Opponents of a plan to put up a new apartment buildings just North of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine have planned a rally for Saturday morning to fight the development. Among other problems, they say the plans will block views of the historic cathedral and add to traffic problems by positioning a residential garage directly across from a hospital garage.
The cathedral has already made a deal to lease the site to the Brodsky Organization to build two 15-story apartment towers, but has not received its building permit. The project does not need any other special permission from the city, however, and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to derail it at this point. Already, a shed on the property has been demolished to prep the site for construction and activists say several seven-story trees that were planted in 1927 have also been cut down. Photos of the tress are posted below.
Historic Morningside Heights and the Friends of St. John the Divine plan to meet on Saturday at 11 a.m. on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th for a protest.
Historic Morningside Heights published the Buildings Department renderings below, adding shaded areas and commentary.
“Even as construction begins on the site, the Cathedral administration refuses to live up to their promise to share renderings of their proposed towers with the public. However thanks to Council Member Mark Levine, the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee was able to obtain copies of the architectural construction drawings submitted to the NYC Dept. of Buildings.”
A spokesman for the church noted that the church had presented renderings and site plans at a community board meeting. In addition, the development will open up new pedestrian access to the church’s North transept from 113th street. The Brodsky Organization has not responded to our request for comment.