The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unanimously approved the East 10th Street Historic District on January 17th. This is only the second historic district in our community and the first since the St. Mark’s Historic District passed in 1969.
We would like to thank City Councilmember Rosie Mendez for her help in establishing this district and her ongoing work to protect our neighborhood’s architectural integrity. We would also like to thank Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, and Borough President Scott M. Stringer for testifying in support of this district, and Community Board 3 for passing a resolution in support. Finally, we would like to thank our neighbors and neighborhood preservation organizations for their help.
St. Mark’s Bookshop has been a Lower East Side institution since 1977 and is one of the few independent bookstores in Manhattan. But, they are struggling to pay their rent in a market-rate Cooper Union-owned storefront at 31 3rd Avenue. Neighbors and members of the Cooper Square Committee have called on Cooper Union to reduce the rent so our community can retain its independent bookstore. Please buy a book and sign the online petition today! Click here and here for updated media coverage of St. Mark’s fight.
We have long been advocates of supporting local merchants and encourage you to choose small, independent businesses over chains and franchises. Shopping locally keeps more money in our neighborhood and helps retain the unique character of the Lower East Side. Download the Get Local Shopping Guide. It lists hundreds of local merchants and the updated 5th Edition will be available in October!
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) released plans for two historic districts in our neighborhood. The districts being considered are Tompkins Square North (E 10th Street between Avenue A & Avenue B) and E 2nd Street to E 7th Street between Bowery and Avenue A.
EVCC recently co-hosted the launch of the East Side Action Plan – A Community Vision For Safer Streets. The Action Plan, compiled by our safe and sustainable streets partner Transportation Alternatives, is a powerful document with the goal of reducing vehicle crashes on Manhattan’s East Side by 50% over the next five years.
Along with hundreds of East Side volunteers and elected officials from Chinatown to East Harlem, EVCC helped develop the plan. We look forward to making our streets safer for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists by collaborating with Community Board 3 and our elected leaders. The Action Plan can be downloaded here.
And speaking of safe and sustainable streets, please mark your calendars for the 4th Annual Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade. The event will be held Saturday, April 30th. Please stay tuned for more details very soon!
We ask you to visualize 10 years into the future of the Lower East Side.
Will there be small, locally-owned shops? Will there be a dedicated historic district that protects against inappropriate development? Will there be improved alternative transportation options such as bicycling and faster buses? Will our neighborhood maintain its artistic and cultural heritage?
As an advocate for the unique character of the Lower East Side and East Village, these are questions we continually ask. Recent efforts include:
Researching opportunities to bring Formula Retail Zoning (FRZ) regulation to our neighborhood to fight the proliferation of chain stores and franchises (click here for our FRZ video)
We need your support in asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, at 59-63 East 2nd Street, as a Landmark. The LPC held a hearing in March for landmark designation but did not take a vote at the hearing.
The Cathedral was constructed in 1891, designed by the reknowned architect Josiah Cleveland Cady, who later designed the Metropolitan Opera House and the auditorium of the American Museum of Natural History. The Cathedral fits as an historic whole with the already-landmarked Marble Cemetery across East 2nd Street. Neighborhood support is necessary in encouraging Community Board 3 and the Landmarks Preservation Commission towards designating the Cathedral as a Landmark. As a first step, PLEASE sign our online petition and please include your name and address in the comments section.
PLEASE ATTEND AND TESTIFY IN SUPPORT OF LANDMARK DESIGNATION FOR THIS HISTORIC STRUCTURE!
In 2008 EVCC became aware of plans to erect an eight-story condo tower atop the Russian Orthodox Cathedral at 59 E 2nd Street in our neighborhood. Thankfully that threat is gone, due in large part to the rezoning of the East Village which prohibits such construction. But, the 150-year-old building remains vulnerable – THIS IS WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMITTEE (LPC) MEETING!
On Tuesday, March 23 the LPC will hold a hearing on a proposal to landmark the structure. EVCC, along with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, urged this designation in a letterto the LPC in 2008.
Date: Tuesday, March 23
Time: 10:50 a.m.
Location: LPC Hearing Room, Municipal Building, One Centre Street (at Chambers), 9th Floor. Bring Photo ID to enter the building.
Join the East Village Community Coalition, in collaboration with New York Restoration Project and Sustainable NYC, for Park(ing) Day 2009! The annual event adds public parks to the streets of New York in an effort to open dialogue about the value of our public space and how we use it.
Sustainable Seeds Park is a passive recreation space located at E 11th Street and Avenue B. It is designed by the EVCC and boasts a garden theme where local school children may plant seeds in small planters and take them home to watch them grow! The park will extend the Children’s Learning Garden. For more information, or to become involved, click here. We hope to see you on the 18th!
The Trudy Silver Group played to a packed house July 28, overlooking Tompkins Square Park and the Manhattan skyline. The cocktail party was hosted by the East Village Community Coalition in honor of long-time East Village champion Judy Rhodes. Judy is a jazz producer, photographer, benefactor and devotee extraordinaire, and resides in the Charlie Parker House at 151 Avenue B. For her lifelong achievements and service, Ms. Rhodes was awarded the highly-coveted Pigeon Award by Michael Rosen.
More than 100 guests, including City Council Member Rosie Mendez, State Senator Daniel Squadron and State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, celebrated, toasted and danced the evening away to the cool beats of Trudy Silver’s jazz quartet. In addition to the music there was a winner-take-all raffle drawing that included some of the best shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. Proceeds from the evening will help the EVCC produce the 3rd Edition of the Get Local! Shopping Guide, strive toward Formula Retail Zoning to protect small business and initiate historic district protection for sections of our community.
In other EVCC news, be on the lookout for the 3rd Edition of the Get Local! Guide in the coming months. More information soon to come!