Your Voices | 35 Cooper Square

1.28.11 Rally, 35 Cooper Square, East VillageSuzanne Rozdeba A January photograph of 35 Cooper Square.

Few posts that have been published on The Local have generated as much strong reader response as NYU Journalism’s Greg Howard’s opinion piece questioning the value of preserving the historic site at 35 Cooper Square.

Readers offered a range of opinions that touched on questions of the neighborhood’s authenticity, who is qualified to comment on community issues, and the frequent tensions that occur between the university and the community.

Commenters wondered if Mr. Howard’s age – he’s 22 – and relative short time in the neighborhood – he has been here all of eight months – diminished the credibility of his perspective. “You should have stopped at the part about being young, ignorant, and new to town,” Bryan wrote. “Just because NYU students don’t notice the unique elements of their surroundings doesn’t mean others are being insincere in their outrage.”

“East villager” wrote: “I hope for both society’s and your own sake as an individual that you will one day mature into the type of man who will be ashamed to have written and published such a thing as a callous and arrogant youth.”

Another reader, “your worst nightmare intellectually speaking,” offered an even more unvarnished appraisal:

“You disgust us. Get it?? You epitomize so much that is wrong with the fabric of NYC. You are another bloggong spokesman for a generation of unoriginal posers in every way. You make me want to vomit you arrogant out of town, know nothing, know it all- kid.”

Other readers argued for the importance of preserving historical sites. Someone “who actually likes New York” wrote:

“The city should protect its history, and 35 Cooper Street is a much more compelling example of it than the modernist towers the city has in droves. Quality of life, attractiveness of the city to workers and tourists, and diversity of retail all depend on small, historic buildings like this existing. It would be one thing if today’s architecture were half-decent. But, Thom Mayne blockbuster buildings aside, it’s primarily cheap and hideous.”

Lisa noted that:

“…when something like the African burial ground is re-discovered, for instance, that “newfound” history adds something back to the richness and diversity and curious experiment that is New York. The City immediately becomes a more interesting place. Wouldn’t it be nice to keep some of that intact, not only for ourselves, but for the New Yorkers of the future?”

“Snapped” added:

“Nothing worth having comes easy. And that goes the same twice over for boutique hotels and shreiking girls throwing up outside my building. Just because they can be here doesn’t mean it’s ok, or they should.”

“Calm down everyone” offered a defense of Mr. Howard:

“Is the juxtaposition that happens here now not fascinating? And my main question is, do the old time East Villagers really believe all the younger people who’ve moved here are bad? HELLO, culture moves in waves, there’s a new one happening… that’s not stopping, that shouldn’t be stopped. Embrace it, I think I’m finding out new things about myself daily. Keep writing Greg.”

Join the conversation: Do the ever-replenishing supply of newcomers and transient residents in the East Village have a right to speak on neighborhood issues ?