Save This Synagogue

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The EVCC joins a coalition of groups that want to preserve the 98-year-old Mezeritz Synagogue

On August 14, the East Village Community Coalition was the lead organizer of a press conference about the future of a historic synagogue at 415 East 6 Street:  The Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezeritz Synagogue.

For a variety of reasons, it looked as if the 1910 synagogue might be sold and demolished — which would have been a great loss to the community from a cultural, historical, and architectural perspective.

Joining with members of the congregation and local preservations groups (including the United Jewish Council of the East Side, Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and The Historic Districts Council), the EVCC helped spread the word about what was at stake.

A letter was drafted to the Landmark Preservation Commission, requesting an evaluation for landmark designation.  The EVCC also joined others in presenting a request to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, asking for the synagogue to be added to the list.  Though that designation would not prohibit demolition, it would officially confirm the value of the building.

As Dr. Gerald Wolfe, an expert on Lower East Side synagogues, says, this synagogue is “a jewel… an irreplaceable asset to its congregation, New York, and the world.  Its demolition would be an irretrievable, unforgivable loss.”

Since the press conference, the development company that was involved with the plan to eliminate the synagogue announced that it is not currently involved with the project. The EVCC will continue to collaborate with other neighborhood groups in working to preserve the beautiful structure.

The Letter to the Landmark Preservation Commission: download it (pdf)

The Letter Requesting Inclusion in the State and National Registers of Historic Places:download it (pdf)

This Landmark Needs Your Help

FOR THE BIRDS See that open window? It's just one of many where pigeons enter 24 hours a day
FOR THE BIRDS See that open window? It’s just one of many where pigeons enter 24 hours a day
In case there was any doubt about the deterioration of old P.S. 64 (fomerly CHARAS/El Bohio), this backside view shows just how bad things have gotten.  Pigeons fly in and out of every floor of the building all day long.  Windows are cracked and half-boarded up; rainstorms soak the interior.  Every day, the deterioriation increases.

The neglect of this landmarked building must stop immediately, and you can help:

Walk by P.S. 64, just east of Avenue B, between 9th and 10th Streets, and take a look at the current state of the building. Then, when you’re back at your computer, write a few sentences about what you observed, your concerns for the state of this landmarked building, and your thoughts about preserving the building for community use.  Be sure to include your name and any affiliation with the community (such as, if you’re a visitor, a neighbor, or a member of a community group). Then send those thoughts in an email to this address: ps64landmarkdecay@gmail.com

Your words will be added to a letter to Landmark Commission Chairman James Tierney. (Email addresses will be kept confidential.)  This could make a major difference, so please take action and write your email today.

 

Sending an email is a crucial way for you to help preserve the building.  But you can also post your comments on this site by clicking to the next page.

Old P.S. 64 Landmark Status Confirmed

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At a Sept. 15 2006 hearing, the City Council gave a final unanimous vote to landmark this culturally, historically and architecturally significant building. Many, many thanks to all of you who worked toward this victory for our community.

Previously, on Tuesday, June 20, the Landmarks Commission unanimously declared old P.S. 64 a landmark, which means that the school cannot be destroyed or replaced with a skyscraper. (Read eloquent speeches about the building by Commissioner Roberta Brandes Gratz andCommissioner Christopher Moore .) Unfortunately, the owner still holds a permit to strip the building’s facade (see renderings of the “denuded” building), which — for inexplicable reasons — has just begun.