierney, chairperson of the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s one of the few remaining palazzo-style buildings on Broadway in Lower Manhattan.”
Built in 1857, the building between Duane and Thomas Sts. was once located in the center of New York’s textile district. William Waldorf Astor bought the building in 1887 and subsequent tenants included L.C. Smith & Brothers Typewriter Company, David T. Abercrombie Company and Hagstrom Company, Inc., the mapmaker, which bought the building in 1948.
An L.P.C. report noted the building’s detailed stonework as particularly worth preserving. The architect is unknown. The ground floor is occupied by Atomic Wings restaurant and a Super Value closeout store, with apartments above.
Next week, the Landmarks Commission, all Bloomberg appointees, is meeting on July 13th to consider landmark status. They do Bloomberg's bidding, and in the sleaziest of ploys, Bloomberg is ducking responsibility, refusing to meet with the 911 families or the Coalition for the Preservation of Ground Zero, and calendaring these key motions on a week's notice in the middle of the summer with little to no due diligence.
It is obvious that the Landmarks Commission is going to deny landmark status at its meeting next Tuesday. Again, why the mad rush? So that the mosque can open on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, as promised?
The legal team for The Coalition of the Preservation of Ground Zero pointed out to the Chair of the LMCBLC that the LPC was rushing to make a decision without having the full vote from the board, which is scheduled to meet later this month, after the LPC is scheduled to vote on the matter this Tuesday, July 13. The few board members simply said that this is the procedure. The facts, however, are undeniable. The LPC has had the Property “calendared” for landmark consideration since 1989, tabled for 22 years. Only within the last two weeks has it provided the public notice that it would be making a decision. It is doing this without full public input, and in the dead of summer, when many people aren't around to provide input.
One phone call from the Mayor's office could get this vote scheduled for next week tabled, so that the legal team for the Coalition for the Preservation of Ground Zero could prepare the case for landmark status. Considering the sudden rush to schedule this all-important vote, it seems a small accommodation.
The only thing worse than Bloomberg's pernicious callousness, in his refusal to meet with the 911 families on this issue, is the media's silence -- Bloomberg Media.
The Burlington Coat Factory building at 45 Park Place is more than worthy of landmark status:
The vote is Tuesday in lower Manhattan. Pressure is important between now and then. We need time. Why the rush? Please contact the LPC and the Mayor’s Office. Be heard -- polite but firm. You must do this. This is so patently wrong.
According to the landmarks commission, the building has historical, architectural and cultural significance.
It is an example of New York's cast-iron architecture, built in 1857 in the Italian Renaissance style, to house a prominent Manhattan shipping firm. The building is like many of the store and loft structures that dominated the dry goods warehouse districts of Lower Manhattan. It was used between 1911 and 1925 as the headquarters of Merck & Company, the pharmeceuticals giant. It was later converted into a discount clothing store.
The five-story building's storefront is comprised of a cast iron Corinthian colonnade.
"The commission is considering whether to grant the building landmark status," said Elisabeth de Bourbon, spokesperson for the Landmarks Preservation Commission. "We will hold a public hearing on the possible designation on July 13." (more here)
E-MAIL: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.htmlManhattan Community Board 1:
(212) NEW-YORK / (212) 639-9675
311 for New Yorkers
Tel. (212) 442-5050
Fax. (212) 442-5055
More on the famous architect, Daniel D. Badger, here. Here's a look at one of his landmarked buildings, the E.V. Haughwout Building:
The cast iron was forged at Daniel Badger's famous foundry, Architectural Ironworks, located along the East River. Its entire facade is comprised of 92 keystone arches crowned by an entablature comprised of several bands of intricate friezes. The facade was handsomely renovated at great expense several years ago. The building featured the world's first passenger elevator, powered hydraulically, designed and installed by Elijah Armstrong Otis.
The Haughwout Emporium was world famous in its day as manufacturers and purveyors of cut glass, porcelains, mirrors , chandeliers and more. Their clients included the Lincoln's, who purchased a service for the White House, the Czar of Russia, the Imam of Muscat who purchased chandeliers to illuminate the royal harem. Gifts from Haughwout's were presented to the Emperor of Japan and King Rama IV of Siam in the age of gunboat diplomacy. (more here)
that the facades of these store-and-loft buildings suggest the profound impact made by the Italian Renaissance Revival style introduced by Joseph Trench and John B. Snook with their design for the A.T. Stewart Department Store; that the buildings in the T ribeca South Historic D istrict Extension, ranging in width from three to six bays, share certain design elements, which collectively create harmonious streetscapes; that the buildings are rich in a variety of Italianate-style architectural features; that the window openings of different shapes are emphasized by pediments, arched hoods, flat lintels, pilasters, and projecting sills; that the buildings are crowned by deep cornices, characteristic of the Italianate style; that many of the buildings retain parts of their early cast-iron and glass storefronts, some of which are documented in the 1865 catalogue of Daniel D. Badger’s Architectural Iron W orks; that by the early 1860s, the area had become the thriving hub of a national system for the distribution of wholesale dry goods, as well as the location of textile importers, dry goods jobbers, and related businesses; that after the Civil War, as the dry goods firms began moving northward, new kinds of businesses, such as hardware and cutlery merchants, moved into the area’s store-and-loft buildings; that the endurance of such enterprises reflects a continuity in the mercantile use of the district, and has been a major factor in retaining much of its nineteenth-century architectural character; that the Tribeca South Historic District Extension represents a significant pre-Civil War commercial architectural environment in New York City; and that the intact and cohesive streetscapes provide the Tribeca South Historic District Extension with a special sense of place. Accordingly, pursuant to Chapter 21 (formerly Chapter 63) of the Charter of the City of New York, and Chapter 8-A of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designates as an historic district,
Does this not deserve further investigation? Where are those architectural elitist effetes at the NY Times, who take themselves and their expertise so seriously?
UPDATE: Go to the Landmarks Commission Meeting July 13th. Just go:According to our legal team, the hearing starts at 2:00 p.m. and will be held at 904 Lexington Avenue (at the corner of East 68th Street), in Lecture Hall 714 of Hunter College on the 7th floor. Anyone who wants to speak gets two minutes -- sign up in advance in the lobby of the auditorium.