You know 35 Cooper Square, right?
Sure you do. It’s that cute little building hidden in the shadow of the modern Cooper Square Hotel, a building best described architecturally as having been inspired by Optimus Prime’s phallus.
If you had passed it today at around 4:30pm, you’d have seen a group of passionate protesters standing outside with the goal of saving the building.
See, #35, one of only two buildings in the area that dates back to the beginning of Cooper Square, was sold to a developer, who wants to tear it down and add another space ship to the neighborhood.
Thankfully though, the Landmarks Commission is coming to the rescue on this one though, right??
Artist and East Village resident Sally Young unearthed a ton of history on the building: it was once owned by a great grandson of Peter Stuyvesant, as well as an undertaker, a teacher, a hotelier, and a saloon owner. In the 1900′s, it was a home to a number of artists, including Beat poet Diana DiPrima, who entertained such luminaries as William S. Burroughs, Cecil Taylor, and others.
There’s a lot more you can read over at Vanishing NY. Suffice it to say, Landmarks’ verdict: “the property does not meet the criteria for designation.”
It’s funny that the protest happened just shortly after the Parks Department yanked out the Pier D ruins from the Hudson, which I documented here:
This saddens me, but I knew Pier D was going to have to go eventually – it was structurally unsound, and were it to collapse on its own, could leads to dangerous conditions for the harbor. But the Hudson has lost a small piece that gave it an identity, a history. Meanwhile, over in Coney Island…
The bank building was recently torn down by developer Joseph Sitt – one of the last remaining buildings from its glory years. It’s gone forever. Unlike Pier D, this did not have to happen. And it doesn’t have to happen at 35 Cooper Square.
So please, sign this petition to save 35 Cooper Square. I know it might seem trivial to remove such a small building from Cooper Square, but it is important – take enough of this away, and Cooper Square might as well be Houston, Texas. Seriously, take a walk to Astor Place and look at the horizon – you could be forgiven for thinking this is NY’s new launch pad for rocket ships.
Lastly, I get that the property was sold for $8.5million, and at that price, the developers damn well expect to be able to do whatever they want with it.
Fuck ‘em. Could we for once show that this isn’t the case in New York?
PS – I was startled to see that the name of the developer behind the sale of the property was Joe Sitt – could there be a relation to Joseph Sitt, who is currently tearing apart Coney Island like Godzilla in Tokyo? Or are guys named Joe Sitt simply destined to be complete shitheads?