Save the Landmarked former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio!
Below is a press release from Andrew Berman:
We are at a crucial moment in our years-long battle to save the landmarked former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Cultural Center at 605 East 9th Street in the East Village. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE URGING THE CITY TO TAKE ACTION TO MAKE SURE THIS PRECIOUS HISTORIC AND COMMUNITY RESOLURCE IS PRESERVED.
The building faces twin threats: willful neglect and deterioration by a developer/owner who sought to demolish the building and vociferously opposed landmark designation, and repeated attempts to get around the “community facility” deed restriction to put a “fake dorm” into the building.
This owner/developer first sought to demolish this uniquely historic structure. When it was proposed for landmarking, he stripped historic ornament from the building to prevent designation, and to spite preservationists and neighbors when it was designated. For over a decade, he has allowed the building to decay and left it open to the elements during rain, snow, and wind, and allowed conditions around the building and under its sidewalk shed to become dirty and dangerous.
He has also repeatedly tried to place illegal uses in the building which violate the deed restriction limiting the building “community facility” uses. Most recently, he has hired the lobbyist connected with the scandalous sale and lifting of the deed restriction at nearby Rivington House to try to get the City to let him get around the deed restriction and place a “fake dorm” in the building – one where an accredited institution is only responsible for a tiny fraction of the facility’s “dorm” beds.
Unfortunately, the City has been less than helpful on both these fronts – the Landmarks Preservation Commission has not pushed the owner to maintain the building, as required by landmarks law, and the Department of Buildings has shown a willingness to bend the rules to this developer’s wishes.
Now the developer is waging a P.R. campaign to convince the City that neighbors support his actions and would love to see his 200-bed “fake dorm” open in the building.
WE NEED TO LET THE CITY KNOW WE DON’T SUPPORT HIS FAKE DORM PLANS, AND WE DON’T SUPPORT HIS YEARS-LONG NEGELECT AND ABUSE OF THIS HISTORIC BUILDING AND COMMUNITY TREASURE.
SIGN THE PETITION NOW, and PLEASE SHARE!