Letters to The Editor, Week of April 18, 2019

Sewing as Triangle link

To The Editor:

Re “Threads of connection to Triangle tragedy” (news article, April 11):

It was an inspiring weekend. Children also participated in sewing onto the ribbon.

It is appropriate that sewing, as a contribution by the public to the permanent memorial, has been incorporated into the final design. Sewing for a living is how the 146 who perished made their living at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

Dianna Maeurer


Save Tribeca clock

To The Editor:

Re “Singing praises of Tin Pan Alley” (op-ed, by Corey Johnson and Sarah Carroll, April 11):

Preserve Tin Pan Alley. What of New York’s own “Big Ben” — the clock atop 346 Broadway? A Rolex watch with a Swatch interior does not a Rolex make. Preserving the exterior without its mechanical interior is not really preserving that wonderful clock.

Katherine O’Sullivan


History over hotels

To The Editor:

Re “Singing praises of Tin Pan Alley” (op-ed, by Corey Johnson and Sarah Carroll, April 11):

Some facts: The five Tin Pan Alley buildings proposed for landmark designation, like many buildings in New York City designated historic districts, are full of affordable, rent-regulated apartments that would be lost if they weren’t protected.

W. 28th St. between Broadway and Seventh Ave. currently has about 15 hotels. Tin Pan Alley is the cradle of American popular culture in New York City, the nation and the world. It should not be lost for another crappy chain hotel that even YIMBY detests.

Affordable housing is not being forsaken when our built heritage is protected. Profiteering developers are only interested in luxury apartments and hotel rooms, which benefit no one while taxing our infrastructure. That’s what’s actually going up place of landmark-worthy buildings in this and many neighborhoods.

George Calderaro


Fight facadism

To The Editor:

Re “Singing praises of Tin Pan Alley” (op-ed, by Corey Johnson and Sarah Carroll, April 11):

The clocktower example is the perfect symbol of a broader problem at the Landmarks Preservation Commission that affects the entire city. Buildings in historic districts are now spoken of as having “landmarked facades.”

The commission protects only the street fronts of buildings in these districts, and underlying land values are so high that developers will leave money on the table if they don’t demolish everything else and build a larger, modern luxury building behind a false front. It’s a “potemkin-like sop to the landmarks law” as The New York Times recently called facadism.

What good is it to designate Tin Pan Alley and then have only its veneer preserved? It’ll be a vintage watch with a quartz movement, like 346 Broadway.

L.P.C. needs to exercise its purview over the entire shell of buildings in historic districts, rather than letting the street facades simply screen bigger replacement buildings. This would at least encourage the interior preservation that the agency can’t demand.

It’s great that Council Speaker Corey Johnson supports designation of Tin Pan Alley. It would be even greater if he presented a vision for an improved L.P.C. and made it part of a run for mayor!

David Holowka


Stern not always stellar

To The Editor:

Re “Henry Stern, 83, Parks chief under two mayors” (obituary, April 4):

As Parks commissioner, Stern acquiesced in the Tompkins Square Park curfew in ’88, even if he took a softer line after it was rescinded.

Bill Weinberg


Congrats! Way to go!

To The Editor:

Re “The Villager wins 7 NYPA contest awards” (news article, April 11):

Fantastic, you guys deserve it. Keep up the good work!

Jose Quiles a.k.a. Cochise


Award-winning tradition

To The Editor:

Re “The Villager wins 7 NYPA contest awards” (news article, April 11):

Congrats to Villager folks for keeping the prize-winning tradition alive! Keep up the great work.

Michael Armstrong
Armstrong was editor of The Villager, 1977-’91


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