With the city considering demolishing PS 199 on 70th street and West End Avenue to redevelop the site with a luxury high-rise and a new school, opponents are looking for any way to stop or slow the process. This week, Councilwoman Gale Brewer sent a letter (below) to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to see if they’d consider making the school a landmark, because it was designed by Edward Durell Stone, a famous mid-century American architect.
Brewer calls the building an “architectural gem.” Is it just us, or does the building exude a certain prison-like ambiance? Hey, modernism isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. (That’s no knock on PS 199, which is clearly one of the great schools in the city.)
Read about the latest developments in the story here.
What a wonderful way to subvert the Landmarks designation process as a way of gaining election support from a specific constituency.
Funny how some people would prefer to save buildings like these rather than quaint early nineteenth century row house or a 150 year old ornate church.
NYC preservation should be based on the rule thar If a building looks like it could be found in some small town in Oklahoma, it probably isn’t worth saving. This building in particular would most likely fall into that category…
Funny how people are so quick to judge the merits of preservation without learning more about the issue.
Read more about the architectural history of the building at https://www.199demolition.com/2013/04/the-architecture-of-ps199.html
Consider signing a Landmark postcard to the city to help save P.S. 199 from the demolition ball at https://www.199demolition.com/2013/04/help-landmark-ps-199.html
(and please read my note on overcrowding issues further below in this comment section)
Come ye’ tour buses to see the gem of street seventy!
Besides, even if they landmarked the school, the playground alone could hold a big building.
I’m still at a loss why the neighborhood would not jump at the chance to trade a year or so’s inconvenience and noise in order to have a brand new up-to-date modern school building. For years, I have been trumpeting (although I’m clearly not in charge) the notion that everyone who gets permission to build a luxury condo should have to plan either the construction of a new school or the total renovation of an old one in their budget. We keep saying that we need to rebuild the infrastructure of the country…and then when we get a chance, we turn it down because it might be noisy for a period of time. VERY short term thinking.
If you are at a loss to understand why so many people in the community are in opposition to this proposal, visit http://www.199demolition.com (a community share center on the topic) to learn more. You’ll see why over 700 people signed the petition even before these issues of preservation emerged.
The debate surrounding the merits of the proposed demolition of the school extends way beyond preservation. For example, the last ECF project (P.S. 59) yielded severe overcrowding, including 1st grade and kindergarten waitlisting and a scrapped pre-k. https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120522/midtown-east/ps-59-scraps-pre-k-program-amid-overcrowding
Our problem isn’t that we need a new facility – our problem is that we need to address our zone’s overcrowding!!!
Better idea – how about New York City builds brand new schools! With federal, state and city taxes, not to mention the highest real estate and sales and toll taxes in the country, NYC residents should expect ample and good public education. More G&T spots, more schools, newer schools…Passing the responsibility to residential developers is not the answer (who in turn pass the cost to the buyers and then we all complain about NYC real estate prices being crazu – well where else does a city demand builders to build schools?!). NYC has to stop building baseball stadiums and start building schools.
Yes building more schools would be nice, but in this specific instance I can not understand why parents would be opposed to a new modern school replacing the existing one?
Uh because of the potential delay in building and opening such a facility…
I say if a developer wants one of our useful land parcels-
THEY MUST BUILD AND REPLACE THE EXISTING FACILITY BEFORE developing the site. SIMPLE!