The New York Post‘s real-estate ranter Steve Cuozzo today ridicules the campaign to landmark endangered Hotel Pennsylvania, denouncing the old inn as “one of the gloomiest structures between the Battery and The Bronx.”
The last-minute drive to save the hotel is flagrant anti-development obstructionism, under the thinnest possible mask of preservationism. It will likely go nowhere. A community board’s role is merely advisory, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission has (quite properly) shown no interest in “saving” the Pennsylvania.
Even the knee-jerk activists who ordinarily rally to preserve anything larger than a lamppost haven’t gone to bat for the hotel – a 22-story mausoleum that darkens the daily arrival of Penn Station commuters across the street.
Mr. Cuozzo prefers owner Vornado Realty Trust’s plan for a giant office tower in the hotel’s place, possibly a new headquarters for Merrill Lynch, which “would be a boon to the whole district,” he opined.
Over on the “Save The Hotel” message board, one pro-hotel activist responded, “this screams rebuttal propaganda via Vornado’s new friends.”