Windows on the Bowery

Windows on the Bowery 7.21.2016Originally a Native American footpath and Dutch farm road, the Bowery stretches 1.25 miles from Chatham Square to Cooper Square. Washington marched down the Bowery after the British evacuation and Lincoln’s anti-slavery speech at Cooper Union propelled him to the presidency. It saw America’s first streetcars, first free college, and NYC’s first free Black settlement. An early social hub for the working class, gangs, gays and immigrant Irish, Italians, Chinese, Jews and Germans, it has important links to baseball, tap dance, tattoo, Yiddish theater, vaudeville, the Astor family, Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin and Harry Houdini.

A long-time home to rescue missions and affordable jewelry, lighting and restaurant supply districts, its artists’ community helped foster Abstract Expressionism, Beat Literature, and punk rock. Though listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this architecturally diverse streetscape is one of the city’s most endangered historic treasures.

Stop the Rezoning of 4650 Broadway

Petitioning NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Sign the Petition button- red




We, the undersigned, urge The New York City Planning Commission, The New York City Council, and His Honor, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, to reject Acadia Trust’s Application to up-zone 4650 Broadway (Sherman Plaza) and incorporate Mandatory Inclusionary Housing at that site:

  • This spot up-zoning is double the existing density and height of the majority of buildings in Inwood, and will create a dangerous precedent for the numerous other “underdeveloped,” “soft” sites in Inwood.
  • Spot up-zoning will destroy the cohesive fabric of the existing community by increasing property values, heating up the real estate market, and thereby encouraging displacement of current Inwood residents.
  • Spot up-zoning would ignore and degrade the experience of Scenic Landmark Ft. Tryon Park and the Cloisters Museum across Broadway.
  • The proposed redevelopment would destroy the historic Packard Building, designed by Albert Kahn, the “gateway to Inwood” on Broadway.
  • Existing infrastructure in Northern Manhattan is well past its useful life, and cannot accommodate such a large development. (Source: Con Ed Public Service Administration Hearing—Washington Heights/Inwood subsurface network for M29 transmission line.)
  • The developer failed to produce a full Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS), which might have addressed this issue.
  • The community board approval process did not incorporate the serious community concerns and unanimous disapproval of the project expressed by the neighborhood at the Town Hall held the night before the Community Board’s unannounced vote
  • The small number of “affordable” apartments this proposal adds to NYC’s housing stock is not worth the permanent losses this spot up-zoning would mean to our community, including the loss of existing affordable, rent stabilized housing by virtue of the displacement that will be caused by the large number of luxury units this project will force on Inwood.
  • Also, the percentage of affordable units has not actually been determined; it is now described as “in negotiation,” utilizing a process that has not been made public.

Spanish translation follows:

Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, instamos a la Comisión de la Planificación de la Ciudad de Nueva York, el Consejo Municipal y su honor, el alcalde Bill De Blasio, a rechazar la solicitud de Acadia Trust para cambiar la zonificación de 4650 Broadway (Sherman Plaza). Asimismo, les instamos a incorporar la norma de Vivienda de Inclusión Obligatoria en ese sitio:

  • Este cambio excepcional de zonifiación por un solo sitio (“spot zoning”) aumentaría en el doble la densidad y la altura comparado con la mayoría de los edificios existentes en Inwood y crearía un precedente peligroso para los numerosos otros sitios “subdesarrollados” o “blandos” en Inwood.
  • El “spot zoning” va a destruir el tejido de cohesión de la comunidad existente, mediante el aumento de los valores de propiedad y el sobre-calentamiento del mercado inmobiliario; y de este modo, fomentará el desplazamiento de los residentes actuales de Inwood.
  • El “spot zoning” ignora y degrada la experiencia de landmark escénica de Fort Tryon Park y el Museo Cloisters ubicados al frente.
  • El proyecto de remodelación destruiría el edificio histórico de Packard, diseñado por Albert Kahn, la “puerta de entrada a Inwood” por Broadway.
  • La infraestructura existente en el norte de Manhattan ha sobrepasado su vida útil y no da cabida a un gran desarrollo de este tipo. (Fuente: Con Ed Administración de Servicios Públicos—Audiencia de Washington Heights/Inwood, red subterránea para la línea de transmisión M29).
  • La empresa no produjo una Declaración de Evaluación Ambiental (EAS) completa, que podría haber abordado este asunto.
  • El proceso de aprobación del Consejo Comunitario (Community Board), no ha incorporado las graves preocupaciones de la comunidad y la desaprobación unánime del proyecto expresado por el barrio en el Ayuntamiento llevado a cabo la noche antes de la votación no anunciada del Consejo.
  • El pequeño número de apartamentos “asequibles” en esta propuesta, de ningún modo compensa las pérdidas permanentes de alquileres estabilizados que resultarían de este acto de “spot zoning” en nuestra comunidad, en virtud del desplazamiento causado por el gran número de unidades de lujo que este proyecto impondría en Inwood.
  • Además, el porcentaje de unidades asequibles del proyecto aún no ha sido determinado; actualmente, se describe como “en proceso de negociación”, a través de un proceso que no abierto al público.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

East Harlem Tours April 27 and May 4 2015


Landmarks Committee of Community Board 5 – Hearing for expanded Madison Sq North District

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 29th Street Neighborhood Association-ISN urgently needs your help.
On Tuesday, March 31st, the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 5 (CB5) will hold a hearing on our proposal to expand the current North of Madison Square Historic District


We expect a lot of negative testimony from real estate developers. It’s critical that we demonstrate as much support as possible for our proposal, because if this Committee doesn’t vote to approve our proposal on Tuesday, and if their recommendation isn’t strong enough for the CB5 full board to vote to approve this on April 7, that’s it. It’s over.

Please come if you have any interest in the future of this neighborhood —we just need as many bodies in as many chairs as we can mobilize. It is REALLY critical that we pack the room with supporters Bring a friend (or several). The committee wants to see that there is support from the community to expand this historic district. The destruction of our neighborhood will continue to surround us if we can’t get this done.


Here is the info from CB5:

Landmarks Committee

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015  at 6:00 pm

LOCATION:  Xavier High School,30 West 16th Street,  2nd Floor Library

Layla Law-Gisiko, Chair
Renee Cafaro, Vice Chair


  • Presentation of the ongoing restoration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Proposal for the expansion of the Madison Square North Historic District, down to 24th St and up to 34th St b/t 6th and Park Avenues
  • 4 West 19th Street, application for façade renovations.
  • 375 Park Avenue, The Four Seasons, application for restoration and alterations.
  • 100 5th Avenue, Eddie Bauer, application for a proposed ADA compliant exterior ramp and two illumi


International Commemoration of the Great Irish Hunger; Anniversary of the end of the Civil War and 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII.

Upcoming Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries Events

(please note: Free events,  no seating provided):


Sunday, May 3, 2 PM– Battery Park Irish Hunger Memorial

International Commemoration of the Great Irish Hunger

Saturday, May 30, 2 PM– Lake Cemetery, Forest Ave/Willowbrook Road

Annual Neighborhood Remembrance Day Celebration & 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War and 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII.


Annual International Commemoration of the Great Irish Hunger

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Battery Park Irish Hunger Memorial
North End Ave & Vesey Street and North End Avenue

2 PM at the Irish Memorial at Battery Park for a Walk and Talk with:

Battery Park Conservancy, Horticulturist Richard Farraino, creator of the memorial Artist Brian Tolle; will discuss the memorial’s design and native plantings. Lynn Rogers, Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries, Inc. (FACSI); will discuss Irish immigration to New York City 1845-1858, the role of the Staten Island Marine Hospital & Quarantine Station and the ultimate fate of thousands of Irish immigrants.

After the event, please join Lynn Rogers and Bill Fahey for a Staten Island Ferry ride. During the crossing we will toss flowers into New York Harbor in memory of all who perished. Bring long stemmed flower.


Saturday, May 30th 2 PM
Neighborhood Remembrance Day Celebration

Lake Cemetery, Forest Ave/Willowbrook Road

Staten Island Civil War Canon Brigade, GAR Post 525 Re-enactors, Staten Island OutLOUD, Richmond County Pipes/ Drums and Boy Scout Troop #7. This year the flag will be raised in honor of WWII Veteran William Morris Jr.


(Both events made possible in part by an Encore Grant from Staten Island Arts with public funding from the NYS Council on the Arts.)

Ship Building in the Dry Dock District of New York City

Lower East Side Preservation Initiantive &
Art Loisaida Foundation
LESPI presents Ship Building in the Dry Dock District in New York City

Thursday, January 29, 2015
6:30-8:30 pm
Neighborhood Preservation Center
232 East 11th Street
(btn. 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
presented by

Laura Zelasnic

Amazingly, what we now know as the East Village’s Alphabet City was part of a huge shipbuilding district, which during the 19th century produced and launched many of our country’s most beautiful and important ships – clippers, ironclads, steamships and more. There are now only a very few reminders left of this once thriving industry.

Come hear Laura Zelasnic reveal this fascinating history, wonderfully illustrated with period images.

Admission: $15 / $10 LESPI members
The lecture will be followed by a short reception. Light refreshments will be served.
For further information contact Richard at or 347-827-1846.

Seats are limited: reservations recommended.
Make a reservation online HERE.

This program is made possible in part by public funds from The NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the New York City Council-(Many thanks to Rosie Mendez, NYC Councilperson) and and the NYS Assembly in partnership with NYS Dept of Parks (many thanks to the Honorable Brian Kavanagh)