Landmark East Harlem Opposes The City Planning Commission’s Vote

Landmark East Harlem (LEH) was formed to give the community of East Harlem an ongoing voice in how our neighborhood is developed and to support development that preserves the unique cultural and historical significance of the neighborhood. Our mission is also to nominate and landmark buildings; districts of architectural, historical, and cultural significance; and outdoor artworks in East Harlem.

LEH has attempted to work with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to advance many landmarking proposals (both those of LEH and of the LPC) in advance of the proposed rezoning. On March 14, 2017, LEH sent a list of 22 properties that it had identified as worthy of consideration by LPC. LPC replied that the properties were “on their radar” and that LPC was conducting its own survey and analysis of East Harlem and would be in touch as things progressed. We have heard nothing from LPC since.

Unlike in other neighborhoods (e.g. East Midtown, where LPC landmarked several buildings to protect them before the Department of City Planning upzoned that neighborhood), LPC seems to have ignored the buildings identified by LEH and the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan Steering Committee. LPC has not even calendared the buildings identified as those likely to be eligible for city landmarking in the DCP’s East Harlem Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement. Despite saying that it was surveying the neighborhood and commenting on potential development impacts from the rezoning in the EIS, LPC has taken no action. This lack of follow through is hugely disappointing.

It would appear that LPC has identified East Harlem as a low-income neighborhood lacking in political power and therefore easy to dismiss. Fortunately East Harlem has powerful friends.

LEH joins Manhattan Community Board 11, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and the community of East Harlem in opposing the DCP rezoning plan for East Harlem. We strongly urge the New York City Council to vote NO on the DCP plan.

Best,
Connie

Connie Lee

President Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Landmark East Harlem c/o Civitas NYC, 1457 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128

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