Kelly Carroll of the Historic Districts Council delivered the following testimony:
“The greenhouse that dominates the corner of 5th Avenue and 25th Street speaks to another era, and is the soft segue before one enters Green-Wood Cemetery. HDC is glad to see that this Individual Landmark will be lovingly restored and become a permanent piece of Green-Wood Cemetery’s marvelous collection of structures.”
“Despite its secure future, HDC is concerned about the landmark’s identity and the integrity of this landmark site. The committee feels that the new construction overwhelms the low-scale greenhouse and erodes the corner. While the west facade will be exposed as intended, the roofscape will no longer read clean against the sky, and instead be wrapped in the new construction’s roof.”
“HDC asks that the Commissioners discuss an alternative solution for this site, which would treat the greenhouse as the focal point, not an inconvenient landmark location, such as the Coignet Building in Gowanus. We especially would like to see an actual adaptive reuse of the space, not a lonely, empty greenhouse. Perhaps if a use in program is moved to this space, it could reduce square footage elsewhere.”
Community Board 2 Meets Tonight on Recommendation to Sell Bklyn Heights Library (Eagle)
The three provisos added by CB2 committee members would require:
1: After the library has been fully constructed and outfitted, a reserve fund of at least $2 million be established for future capital repairs at the branch.
2: That the new branch have the same usable floor space as the existing branch. (There is some fuzziness over exactly what this includes, however.)
3: A Community Benefits Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) be executed as part of the project. These are intended, at minimum, to ensure the developer, the Hudson Companies, keeps its promises that affordable housing be built before breaking ground on the tower, and an interim library be established for use during the multi-year construction of the 36-story project.
The meeting will be held at St. Francis College, Founders Hall, 180 Remsen Street, starting at 6 p.m. Following the board’s vote, the issue will next go to the Borough President, who will hold a public hearing at Borough Hall on Tuesday, August 18, starting at 6 p.m.
For the sceptics amongst us, who recognize how badly our city libraries are underfunded, but are concerned by library partnerships with real estate developers, the shrinkage of space in new and existing libraries, and NY libraries' less-than-honest dialog with the public, check out Noticing New York.
Interactive Map of NYC's Rent-Stabilized Apartments (Gothamist)