Our neighborhoods have faced some truly tough preservation and development challenges recently - many of which were threats to the very nature of what we hold dear about our neighborhoods. Fortunately, GVSHP was able to be there to take on every one of these challenges, and we've made some real, concrete progress in preserving our neighborhoods.
But I'll be honest -- we face even more daunting challenges ahead on many fronts in 2012.
That's why I am asking you to consider a year-end contribution to GVSHP -- to help ensure we can continue our success, and do even more in the coming year.
Here's just SOME of what we've faced, and what we still need to do:
- We got landmark protections extended in the Far West Village and Meatpacking District to more than fifteen blocks and two hundred buildings (including, most recently, the entire Westbeth complex), and zoning protections to prevent out-of-scale dorm and hotel development. But we must fight to get the City to keep its commitment to landmark the neighborhood's remaining unprotected sites, including those immediately threatened.
- We successfully fought earlier versions of the Rudin plan to demolish the entire St. Vincent's campus and replace it all with new condo construction. But now we must fight to ensure that the City does not grant zoning changes giving special privileges originally intended for a hospital to a private developer.
- We helped galvanize community opposition to a proposed rezoning of Chelsea Market to add a huge office tower addition and hotel to the complex. But we must still ensure that the City rejects the proposal when it comes to a vote in 2012.
- We called for zoning changes in Hudson Square which would prevent more monstrously out-of-scale developments like the Trump SoHo, which have now been proposed. But we need to press harder to ensure the new zoning doesn't allow other kinds of inappropriate development, and doesn't increase development pressure on the nearby South Village.
- We pushed back against proposed additions to the Puck Building and new developments in the Meatpacking District and Far West Village, downsizing or blocking developers' plans. But we need to be on constant guard for new such proposals, and mobilize the public and elected leaders to join us in these important fights.
- We've made huge new resources available to the public, including oral histories, a landmarks application tracking website, a blog highlighting historic research, and scores of programs for children and adults about the history of our neighborhoods and historic preservation. But we must respond to growing demand for these free resources, and keep up with changing technology to make this information as easily accessible and usable for the public as possible.
It will take a lot of work to respond to these challenges, and to build on these successes.
That's why I would like to ask you to consider making a year-end contribution or purchase a gift membership, to help ensure we can undertake and succeed in these and other important initiatives. Just go to www.gvshp.org/membership to make a contribution.
Best wishes for the holiday season and for a joyous New Year.