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Bloomberg Helps Unveil Public Theater’s $40 Million Face-Lift

publicDana Varinsky The ceremony today.

Mayor Bloomberg showed off his Shakespeare this morning as the Public Theater celebrated the completion of a four-year, $40 million renovation.

Addressing a crowd of city officials, theater big-ups, and community members in the redesigned lobby, Mayor Bloomberg requested a round of applause for the taxpayers who helped make the renovations possible. “This public-private partnership is really putting the public in The Public,” he said, referring to the city funding that footed over two thirds of the project. “It takes a village, if you pardon the pun, and this one certainly did.” he said, adding that the community is still being repaid in free renditions of the classics.

The Public has presented Shakespeare in the Park since 1962. Joe Papp opened the theater in 1967, paying $1 a year to take over the building that once housed New York’s first public library.

“This building has always served a public purpose,” Oskar Eustis, the theater’s artistic director, told this morning’s crowd, adding, “The greatest art belongs to everybody and it is made greater when it belongs to everybody.” Read more…

Local Leaders to Borough President: Hear Us Out About N.Y.U. Plan

AndrewBermanProtestBeforeCB2MeetingNatalie Rinn Mr. Berman, right, at a protest on Thursday.

One of the most vocal opponents of New York University’s proposed expansion near Washington Square Park wants Borough President Scott M. Stringer to hold a public hearing before making an advisory decision about the controversial plan next month.

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, drafted a letter to Mr. Stringer last Friday as the Borough President began his month-long review of the university’s proposal. The note, which came on the heels of Community Board 2’s unanimous advisory decision last Thursday against the expansion plan, was also signed by 15 community members, including block association leaders, preservationists, and Mark Crispin Miller of N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan. Read more…