Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dock Street statement at City Planning Commission

Many thanks to Linda Blyer for delivering the CHA's testimony regarding Dock Street to the City Planning Commission yesterday. Here is our statement.
Statement of the Cobble Hill Association to the City Planning Commission
regarding matters C 090181 ZMK, C 090183 ZSK, C 090184 ZSK,
10 Dock Street, Brooklyn

March 4, 2009

City Planning Commission
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street
New York, New York 10007

Good afternoon, members of the Commission. My name is Linda Blyer. I am testifying today on behalf of the Cobble Hill Association in the matter of 10 Dock Street. We urge the Commission to oppose the application at its current height.

The three greatest icons of New York City are the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge. All three appear on calendars, logos, billboards, book covers, tourist info, and in the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers. Aside from their grace and beauty, all three benefit from their unobstructed visibility from multiple directions and prospects. The matter before you today would forever destroy the greatest set of views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is every New Yorker’s responsibility to stand up for our City’s great history and to defend it from attack. Members of the Commission, the application before you represents an attack on Brooklyn’s greatest historic icon.

The application has gotten as far as it has because the developer, Two Trees Development, has cleverly tacked on a school to the project. Of course we all want more schools. But forcing the City to choose between historical preservation and school construction is a cynical false choice. We can have both. By pitting preservation against education, the applicant has set the past against the future. This tactic is reminiscent of the colonial policy of divide and conquer. The applicant is trying to divide our community, but we are one in rejecting this false choice and insisting on both education and preservation. Everyone who wants the historic views of the bridges preserved also wants a school in Dumbo. Indeed, the reason we want the views preserved is precisely because we want to pass our City’s legacy on to the next generation.

This developer, Two Trees Development, is the same one who is responsible for 10 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. That is the now famous case where they tried to build sixth-floor luxury penthouses in the Cobble Hill Historic District by calling them 'stair bulkheads' on the official architectural drawings that they submitted for approval to the City. These same so-called 'bulkheads' were then pitched to the rental market as 'penthouses' when the City's back was turned. Are we now supposed to trust this same developer to build a 'school'? What is their idea of a 'school'? Do we want to find out? This developer has no regard for history, for laws, for neighborhoods, or for Brooklyn.

Members of the Commission, we ask you to defend the City's historic legacy and reject this application as presented. We ask that you limit the applicant, and all others, to build no higher than the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. Any building this close to the Bridge should be prohibited from towering over the Bridge. The developer can build high-rises further away from history. Please stand up for the Bridge, for the City, for the past, and for the future by opposing this application.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just came across this and have to say that this says what needs to be said and says it so well.