Your Voices | On Development

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

A sampling of reader reactions to recent posts that have appeared on The Local.

Two recent posts regarding development in the neighborhood — Suzanne Rozdeba’s article about the developer of 35 Cooper Square’s refusal to maintain the historic site and Mark Riffee’s interview with Anne Guiney, the director of the Institute for Urban Design — resonated with readers who are concerned about the changing face of the neighborhood.

Sam offered a defense of the developer of 35 Cooper, writing:

“This is absurd.

I’m all for the preservation of historical buildings to retain the charm, character and elegance of previous generations.

But this man owns this property and at the end of the day, he should be allowed to do what he wants with it.

If people cared so much about 35 Cooper, they should have done something about it before it became an eyesore and, more importantly – public hazard.”

Roland Li countered that efforts to preserve the building had been underway for many months. He added:

“Although the developer can demolish the building as-of-right, as you wrote, characterizing the preservationists as ‘apathetic’ seems inaccurate.”

Some readers also took exception to Ms. Guiney’s characterization of some of the changes that are occurring in the neighborhood.

Tim Milk wrote:

“Guiney is obviously ‘progressive’ towards designs that in any other historic district, such as in Paris, would never be tolerated. They in Paris at least realize that no tourist wants to visit a historic district befouled by steel and glass. She dismisses a local resistance only to reveal how wholly insensitive she is to what is intrinsic to the spirit of this place.”

On on The Local’s Facebook page, The Lower East Side History Project added:

“People do not come to the East Village or the Lower East Side to see towers! You can see that in Midtown or in the Financial District. These out-of-scale glass-and-steel monoliths, which have been shoe-horned between the low-rise red-brick buildings, are destroying the fabric of the neighborhood! The East Village had been an affordable neighborhood, allowing artists, writers and musicians the opportunity to thrive and create within its liberating environment. ‘Development’ is changing the face of the East Village and the Lower East Side, and is obliterating the very thing that people are seeking when they come to the neighborhood.”

Join the conversation: Visit the comments section below to share your thoughts about 35 Cooper or the design of recent development projects in the neighborhood.