Fran Liebowitz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Thurston Moore and John Zorn—many are the successful artists and intellectuals who have spoken up (unsuccessfully so far, it must be said) against NYU’s Greenwich Village expansion plans. Now, Susan Sarandon has chimed in, or rather tweeted in, her support, specifically for the show Messrs. Moore and Zorn are hosting tonight at Le Poisson Rouge. Read More
It Takes a Village
The Beats may be long gone, but protest music is alive and well in Greenwich Village—thanks in part to the institution that helped drive many of the artists out, New York University.
On Wednesday, a group of musicians, including Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth fame) and John Zorn will convene at 6:30 p.m. at Le Poisson Rouge to help raise money for NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan’s legal fund. Last month, the faculty group that opposes the university’s expansion south of Washington Square filed a lawsuit against the city and the University trying to stop it. All proceeds from the $20 show will go directly to the cause. Read More
As promised, a group of NYU faculty, preservationists and community groups, a dozen parties in all, have filed a suit against the city over the university’s controversial plans to expand its campus on two superblocks in the heart of Greenwich Village.
The suit charges that the rezoning that allows for the expansion violates a number of technical land-use issues, including the alienation of parkland, prior deed restrictions and the destruction of historic buildings and features within the community. There is also the argument that it will create decades of unmitigated environmental impacts, from pollution to construction noise. Read More
School is back in session, and so are those pesky professors fighting NYU’s plans to expand in Greenwich Village. In the spirit of the season, NYU Faculty has teamed up with The Illuminator, Occupy Wall Street’s Great Bright Hope. Famous for projecting a 99 Percent sign on the side of the city’s ugliest building, the van is back, this time trolling the streets of Greenwich Village rather than the Brooklyn Bridge.
After getting to know a few NYU faculty members, the Illuminator team was asked to partner with them and spread the message on campus. Last night, they hit the street, projecting soothingly clever graphics onto the side of three different structures around campus. Read More
The first volley of NYU lawsuits has been filed, as residents of Washington Square Village have gotten together to sue the university for what they see as the unjust seizure of the property outside their doors, according to the Daily News. Read More
One of the lingering concerns over the NYU rezoning of its two superblocks—besides whether it not it was The Final Nail in the Village’s coffin—was the fate of 505 LaGuardia Place, one of the three 30-story concrete sentinels that makes up the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers.
The other two are faculty apartments, but this one is Mitchell Llama public housing, and the lease with NYU was set to expire in 2014, at which point rents could jump to market rates, possibly driving out long-time residents, many of them elderly. According to local Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s office, NYU has agreed to provide 505 LaGuardia with the old lease agreement in perpetuity. The pols who fought for this agreement, along with the tenants benefiting from it, are naturally ecstatic, as made clear in their quotes below. Read More
Ivory Sours: Late to Class, NYU Professors Fail at Blocking So-Called Sexton Plan, Hope for Extra Credit
Last Thursday, as has happened every day for going on a century, a couple middle-aged intellectuals gathered around a table in Greenwich Village to discuss the news of the day, which, as has happened every day for going on a century, did not suit them.
“They act like it’s a no-brainer,” Mark Crispin Miller explained of the acquaintances he had made in recent months in his quest to stand up to his employer and landlord, New York University. Just two days prior, a committee of the City Council, part of the monolithic “they” Mr. Crispin Miller was railing against, approved the university’s 2 million-square-foot expansion plan, which would plant four sizable buildings just across the street.
“‘Of course it’s going through,’ they tell you,” he said with disgust. “‘She’s running for mayor, she needs the support of the real estate industry, you moron.’” She would be Christine Quinn, Speaker of the City Council, without whose blessing almost nothing happens there. Her district also happens to be just around the corner, giving her added incentive to take an interest in, and credit for, the project.
“This is a no-bullshit city,” Patrick Deer interjected with his British crack. “Even if we see something’s off from across the street, we’ll barge in and do something about it. There’s an innate sense of justice. Or so I thought. I know there was when I got here.” Mr. Deer has been at NYU since 2002, teaching English. Read More
NYU’s controversial Greenwich Village expansion is set to go before the City Council tomorrow, where it will almost assuredly pass. Not giving up, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan—its his plan, not theirs, they charge—have launched a new site targeted at all New Yorkers, an attempted rallying cry pitched in the middle of the Village. Read More
Tomorrow, NYU will take its somewhat shrunken plan for its Greenwich Village expansion back to the City Council. Last week, local rep Margaret Chin convinced the school to shave 17 percent off its scheme, modifications that were approved today at the City Planning Commission. The university has cooked up a new set of renderings showing the changes to the towers on the site in anticipation of full council approval come Wednesday. Can you tell the difference? Read More
New York University won a huge victory at the City Council today, when it received approval for its somewhat less massive plan to expand its campus in Greenwich Villag, from from 2.5 million square feet to 1.9 million. What does that look like? The university produced some handy visual aids that show exactly that.
Was it enough? Not according to the project’s opponents, two dozen or so of whom showed up at the council this morning to waggle their hands in the face of the assembled pols (cheers, boos and hisses were forbidden, so they were left with jazz hands, like an Occupy protest).
“I’m really disappointed,” Community Board 2 chair David Gruber said after the land use committee voted 19-1 in favor of the modified plan. “I really felt the plans was not modified enough. NYU, with the tacit backing of the mayor, felt they could do whatever they wanted.” Read More