NYU Crawling Out of the Doghouse Over Signs on Landmarked Property

New York University is in the process of resolving a landmarks violation, issued after the school placed new signs on the landmarked Silver Towers, just south of Washington Square Park.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation first complained to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in June, after the school installed new signs in the spring, which tell visitors to curb their dogs.

The I. M. Pei-designed Silver Towers were landmarked in November 2008.

Robert Tierney, chair of the LPC, issued a letter in August to the school and Cooper Square Realty, which manages repairs and maintenance of Silver Towers, notifying them that installing signage and “canine hygiene stations” without a permit was in violation of the Landmarks Law. Elisabeth de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the LPC, said NYU responded after the letter, but is still in the process of determining a course of action.

“They installed the signs without a permit. You’re supposed to come to us first, which they didn’t do,” she said. “They have to show us how they plan to address it.”

In a letter issued on Nov. 2, Andrew Berman, the executive director of the historic preservation society, noted that no action had yet been taken by the school.

John Beckman, a spokesman for NYU, said the school had planned three improvements prior to the landmarking of Silver Towers, which included the restoration of parts of the cobblestone road and lighting for the site and the Picasso sculpture. These two improvements were completed prior to the landmarking, but the signs were delayed and not installed until afterward.

“So, we are now working with the LPC to resolve this, and we will handle it in whatever fashion they recommend,” Mr. Beckman said.

rli@observer.com
NYU Crawling Out of the Doghouse Over Signs on Landmarked Property