South Street Seaport Public Forum Scheduled / Our Next Meeting

OUR NEXT MEETING

SOS-Meeting-flyer-20141016Save Our Seaport’s next public meeting will be this Thursday, October 16th, 6:30pm, in the library at St. Margaret’s.

This will be a short get-together to help coordinate outreach for the November 10 Public Forum and the SOS March in the Halloween Parade.

Our immediate focus will be talking with our neighbors at the Taste Of The Seaport event, which takes place on October 18th.

Thursday October 16th
6:30pm
The Library at
St. Margaret’s

49 Fulton St. (Map)

* * * * *

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT PUBLIC FORUM

SAVE OUR SEAPORT, the CITY CLUB of NEW YORK, and the METROPOLITAN WATERFRONT ALLIANCE are co-sponsoring a South Street Seaport Public Forum on November 10th at 6pm at The Spruce Street School auditorium (12 Spruce St., NYC).

— Hear the latest news from our Elected Officials:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Councilmember Margaret Chin

— Get updates about the South Street Seaport Museum, the Waterfront, our Historic South Street Seaport District and bringing back a Public Market.

— Ask questions of our panelists and give us your input about next steps for the Seaport.

— Additional speakers to be announced.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/SOSpublicforum

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Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

SOS submitted the following to the New York Times, in response to an October 3rd Letter to the Editor.

To the Editor:

In a New York Times Letter to the Editor on October 3rd (http://nyti.ms/Z3rqIO), Margaret Newman of the Municipal Art Society of New York stated “What we need in New York isn’t landmarking run amok, but a city zoning and review process that requires developers and city agencies to be transparent about projects that cast shadows on public parks, promise amorphous public benefits or involve behind-the-scenes air rights stockpiles.”

Interesting point. We’d say it’s DEVELOPERS running amok. Why? Because they can. There seems to be a lack of public policy, planning, zoning, and transparency. Even when it comes to the procedures in place, the city seems determined to ignore them, and unwilling to enforce them. Three cheers for the preservationists and environmentalists who are protecting our precious history, architecture, waterfronts, and are doing what we can to prevent Manhattan Island and surrounding waterways from becoming a continuous dark canyon of looming towers.

Save Our Seaport
saveourseaport.org
(347) 6-PIER16

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TWO Block Parties This Coming Weekend, followed by an SOS Meeting

Saturday the 27th will be a big day for us downtown.

We’re spreading the word about what’s happening at the Seaport, and about our fight to protect this remaining corner of our City’s maritime history from reckless development.

That day, Battery Park City will be having a block party. Save Our Seaport will be sharing a table with our friends from the historic vessels Lilac and Pegasus. Can you join us for an hour? We’ll be there from 11 to 4. It’s a block party, so while we are meeting our neighbors we’ll be having some fun, demonstrating some mariner’s skills, and handing out some salt water taffy as well!

At the other end of Fulton Street, The Old Seaport Alliance will host a block party at the Seaport!

Can you give an hour to help our effort there? We will schedule that as you let us know your availability… it’s a ten hour event, noon to ten pm, so we’ll have a choice of times!

Please respond via SOS e-mail. See you Saturday!

* * * * *

SAVE OUR SEAPORT MEETING

Our next Save Our Seaport Meeting is Tuesday, September 30th, 6:30pm at St. Margaret’s Conference Room 3. St. Margaret’s is located at 49 Fulton St. (Map)

Please join us!

Click to download this flyer to distribute to your friends and neighbors.

SOS-Meeting-Flyer-2014-Sep-30

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Howard Hughes Corporation Now Admits It Has Plans For Schermerhorn Row But Won’t Say What They Are

From DowntownPostNYC:

HOWARD HUGHES CORPORATION NOW ADMITS IT HAS PLANS FOR
SCHERMERHORN ROW BUT WON’T SAY WHAT THEY ARE

Landmarked Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Howard Hughes Corporation – the Dallas-based developer with long-term leases on parts of the South Street Seaport – is now angling to increase its leasehold and for the first time, is mentioning that landmarked Schermerhorn Row is among its desired plans.

Schermerhorn Row is a collection of buildings on the south side of Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. The buildings, more than 200 years old, once housed the galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum, but the museum has not been able to reopen those galleries because electrical damage from Superstorm Sandy has never been repaired.

At Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on Sept. 17, Diana Switaj, CB 1’s director of land use and planning, said that the next step in the Howard Hughes land use application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission would pertain to the Tin Building, the pavilions under the FDR Drive and “potentially some areas of Schermerhorn Row.”

She said that Community Board 1 does not yet know what the details are.

Howard Hughes has to complete the Landmarks Preservation Commission portion of their applications before they initiate a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, required when public property is transferred or altered) and so on Sept. 29, said Switaj, “the Howard Hughes Corporation will be presenting the contents of their Landmarks Preservation Commission application to the Seaport Working Group and then on Oct. 22, CB1 is having a special Landmarks Committee meeting for HHC to present their application to the Landmarks Committee with the Seaport and the Planning Committees invited for a recommendation from the Landmarks Committee. Then, after that, HHC has their Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Nov. 18.”

Howard Hughes had originally said they thought they would be ready to go to ULURP in the fall of 2014. They now anticipate that they will be ready to go to ULURP in the spring of 2015.

Michael Levine, former director of land use and planning for CB1 and now a consultant to CB1, said, “We do not yet know what’s in the application. We’ve asked them on several occasions but they haven’t told us.”

Levine said that he, Switaj and CB1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes, had had a conversation with Howard Hughes representatives about the reason for the delays in bringing information to CB1. According to Levine, the HHC representative said that Howard Hughes was waiting for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to give them the “go ahead,” which had not yet happened. “It is their property,” said Levine, “and one of the essential components [of any plan] is a lease for the property.”

“The final plan – we don’t know if it’s been approved by EDC yet,” he said.

According to Levine, the HHC application would be for the Tin Building, for the demolition of the Link Building, which is adjacent to Pier 17 “because they’re moving the public market into an expanded Tin Building – and for potential pavilions under the FDR Drive and something happening in Schermerhorn Row in some way – we don’t know exactly what the plan will be – all of which is in the landmarked district. These are not ULURP actions. They are only Landmarks approvals,” said Levine.

“What part of Schermerhorn Row are you looking at?” asked Michael Kramer, a public member of CB1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee and a member of Save Our Seaport, a group of Seaport residents and businesses who are trying to save the historic seaport and its maritime heritage.

Both Chris Curry, executive vice president for Howard Hughes in charge of the Seaport and Adam Meister, a Howard Hughes vice president, were in the room when Kramer asked that question. Neither Curry nor Meister answered it.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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SOS Town Meeting Monday September 15th (updated with more speakers)

Save Our Seaport invites the public to its seventh Town Meeting

sosMonday, September 15, 2014
7:00PM

Southbridge Towers Community Room
90 Beekman Street (Map)

Guest Speakers will include:

Jim Caras, General Counsel and Land Use Director for Borough President Gale Brewer

Mary Cooley, District Office Director for State Senator Daniel Squadron

Paul Goldstein, District Office Director for State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver

Brendan Sexton, former board member, South Street Seaport Museum

After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period with open discussion, followed by a walk through the South Street Historic District.

Save Our Seaport is hosting a series of Town Meetings to talk and walk about New York’s South Street Seaport Historic District.

Developing and preserving the NY South Street Seaport Historic District is a two-fold challenge. It requires a responsible development plan which guarantees the economic viability of the District while also maintaining, preserving and celebrating the historic importance of this integral part of our city’s history.

SOS invites the public —New Yorkers and visitors to our city alike—to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum, maintains ties to an active waterfront, and locates a world class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

SOS-Town-Meeting-Flyer-Seven

 

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SOS Response to NY Times Op-Ed: The Source of New York’s Greatness

The Source of New York’s Greatness
By RUSSELL SHORTO
SEPT. 7, 2014
www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/opinion/the-source-of-new-yorks-greatness.html

The author speaks eloquently of free trade as the crux of cultures convening in Manhattan. This provided an atmosphere conducive to tolerance, understanding, and prosperity. We can keep this spirit alive by preserving the historic cradle of free trade in New York—the landmark South Street Seaport. It appears that city government and the developer Howard Hughes Corporation would like to deface history by converting the irreplaceable antique streets and buildings into a generic flashy shopping center and entertainment venue.

The best way to honor New York’s historic anniversary is to rescue the South Street Seaport Museum (with its majestic tall ships and unique architecture), and create a world-class PUBLIC market. We need to stop the sell-off of public assets that will destroy these precious remnants of Old New York.

We implore our civic leaders to take action before it is too late!

Save Our Seaport (a citizen’s group)
saveourseaport.org

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Our Next SOS Town Meeting: Wednesday August 27

Save Our Seaport invites the public to its sixth Town Meeting

sosWednesday, August 27, 2014 6:30-7:30PM

St. Margaret’s House Conference Room

49 Fulton Street

Guest Speakers include:

Roland Lewis, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

Victor Papa, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council

After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period with open discussion, followed by a walk through the South Street Historic District.

Save Our Seaport is hosting a series of Town Meetings to talk and walk about New York’s South Street Seaport Historic District.

Developing and preserving the NY South Street Seaport Historic District is a two-fold challenge. It requires a responsible development plan which guarantees the economic viability of the District while also maintaining, preserving and celebrating the historic importance of this integral part of our city’s history.

SOS invites the public —New Yorkers and visitors to our city alike—to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum, maintains ties to an active waterfront, and locates a world class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

SOS-Town-Meeting-Flyer-six

The following SOS Town Meeting will be on Monday, September 15.

 

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