To the editor:
Once again, it has become critically, crucially clear that the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in its collaboration with The Howard Hughes Corp about the future of the Historical Tin Building historical and other actions, past, present and future plans is the WRONG city agency to oversee the current and future existence of out last priceless, early seaport site, the South Street Seaport Historical District and historic museum.
The worthy role of EDC economically supporting and developing the six hundred miles of NYC seaport coastline business as they stated in a past CB1 meeting is antithetical to preserving an irreplaceable visible proof of the City’s past history that visitors and locals come to visit to remind us about what made NYC the greatest seaport city in the US as people today so proudly check their DNA. Historical sites in New York City, state and everywhere in the nation are not meant to be a profitable business .
Starting with Mayor Bloomberg, one of the richest CEO’s around, his deliberate designation of the EDC to oversee and his appointment of a past Howard Hughes executive as its head (plus a hurricane) who sold (gave away) management control of the historical site to H.H. for $3.50 square foot(worth hundreds) for 56 years without any responsibility for its upkeep was unjustified. This unholy partnership became a destructive, obstructive, insidious plan and action to turn the last historical seaport remnant into an upscale, expensive residence and 21st century mall and playground.
The recently built ultramodern glass cube mall replacing stately period pier 17, the iPic movie complex is an expensive theater club excluding children, discouraging seniors and catering to expensive service tastes. The proposed 50-60 foot expensive residential tower in the middle was so outrageous and opposed that it was dropped from immediate plans as a negotiated sop. The latest planned unapproved deconstruction of the protected Tin Building based upon the deliberate decade of neglect by the EDC and HH, making it in “danger of collapse”i s a corrupt example of the ongoing sinister deviousness involved.
Instead of following the enlightened historical protection, support, promotion of other seaport historical sites around the country and the world, (Boston, Mystic, San Fransisco, et al) the powerful NY real estate interest has succeeded again in promoting business over the will of the people wanting to preserve a history that reminds us of the noble tradition rom which we proudly struggled and impressively grew, much as people now check their DNA.
The city’s allowing the EDC and Howard Hughes to destroy and change the Historic Seaport District to make another huge real estate business richer and make the irreplaceable heritage of NYC poorer is misguided and misanthropic. Promoting wealth and business is healthy, but to do it at the expense of what represents our humanity will not make us happier, sane or more intelligent, only sadder as with the old magnificent Pennsylvania Terminal.