100 Attend Rally For 35 Cooper Square

DSC05156Suzanne Rozdeba David Mulkins, chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, speaks at a demonstration this evening in support of a landmark designation for 35 Cooper Square. The designation would prevent development at the site.
1.28.11 Rally, 35 Cooper Square, East Village

Holding signs that said “Build Memories, Not Luxury Hotels” and “Save Cooper Square’s Oldest Building,” about 100 people, many of them East Village residents, gathered in front of 35 Cooper Square today in a rally supporting the designation of the site as a historic landmark.

“We’re here today because this is one of the most significant buildings on this street. This is the oldest building on Cooper Square. If you lose this building, Cooper Square loses a much earlier sense of its history,” David Mulkins, chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, which organized the rally, told the crowd, which included a handful of children from The Children’s Aid Society holding a sign that said, “Make 35 Cooper Square a Landmark.” The rally, which started at 4:30 p.m., lasted about 45 minutes.

The alliance is circulating a petition asking for supporters to urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the site as a historic site; more than 700 signatures have been collected so far. The building was sold for $8.5 million in November.

Mr. Mulkins, holding a sign with pictures of Cooper Square from the late 1880’s and early 1900’s, mentioned the site’s next-door neighbor, the Cooper Square Hotel, saying, “If we have this kind of out-of-scale, out-of-context development, we are destroying the sense of place that we get in these historic neighborhoods.”

The building at the current site, which houses the popular Cooper 35 Asian Pub, has a rich history that should not be destroyed, said State Senator Thomas K. Duane, whose 29th District includes the East Village. “There’s so little left of our beloved Village, of the history we are proud of. To risk losing a piece of that, even just one building, is tragic. We need the Landmark Commission to get this building on the calendar, and we need to preserve it.”

Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, who was also at the rally, said,  “We will continue to fight to landmark this essential part of New York’s history. I believe that people raising their voices will overcome the attempt of the administration to ignore us. Today is a great representation that we are standing together. We will fight until we win.”